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How do you motivate your teens to keep a schedule and a to-do list. On a daily basis? Slavishly. I have no more interest in startie-stoppie mediocrity. I need this to be a done-deal.

 

Punishments or rewards?

Oh - and forget ideology. I don't care about what should work. I care about what does work.

 

What has worked for you? And what kind of kid did it work for?

 

Because I have three that are motivated very differently. But they all have one thing in common. They agree that they are the most successful, they have the most self-esteem, and they are the most content when they make a schedule and a to-do list and then just work it. They also agree that they are unsuccessful and embarrassed when they don't.

 

But then they don't do it on their own.

Unless I insist on it and check to see that it's happening, it happens for a while - but then it stops happening. They go back to holding stuff in their heads and hoping for the best. (Which invariably leads to me screaming and ranting on about some lunatic ideology about responsibility and blah, blah, blah. Insanity!)

 

So forget ideology about punishments and rewards. I don't care about which system comes from the good parents and which system comes from the bad parents. I don't think it's possible to reason my way to a good solution.

This goes beyond reason; and I'm out of time/patience to fiddle around with this. (This is driving me nuts, and I've had it!)

 

What works? (And if you are blessed to have kids who do what you say every time to the best of their ability because they want to please you, my hat is off to you. But your advice about how to strengthen the moral fiber of my children is going to fall on deaf ears. I'm done trying to strengthen moral fiber. Really - no hard feelings, but peddle that somewhere else. I want to find out what works with kids who lack a strong sense of duty. Moderate sense? Yes. Strong? Nope.)

 

Punishments or rewards?

Cash?

Ruin their social life?

 

Lay it on me!

Peace,

Janice

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The thing that keeps teens on a reasonable schedule here is the potential loss of extracurriculars, phone/email privileges, and vacation time. They know if they don't stay caught up in their classes, their extracurriculars stop, they hand over their phones, they have no non-academic computer time, and breaks won't be breaks. On a daily basis, they still struggle unless I provide the schedule and police it. On a weekly basis, the work usually gets done.

Edited by klmama
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I find that DD has absolutely no problems following a strict schedule if it is imposed by somebody else. She is taking two outside classes with a heavy work load, is very good about keeping up with schedules and assignments there, and goes above and beyond to be prepared.

I have not been successful replicating a schedule based structure in our home, but you know what: I am content that she can do it if she must, and am happy to have the rest of her coursework progress in an unscheduled manner. I know it will get done - but not according to any schedule, planner, time table. She is aware that things that did not happen during the semester will have to happen over break, but I do not think she sees it as a punishment (which it is not!), but rather as a scheduling decision she is making, in order to make the semester more manageable.

So, for this student the solution is clearly to outsource part and have her experience strict scheduling there, and relax at home. If we did not have this opportunity, I would probably impose a schedule for only some subjects and not for others.

 

DS is a minimalist and needs more prodding. He is not quite in high school yet, but I can already see that the thing that would work for him is a loss of computer gaming time, if needed. Since early childhood he has been completely immune to rewards. He is not very invested in social activities, so a loss of activities would not matter - and as most of his activities involve physical exercise, I would not be wise to cancel anything.

As a last resort, there is always the understanding that, if homeschooling does not work because he is not doing his work diligently, he would have to return to public school. This is probably the only deterrent we will actually need, because he does not want to go back.

Edited by regentrude
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Before the punishment/ reward part, DS does best when he can see exactly how much time he's spending and/ or wasting as it happens. He's overly optomistic about how long things will take (under-estimates), and he forgets how long he's been on a five minute break until half an hour later.

 

So... we have a chess clock. One side for working time and one side for breaks. The reward (or punishment) is that he's not done until he's put his time in, so if the clock says he spent five hours working and three hours not, he has not finished his time for the day. If he had put in eight hours and not gotten to the end of his list, we could call that done, but not if he wasted three hours in there too. So whatever it was that he wanted to do, too bad. He needs to finish his school work first.

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How do you motivate your teens to keep a schedule and a to-do list. On a daily basis? Slavishly. I have no more interest in startie-stoppie mediocrity. I need this to be a done-deal.

 

Punishments or rewards?

Oh - and forget ideology. I don't care about what should work. I care about what does work.

 

What has worked for you? And what kind of kid did it work for?

 

Because I have three that are motivated very differently.

 

Punishments or rewards?

Cash?

Ruin their social life?

 

Lay it on me!

Peace,

Janice

 

Thank you for asking such honest questions, because in our house what should work doesn't always.

 

Here's what has worked (at least to some extent) with each of my kids, and you're not necessarily going to want to do all the things I have. I have even offered cash for certain grades on report cards for my ps dds (but not just for the grades since my dds are capable of straight As in the classes they are currently taking), they have to have all their work turned in on time & to study, so so far no cash has been given out. I suspect that my middle one will eventually earn some cash, but my eldest isn't motivated much by it, even though she needs money.

