The proverbial 'we' (i.e. the two small people) in this house are struggling with turning off lights, flushing toilets and picking up shoes. In a fit of total frustration a couple of weeks ago, I announced I'd be charging a quarter each time I had to do it for them. Wyatt is extremely motivated by cash and the plan is working well in keeping him motivated. Natalie only half cares about money, which really means that she has minimal understanding of what it can really do for her but she does like the shiny ones! By the way, that difference in their motivations could explain why yesterday's piggy bank counting shows Wyatt has his sister beat by $265, but I digress.
This week it has become apparent that Wyatt understands the concept of clearing his dishes but takes great delight in leaving them on the counter instead of putting them in the dishwasher. I'd love to give him the benefit of the doubt, but after watching him look for a reaction a few times when leaving them out instead of in the dishwasher, I can confidently say that he's just choosing to ignore the request to put them where they should be. Therefore, I decided that the quarter-per-infraction should be implemented for dishes, too. It's been a day and Wyatt is already reformed.
Natalie is a different story. She has been great about taking care of her dishes all along, so I was ill-prepared for what occurred tonight. Dinner just ended a bit ago and, as my parents and I were still sitting at the table chatting, Natalie asked to be excused and went straight upstairs. She reappeared in short order with a quarter, handed it to me and smiled. When I asked what it was for, she informed me she'd like for me to take care of her dishes and said it with a giant smile on her face. All three adults cracked up and it seems a whole lot like I'll need to work on a different plan for Natalie, or maybe just open a new bank account.