Monday, April 23, 2007

Extortion, An Excellent Motivator

Last week while at Kailey's gymnastics class (yes, it's not enough that the girls are on separate softball teams...they're now in separate gymnastics classes), Kyra busied herself by perusing the gymastics outfits in the "gift shop". The "gift shop" is nothing more than a coat closet with several racks of leotards along the wall, a couple of snack machines, and a cash register where all of my hard earned money resides. She hadn't browsed long before finding and falling in love with a pink, sparkly leotard. Sticker price: $36. All of my girls have been "blessed" with expensive tastes. Kyra ran to get Diane to show her this amazing find. If I had been there, the answer would have fallen in the category of, "Thirty-six bucks for something you'll be able to wear for six months max? No frickin' way!" But Diane is a little more tactful. She resorted to extortion.

Don't get all self-righteous and judgemental, because you know you do it too. Here's how it all shook down. Diane paused for a moment, then reasoned, "We'll see. If you can show me that you can clean up your messes without complaining and be a good listener, then maybe we'll get you the outfit." I love my wife. She's a freakin' genious. We've been dangling that little gem over Kyra's head all week long and it works like a charm.

Last night as I was getting the girls ready for bed, I asked her to clean up her mess in the family room which she did willingly. She picked up her toys and took them to her room, then returned to inform me that she didn't want to clean up her room. I quickly replied, "Then I guess you don't want that gymnastics outfit."

"Oh, all right," she moaned. "I guess I'll clean my room." A grin crept across my face as she moaped back to her room.

I wonder if we can stretch this thing out until she's eighteen.


The Beast Mom said...

Have you guys tried the chores=allowance thing yet? B now has to do all of his chores to get his allowance. His accumulated allowance is what will buy him his most recently coveted batting gloves. He likes that he can measure for himself - how far he is to meeting his goal of $19.99 + tax. :) And I like that he doesn't whine at me every day about getting his gloves. He knows by looking at his piggy bank what the answer is.


the battered ham said...

We have not, but that's the next step. Kyra is a great saver, and she rarely spends gift money that she receives for birthdays/holidays. Usually when she sees something she wants, we'll tell her that she can use her gift money to buy it. Then she'll really think about whether she wants it or not. Kailey usually just spends.

Anonymous said...

Honey, it's Kailey, your oldest daughter that never wants to spend a dime of her own money. Kyra would buy something from every store we go to with her own money if I let her.

the battered ham said...

Oh yeah, that's what I meant. I really should read what I write before I post. Give me a break...I've been up since before the butt-crack of dawn!

Chris said...