Aiming to be happier families.


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“Oh whatever,” she said, rolling her eyes dramatically. Her sister turned visibly purple, clenched her fists and stormed away.

A little later, when she had calmed down, she came to me and said, “Mommy, you have to do something about her attitude.”

My youngest daughter was sixteen at the time and had become totally obnoxious. We had all been ignoring it as a phase, but it was getting worse. She back-chatted, argued and showed contempt to everyone in the family. My eldest daughter was right; it was time to step in.

I called her and said that her attitude had become totally unacceptable (to be honest I used the word “disgusting”). I pointed out that she was rude, bad-mannered, cheeky and generally contemptuous of everyone who loved her. She just looked at me as if I needed to be scraped off the bottom of her shoe and turned to walk away.

As I resisted the urge to jump on her and shake her silly, I continued, “So I have decided that I am going to pay you R100.00 at the end of the month (R100.00 was a good sum of money in 2007)”. She turned around, frowning and said, “What?”

I smiled my best smile and said, “At the beginning of each month, and I will back-date for this month, you start off with R100.00. Every time you show a bad attitude, rudeness, cheek etc. I will deduct R5.00, in the hope that this will make you aware of it and improve your attitude.”

“Oh yeah, right ,” she scowled

“R95.00” I replied.

“You think that’s funny,” she said.

“R90.00” I replied. It was really quite satisfying as counting down was totally unemotional and yet it made me feel like I was doing something.

As it happens, she managed to get R5.00 at the end of that month. The following month she achieved R75.00 and the third month she was laughing as I handed over R100.00.

On the 4th month I informed her that I wouldn’t be paying her. She knitted her eyebrows together and asked why. I told her that it wasn’t a reward for good behaviour, it was a motivation to end bad behaviour and as she had transformed so beautifully, there was no need for the motivation anymore.

Her response was to laugh and say, “You are such a cheat,” and we both laughed.

Motivation is a form of praise offered before the job is done. ~






2 September 2011 - Posted by | Parenting | , , , , , , , , , ,


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    Comment by vimax results | 15 September 2011 | Reply

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