Well, a few weeks ago I blogged about paying my 7 year old son for treating his 2 year old brother with more consideration. Treat him nice and with patience, gain a quarter in the mason jar. Tease and pester and provoke, and you lose a quarter.
At first this worked really great. Jonah was stringing together acts of patience like a monk just up from his prayer chair. I witnessed thoughtful sharing, true consideration, and genuine helpfulness. Ben was getting sweetly buckled into his car seat, legos were being shared and boo-boos kissed.
From time to time I would also catch the old pestering and pull a quarter from the mason jar. At one point, there was about 5 bucks in there, and the deal was, once you earn $10, you get to keep the cash.
The big problem with this arrangement is, I had to keep watch! It was dizzying trying to keep up with all the quarters in and out of the jar and eventually it became too much. I also knew we had crossed over into sticky territory when I praised my 7 year old for putting the cereal box back in the pantry. He replied, “can I have a quarter for that?”
So, pressing forward, there’s no more cash rewards but there’s still lots of poking and picking. And I’m definitely open to suggestions.