Friday, July 10, 2009

Capitalistic Parenting

I love Rebecca very much. She is a fiercely independent child and very passionate, but that independence and passion comes with a price.

She wants to do things for herself all the time and she wants to help me at the same time. As a result I have a seven year old sous chef. She happily chops peppers at dinner time and will stir the pots on the stove. This part of her is a delight.

However if I pick something out for her in a catalog, in a store or even a book in a library she flies off the handle. Shouts, tears and an angry stomping child soon follow theses imagined transgressions. I find this behavior to be truly appalling and for the most part, downright rude.

So now we have instituted a new policy. If she has been deemed to be significantly rude a dollar is deducted from the running tally on the allowance chart. A new category has been added to the sheet titled Rudeness.

Today she has already lost $2. She was rude to Max this morning. He wanted to sing along with his favorite song, she did not want him to and showed her displeasure not with words, but by shoving him. At the library she blew up at me for touching a book when we found the section (horses) we were looking for. I hauled her aside and told her that her behavior was unacceptable and she had now lost another dollar. She was sat sullenly for the rest of our visit and the ride home.

When I wrote up the deductions on the sheet she was horrified to see the new category. She thought that the money was to be discretely deducted, not publicly tallied. She begged and pleaded for me to not write it all up. My response was tough, you were rude and now you have to live with the consequences.

It'll be intrersting to see if this teaches her to hold her temper and to use her manners. I know she hates losing the money (at best she earns $3 to $4 a week), but the fact that it is writen plainly for all to see might be the bigger incentive to straighten up.

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