How is that "rewarding undesirable behavior"?
That would be rewarding desirable behavior, since he will be able to use the Bike or whatever great gift you get them, only "behaving desirably", which in this case would be "tidying up their room". Doh!
hypnopsych, glad to see there are People like you and me that have natural good sense unlike this DrJerry guy who labels "rewarding desirable behavior" to be the same as "rewarding undesirable behavior"!
Well let's see -- I don't clean my room, my parents buy me a nice bike, and I get to use it when I cooperate -- this is the premise of rewarding good behaviour. So, what else do I not do in order to get more treasure (perhaps a car in my later teen years)? In my (obviously) limited experience children generally know when they are being manipulated, and they are really good at reciprocating.
Well, I raised two children and your last phrase is correct. Which is the whole point: reciprocation (or bargaining) yields a win-win. The room is cleaned and the boy is rewarded. So it is desirable NOT undesirable behaviour that is reinforced. It would only be rewarding "bad" behaviour if the boy received a bike with no expectation or requirement to clean his room. Pavlov and Skinner must be turning over in their respective graves at your obtuseness.
If we are going to start measuring: I have raised five children, and counselled hundreds, as well as their parents. Bargaining is not the same as reciprocation. Reciprocation when manipulated tends to be driven by a sense of being wronged, and leads to "reciprocal manipulation." There is no win-win in this game, only a certain sense of loss on both sides. By the way, congratulations on raising your children, I'm sure you did an excellent job. Peace!
I agree with the others on it first depending on the age of the child.
For a toddler doing the chores and cleaning with them at first is a must. Making it fun or a game out of it if you can helps at first too. Then once the toddler gets the hang of how to clean up you tell them to clean up before they get other things they want. My three year old will always ask me to play catch or read to her and I always get her to clean up her mess before I do and explain things to her that she has to clean up before she gets out another things. I explain it to her and I know she doesnt get every word or detail but she gets the just of things and she will know it better over time. Doing it this way from the beginning really helps out in the long run. My daughter doesn't mind cleaning up so much now and that will be something she remembers later.
When they get older and start asking for things the routine is essentially the same. Reward (allowance, desert, play, etc) after responsibility
reward him. give him chores to do at home. make a to do chart for him. chores he has to do when he gets home from school after he does his homework. give him an allowance but he has to do his chores and do them right to earn that allowance. if he doesnt do them take something away from him that he likes very much and make him earn it back.
No matter what you do it will be world war three. but you have to be stronger and more persistent than him dont give in he will take advantage of your weaknesses and push every button imaginable. again dont respond to anything not related to the subject of him and his chores.
Effective parenting revolves around transactional dialogue. In other words, you set-out to broker a peaceful agreement such as: "I will be happy to drive you to your hockey practice when you have cleaned-up your room; or "You can certainly have a friend over to watch a movie or play a game when your room is tidy."
In answer to the common objection, "but that's not fair." My African friend has developed a great answer, "Compared to what?"
The first question I would ask is, what age is the child? Secondly, I have raised three children, and experienced the same kinds of struggle.
Essentially, family life is a series of negotiations and agreements. This transactional nature of parenting allows the parent to stipulate certain conditions in order for benefits to be realized for the child. For example, "I am willing to drive you to your hockey practice when your room is tidy." Or, "you can invite your friends over to watch a movie or play a game when you have cleaned up your mess."
These types of transaction allow you to put pressure on the child to behave within acceptable limits without resorting to all out warfare.
Once the kids are preteens and you’re sure they know how to clean a room, it’s time to back off.
It’s normal for preteens and teens to begin pushing their parents away. They need privacy. They want a corner of the world they can claim as their own. They want more control. The three feet of clothing on the floor and the pile of dirty socks, CD cases, and assorted papers is their declaration of independence. In their eagerness to demonstrate they can do as they please, they are willing to displease the adults around them.
Reaffirm the standards for health and safety and close their doors. What do you care if they can’t find a clean shirt? Maybe not having one will motivate the kid to do laundry. The exception to leaving them to figure it out is if you have reason to believe something dangerous or illegal is going on in there. In that case, all bets are off. It’s time for an unannounced room check.
Friend, this is the exact age where children begin to test the strength of the parents' commitment to them. When you say back-off I imagine a child thinking they are becoming less important to the parent.
Lack of personal hygiene is one of the chief issues for preteen to early teenagers. Negotiating for better outcomes keeps the parent engaged and improves problem solviong skills. Backing off sounds like abdicating authority, and this will lead kids to look for authority among their peers
I agree in terms of your presupposition. However, if the parent has laid the foundation in the early years than it is important for the caregiver to begin to permit that teenager to have a certain level of freedom. In this case, each time that adolescent violates the rules, than he or she is presented with consequences rather than punishment. Otherwise, if the parent never laid those foundations at an early age for the child it will be a power struggle.
Agreed. But I'm not sure at what stage this parent is experiencing the difficulty. In principle everything sounds sane and applicable, but with the current social environment confronting our kids today, with all of their pseudo experts ready to jump in and offer advice ( and I mean their peers), remaining engaged, communicating and mentoring are things that are becoming less well practised. Hence my concern around abdication of authority, which can lead a pooling of ignorance.
Bail. Keep the stuff-level down. If your kids have enough of what they need, it might be helpful to establish a rule that for everything that goes in the room, something needs to come out. If a kid gets a new shirt, an old one goes to the local Salvation Army or Goodwill store. A new toy means an old one needs to be passed along. This not only keeps the kids from being overwhelmed by possessions, it also teaches them to feel good about giving things away. If the one-for-one rule doesn’t make sense in your family, periodically have a sorting day where the outgrown, the worn out, the neglected, and the broken items get systematically given away or thrown out. Exceptions can be made for special things, of course, unless absolutely everything gets defined as “special.”
Initially, do chores together. Armchair supervision doesn’t work anywhere near as well as active participation. Keep your expectations reasonable and show them how it’s done. As they master the skills and no longer need step-by-step encouragement, you can put on some music and boogie your way through the list. Or use room cleaning time as a time for conversation.
Give the kids pride of place. Kids who feel their space is specially their own (whether a whole room or a corner or a shelf) are more likely to want to keep it nice. Find ways to give them some control over how their space looks and where things are kept. It’s not expensive to let them rearrange the furniture or to paint a shelf, or to buy some new sheets. They can decorate boxes to organize their stuff and choose or make pictures for the wall.
Define clearly what it means to have a clean room. Make a checklist the kids can refer to with pictures for little ones, simple words for older ones.
Make your bed.
Put laundry in hamper.
Hang up clothes.
Put toys and equipment away.
Vacuum your floor.
Now you’re done.