In searching for a quote for Motivation Monday, I came across this gem. I’m not sure if it was really Ginger Rogers who said it, but the words themselves speak to me. This is a phrase I have lived by when it comes to raising my kids, because I know for a fact from the way I treated things given to me versus things I earned that it’s true. I have taken much better care of the car I bought myself than all the cars before them that were given to me. My daughter has also proven it to me with her treatment of her phone.
She has a laptop (too slow), tablet (lost), Kindle Paperwhite (never uses), and a cell phone. You could call her spoiled, but the phone she earned. It is also the most well taken care of thing she owns. She had to earn that phone with a straight A report card in junior high. In order to keep that phone active, she is required to bring me at least one straight A report card per year. She loves her phone and takes better care of it than she does our dog.
My son, on the other hand, only takes care of his weapons. Each one of them was the one item he was allowed to pick out from a special occasion, like a renaissance festival or Comicpalooza. He fried his desktop computer (Christmas present), he took good care of his tablet until recently (birthday present), and he’s gone through so many pairs of headphones, I lost count years ago. He has yet to reach the straight A report card requirement to earn a cell phone, so he takes extra good care of his tablet. Until he dropped it the other day.
My kids have been taught that while I will provide electronic devices and cooler toys than most of their friends have, the use of these items is a privilege, not a right. If you don’t do your job (keeping up grades, feeding/cleaning up after the dog, and keeping the house relatively clean), you don’t get to have fun with the things my paychecks earn. I have been known to take computer cables, Xbox controllers, and laptop computers to work with me when my kids get grounded.
What have I learned from this? Having cool things around that you can take away is a good way to keep kids interested in making sure they do their chores, etc. Plus, I think I like my Xbox One more than my kids do.
How do you motivate your kids? Do they have to earn it?