- Brush your teeth -- with toothpaste!
- Pack your backpack. Make sure you have homework/notes/signed papers/your lunch.
- Turn off the lights upstairs on your way down.
But then whenever I go upstairs during the day, I end up turning lights off in Kyle's sink area, their shared bath, Amanda's bedroom and closet.
I decided that I would start issuing an electric surcharge. I told them so, and even gave Kyle a final reminder as he headed out the door, "Did you turn out the lights?"
When he came home, I told him that he owed me 50 cents, because he left the lights on in his sink area and the bathroom. It didn't really bug him. "I'll pay you when I go to bed, because I'll be near my money."
I forgot to ask when he went to bed, but he remembered the next morning and brought it to me. The threat of a fine has worked better for Amanda, who is truly learning and appreciating the value of a buck (and even of silver). However, when she went out with her dad for the afternoon on Saturday, she left the light above her vanity area on, and her straightening iron plugged in. She coughed up 50 cents when she got home.
I've always believed in logical consequences -- in theory -- but the cold hard reality is that I still rely too much on yelling or nagging. So far, this is working for all of us. In general, they are little more mindful of turning off the lights behind them. If I do have to turn off a light, I get a quarter. I may even stop issuing the reminders. I'm not really irritated about it, because I'm collecting those quarter-dollars in a lovely little dish.
They're adding up, and soon I'm going to treat myself to something good.
What kinds of logical consequences help you to stop nagging and yelling and encourage your kids to take responsibilities on for themselves?