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04 April 2014

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Jenny

Those rooms would be immaculate at my house too. I am really intrigued by this idea. Do you make an announcement when you remove a token or is it a stealth operation? Have you had much pushback for removing tokens? How far gone was their floor before they cleared it? Did it take a few days of losing tokens to get it where it needed to be? Yes, I have a million questions.

My girls' room is an absolute disaster. I'm torn on the thought of cleaning it up for them the first time so they could start on a clean slate or just letting it take as many days as it takes for them to get there, losing money along the way.

I got a good chuckle out of the "it's not fair!" discussion. Is it the purview of every oldest child to judge the fairness in the world. At my house, the girls alternate sitting next to me at supper: G on even days, O on odd days. G is the one who picked even for herself. The rules are there are no makeups even if we miss your day and you get your birthday. Every single time the 31st rolls around, we are treated to an extended discussion on how unfair it all is that the 31st is odd and the 1st is also odd.

Bearing

Those rooms would be immaculate at my house too. I am really intrigued by this idea. Do you make an announcement when you remove a token or is it a stealth operation? Have you had much pushback for removing tokens? How far gone was their floor before they cleared it? Did it take a few days of losing tokens to get it where it needed to be? Yes, I have a million questions.
Taking Jenny's questions one at a time...

"Do you make an announcement when you remove a token or is it a stealth operation?"

I announce it. And I explain why they lost it. "I pulled your token today because you didn't close your closet door, but I did notice that your floor was really clean. Good job on the floor!" And we tell Dad at dinner time. I have been keeping my tone of voice cheerful. I am trying to channel a we're-all-in-this-together vibe.

"Have you had much pushback for removing tokens?"

Not really. The criteria are very clear, and they have the checklist posted in their room. Covers pulled up, floor clear, closet shut. I *have* received some pushback for *not* removing a sibling's token. "Didn't you see that bottle cap that she left on her floor?!" We clearly need to review the parable of the workers in the vineyard.

"How far gone was their floor before they cleared it? Did it take a few days of losing tokens to get it where it needed to be?"

Previously I made them thoroughly pick up their rooms about once a month, the day before the housecleaner comes, so she can vacuum. It has typically taken a couple of hours for the big pick-up. I started this system the day after they'd done that complete pickup. And I think that helped get us off to a good start, because right away they only had to maintain what they already had.

"Is it the purview of every oldest child to judge the fairness in the world? ...Every single time the 31st rolls around, we are treated to an extended discussion on how unfair it all is that the 31st is odd and the 1st is also odd."

I am also an oldest child. The track at the Y has a sign telling us to run clockwise on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, and counterclockwise on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays, to avoid uneven wear on the track. It bothers me. N

Jenny

I am the oldest child too and so is my husband. Walking the wrong way around the track would really bother me. G definitely gets it honestly. She will have plenty to tell her therapist. :P

"And I think that helped get us off to a good start, because right away they only had to maintain what they already had."

My inclination is that it would be better to start on a clean slate because to start immediately would require a whole lot of negative reinforcement before they saw gains. But, sigh, that means I would have to wait until I can get around to cleaning up with them because, really, it is too out of control for them to do themselves in any reasonable amount of time.

"I *have* received some pushback for *not* removing a sibling's token."

Yeah, that's the pushback I would expect. "It's not fair! Because O did this, this and this, but I only did this." I think a posted list would probably help mitigate that to some degree.

Barbara C.

I finished the book, and I'm hammering out the details of my own experiment. My goals for each month are a bit different than what Kay Wyma had for her family (for instance I don't really care about made beds), but in general I'm being more aware of ways that I serve the kids instead of making them serve themselves.

bearing

Let us know what you decide to do, Barbara!

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