 

Eldest--expelled to public school. She wants her A's. and the more I push her, the less she does, but if I don't push her at all when she was at home, she did nothing in many subjects. She like to get As--if her grades start to drop, she adjusts. Incentives/punishments have little to no effect on her as she simply chooses to give up. Not that we don't give consequences for certain actions, but they don't help. This dd has been my most challenging and stubborn child, and is considered challenging by many people other than our family (so not just parents thinking they have it tough with a "normal" dc.)

 

Middle dd--removing privileges helps to some degree, making her sit and study with me periodically. She missed judo last week, twice. I did get more work from her over the 3 day weekend (she is now in pubic school and has two large projects for honours classes that involve a fair bit of research). She is quite motivated in classes she likes most of the time, but not in ones she doesn't like. She accuses me of being over controlling, but my eldest one knows of parents who are truly over controlling and defends me (surprisingly, since my eldest, at 17, blames me for nearly all of her problems:glare:). However, this is the same girl who thinks it's paranoid to remove a chin up bar in the basement because she was hanging from her knees from it over a concrete floor and that her headmaster is overly strict for making her get back from a high window ledge after crossing a beam about 20 feet up from a brick floor at the ps, so at 14 she still has a warped perception of these thing!) She can be stubborn and challenging, but she isn't anywhere close to my eldest. She is the type of dc who shuts down when angry or upset, but is also fairly mature in some areas while being rather immature in others. She has high goals, and realizes she has to work, just isn't at the point where she's self motivated enough yet and does need help learning this as another poster mentioned.

 

Ds--rewards/removing privileges helps a great deal. He hates to miss music lessons or swim practice, likes to use Google Earth (which he doesn't get to do more than a couple of times per week), etc. Not that he actually loses lessons as that works particularly well if the lesson is that day or the next. he hates school, hates to apply himself to subjects he's not interested in, but does extremely well learning when he is passionate about a subject (music, aeronautics, and a number of other interests, just mostly not related to school, and using aeronautics for math does NOT help him like math.) He's the kind of kid that spends large amounts of time on things he likes (boring his sisters with his talk abut them) and we've learned is musically gifted, although he started music lessons shortly before turning 11 and is only 12 now. He's a 2E child.

Edited by Karin
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Before the punishment/ reward part, DS does best when he can see exactly how much time he's spending and/ or wasting as it happens. He's overly optomistic about how long things will take (under-estimates), and he forgets how long he's been on a five minute break until half an hour later.

 

Yes, I find this true as well. My kids are required to keep track of what they spent their time on, write down times and subjects and present to me at the end of the day.

(DD no longer has to do this, due to her busy schedule, but DS has to).

The consequence of not writing down work diligently is that the hours are not accounted for, and have to be done again.

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I spent years arguing, begging being angry etc. I stopped it caused way too much stress and hurt feelings. This is how it is and this is what will happen if it is not done. I am not gonna bribe or beg. I am the mom and that is the way it works. It took a while of mean mom but after the shock worw off my house is happier.

 

If you can't bring your clothes to the laundry they won't get washed. If you leave them on the floor I pack them up leaving you with two outfits you must wash by hand for a week. If your toys are on the floor after 830 they are gone they don't come back. If you can't follow the rules and do your school without complaint meet your bed for the day. I mean the day too period.

 

If you argue with me don't plan on watching my TV or playing my computer. If you have so little respect for me then you don't need my stuff to use. I am tough, and I don't bend. My kids are happy and we get along. My house is clean all the time and we have way more fun because of this.

 

If I have unexpected people drop by I don't worry my house is clean. My kids respect their things and school is smoother.

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I spent years arguing, begging being angry etc. I stopped it caused way too much stress and hurt feelings. This is how it is and this is what will happen if it is not done. I am not gonna bribe or beg. I am the mom and that is the way it works. It took a while of mean mom but after the shock worw off my house is happier.

 

If you can't bring your clothes to the laundry they won't get washed. If you leave them on the floor I pack them up leaving you with two outfits you must wash by hand for a week. If your toys are on the floor after 830 they are gone they don't come back. If you can't follow the rules and do your school without complaint meet your bed for the day. I mean the day too period.

 

If you argue with me don't plan on watching my TV or playing my computer. If you have so little respect for me then you don't need my stuff to use. I am tough, and I don't bend. My kids are happy and we get along. My house is clean all the time and we have way more fun because of this.

 

If I have unexpected people drop by I don't worry my house is clean. My kids respect their things and school is smoother.

