My children are at war. With each other and MrM and I. They can't be nice to each other and are struggling to be nice to us too, unless it's impeccable manners when they want... chocolate, fizzy drinks, ice lollies, donuts, McDonalds, toys (insert something "wanted" here).
I've tried shouting, asking them to ignore each other and pretend the other one doesn't exist, getting on my knees and begging with tears rolling down my sad face. Now it's time for the big guns. Bribery. Some you may know this by another name. "The Reward Chart"
The nine year old hasn't had a reward chart since he was three and we were potty training. This is a big step (back?). The four year old has never had one but as she is a mini Kim Jong-un I think it's time. I'm staging my own mini coup, in my own house!
I saw the charts in Sainsburys, his n hers. Perfect. 3 for 2 which was a bit of a bugger as I needed two charts and therefore two sets of stickers. I decided that rather than just dictate to them what I wanted them to do I had to sit with them so we could choose some achievable goals. These may change week by week.
The four year old.
1. Dress myself. - She is more than capable of this but with the attitude of a diva princess all we get is "I WANT YOU TO DO IT". Now I don't mind helping if she didn't shout it and not add please.
2. Tidy Toys & Books. - A trail of destruction is left in her wake until she is asked to tidy it away and then she is miraculously "too tired" and needs to go to bed.
3. Don't shout at Mummy & Daddy. - The demands I can deal with, IF she didn't shout at me if I haven't answered within 5 seconds.
4. Go to bed and don't get up. - One of my bug bears. I was always that self satisfied smug woman who had children with a set bedtime routine, who went to bed, fell asleep and stayed asleep until the crack of dawn (I have forsaken lie-ins for a quiet evening with the TV). Now both my children get up a million times with various ailments, dying of thirst and the need to tell me something very important.
The nine year old:
1. Play with Ozzie more. - Ozzie is our 11 month old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. I will tell you he was my 40th birthday present but another reason was for the nine year old to learn to be a bit more responsible. He loves Ozzie but the x-box is more alluring.
2.Tidy bedroom - Whilst the nine year old has less toys than the four year old. His bedroom is like a teenagers. He finds it difficult to put anything away and his clothes and bathroom towel keep being left on his bedroom floor. This needs to stop before he hits puberty.
3. Don't tease the four year old.- He's admitted he does it.. sometimes. He knows she is a whirlwind of anger, you can look at her the wrong way and get moaned at. He plays on this, sits too close, smiles in her face, blocks her on the stairs.. then he ends up crying in frustration because she is a master manipulator and gets her own back somehow.
4. Go to bed and don't get up - See four year old's number 4.
The reward?? Some holiday spending money. I haven't decided how much to part with yet. I was thinking €5 for a week of better behaviour. Lets' see if my little darlings can manage a week first!