(Double posted at MMW today)
Motivating the Monkeys is always a tough row to hoe. However, the other night I unwittingly stumbled upon a new, seemingly endless, goldmine of motivation: Points.
The boys were lagging in cleaning up their room, dawdling as they put their p.j.'s on, and playing in the water rather than brushing their teeth. And I'm trying really hard not to yell these days, especially since it falls on deaf little ears anyway, and leaves me worn out and frustrated.
So as the Monkeys are picking up one…Tinker… Toy… at… a… time, barely making a dent in the million or so Tinker Toys on the bedroom floor, I said, and I don't know why,: "Twenty points to whomever cleans up the Tinker Toys first!" And it was as if someone lit a fire under their little bums- all of the sudden, they were moving like oiled lightening, and the room was spotless in, like, 60 seconds!
Then they were jumping and bouncing before me, clamoring about who got "the Points"? Uh, wow, I'm still a little thunderstruck that it worked- so 20 points for each of you! And they were delighted!! Then, wheels turning in my mind, I offered 10 points each for clean teeth, and another 5 for wiping the water off the counter when done- and that worked too!!!
(Whispering) Hey moms, this totally works- I have been doing it for days now, and they have never even thought to ask what in the world they should do with the "Points", or how many they have accumulated- They just love earning them! I have even doled out ridiculous amounts of "Points", like 10,000 last night for sweeping the crumbs from under the table! I think this just might be the magic mama-bullet.
If they do ask, sometime, what they can do with all their "Points", I plan on taking them to the dollar store and letting them choose something. It's magic, and from the generosity of my overflowing heart, I share this with you! Shhhhh…. it's a mama secret!