Sunday, May 25, 2014

Rethinking cleaning as punishment

On this bright, sunny Sunday morning, Daddy said, "Let's go play nine holes." The brunette twin said, "Yeah!" The blond twin said, "No!" Actually, the blond twin said it before Daddy finished his sentence.

It's a new trend for the blond twin. A couple of days ago we decided to take the girls for ice cream. We told the girls we were heading on a quick errand that they might enjoy. The blond twin said she wasn't going before we even finished talking about what we were going to do. She said, "I'm sure it will be boring so I'd rather stay home and do something else." It was funny that she thought she had that option, but annoying that she made yet another family outing a battle.

Today when she said she didn't want to golf, I said, "Ok, you can stay home with me. I have some work to do and you can help." She really wanted to golf, but I thought today was a good day to teach her not to make decisions before she has all the information. She was mad when she realized that she was going to stay home and do chores.

Unfortunately for me, I picked the wrong chore. I decided to go through the girls' clothes and clean out the brunette twin's dresser and closet. The blond twin lit up when she realized we were going to be organizing dressers and closets.

The blond twin loves to organize. Every drawer in her dresses looks like a magazine ad. Her closet is completely organized. It's her sweet spot.

My goal was to make her understand that she couldn't be in charge. She wasn't in a position to say no to everything. I wanted to make her really think about what she was missing by staying home and cleaning with me. The problem was I picked the wrong thing to clean. She adored her time with me in their bedroom. When Daddy and Sissy came home, the blond twin couldn't wait to tell them how much fun she had. I'm not sure she learned anything by staying home with me.

Next time I need to pick some other chore to drive home the point. Now all I have to do is figure out what she really dislikes and keep that on the list.

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