A year or so back, my son like all children had problems listening to his parents, at least the first time. Wanting to use positive reinforcement to bring him back on the straight and narrow, we used a friend’s idea of “The Listening Ladder.” Basically it was a list of activities he enjoyed doing. As he listened, he moved up the ladder and gained privileges. If he ignored his parents, he lost privileges. It worked like a charm.
Well recently we have been giving him allowance. A little money for each chore he does around the house. Again, like many kids, money burns a hole in his pocket. No sooner does he earn $2-3, but he finds some dumb trinket to buy.
Now his tastes are getting more refined. He is starting to notice some of the bigger ticket items. We have told him he either has to do more chores or do a better job of saving his money.
Well this morning BC (before coffee), he announced to my wife that he was making “A Money Ladder.” As he obeyed, he would get more money. Because of an appalling lack of caffeine, we wife said, “yeah, whatever.”
This evening after school he presented us with his ladder. See if you can spot the problem.
Rung 1: $.75
Rung 2: $1.75
Rung 3: $5.00
Rung 4: $5.75
Rung 5: $10.00
Rung 6: $10.75
Rung 7: $20.00
Rung 8: $20.75
Not sure what the big deal was with the .75, but you get the idea. In one day he could net $74.75, not bad for a six year old. He was devastated when we politely declined his proposal. Parents can be so irrational.