 

For the OP, here's an eg of what should work (this post is a great eg of a parenting method that should work and it's a great way to handle these things) that hasn't worked in our house. My dds are responsible to wash their own laundry. My eldest wears clothes until they are actually dirty and does laundry as seldom as possible as a result. In our house, doing things such as you've done has not yet taught my dc to respect their things and so it's still a work in progress. My kids rarely end up watching TV or having fun on the computer as a result, but some of them insist that it's my fault that they don't get to spend more time on Facebook/Youtube/GoogleEarth/TV.

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For the OP, here's an eg of what should work (this post is a great eg of a parenting method that should work and it's a great way to handle these things) that hasn't worked in our house. My dds are responsible to wash their own laundry. My eldest wears clothes until they are actually dirty and does laundry as seldom as possible as a result. In our house, doing things such as you've done has not yet taught my dc to respect their things and so it's still a work in progress. My kids rarely end up watching TV or having fun on the computer as a result, but some of them insist that it's my fault that they don't get to spend more time on Facebook/Youtube/GoogleEarth/TV.

 

They can insist whatever they want, they made the choice deal with it and walk away. Don't listen to that nonsense. As adults their bosses will not listen to it they would be fired. Dirty children could not eat in my home. Dirty clothes are not allowed to be worn at all here. I cannot take a dirty scruffy kid anywhere at all. If you are going to go without a shower stay in your room. Dirty kids stink and no one else in the family needs to suffer with that non sense. Bath time used to be a huge deal in this house with certain kids until I did this.

 

Clothes cannot be worn more than once and they muct be clean. This is the only way they can leave their room!

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Neither. What has worked here:

 

- competition with other (respected) children of his own age

- wanting to attain things for which he needs to work.

 

Once he found peers who were working hard, and once he found a university that he wanted to attend, he started to work. Before that he was doing the bare minimum.

 

Laura

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I haven't had time to read the other replies, but what immediately came to mind is that you will have to give up the startie-stoppie checking to get other than startie-stoppie results in the children.

 

I think when you start slavishly checking every single day, they will slavishly follow the schedule/list. Perhaps they have to do it before you will provide breakfast, or dinner, or screen time, or whatever. Both carrot and stick together.

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They can insist whatever they want, they made the choice deal with it and walk away. Don't listen to that nonsense. As adults their bosses will not listen to it they would be fired. Dirty children could not eat in my home. Dirty clothes are not allowed to be worn at all here. I cannot take a dirty scruffy kid anywhere at all. If you are going to go without a shower stay in your room. Dirty kids stink and no one else in the family needs to suffer with that non sense. Bath time used to be a huge deal in this house with certain kids until I did this.

 

Clothes cannot be worn more than once and they muct be clean. This is the only way they can leave their room!

 

They don't wear dirty clothes, just wear them until they are dirty. And until you know my dc, you can't be sure that your parenting would work, either :), since my eldest has flummoxed many well qualifed people with her refusal to do certain things. But that's something not for this thread, and what we're doing now is counselling for her. Remember, the OP specifically asked for not just what is supposed to work--it doesn't always regardless of parenting. She hates to stink or go out dirty, so it's not a problem with hygiene, just hate to do laundry until it really needs it, and then postpones it because she has accumulated many clothes thanks to gift cards, etc, she gets as gifts from relatives.

Edited by Karin
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They don't wear dirty clothes, just wear them until they are dirty. And I don't think you're dealing with any special needs dc, either :).

 

I wish people would specify when they need input on issues concerning children with special needs, so others wouldn't waste their time saying what they personally do only to have it thrown back at them because their children don't have the identical challenges of the inquirer. Just my two cents on that.

 

OP, I don't do many carrots or sticks. I just don't have the resources to be able to offer quality carrots, and I don't want to take away the extras because they have other people depending on them in those instances. I just keep them close and have them turn in their work as they finish it, and I give my children as much attention as possible during the day. Some days are good and some are bad; I try to focus on the overall effect of homeschooling. I do think they will be more responsible in the long run, and more capable of completing worthwhile tasks after these years at home...because I know I'm requiring more than would be required of them at school. I know they'll be better educated than if they'd gone to school.

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Rewards worked best when the boys were younger. As older teens the "loss of privilege" worked(s) best. I guess the term "punishment" could mean "loss of privilege", but I tend to view is as more punitive ie, if you don't do xyz by a certain time, you will have to add PQR to your "to do" list. Our life is more like, "If XYZ isn't done by time Q, you cannot go to the gym to work out."

 

Honestly, I don't have a single child who was totally self motivated. I've always been behind them encouraging, prodding, nagging, etc. I simply don't know how to do it differently. But when they are out on their own, they DO become self motivated. I'm amazed at what my older 2 get accomplished without me there prodding, nagging, etc. So maybe our role is to encourage, prod, and nag :)

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Neither. What has worked here:

 

- competition with other (respected) children of his own age

- wanting to attain things for which he needs to work.

 

Once he found peers who were working hard, and once he found a university that he wanted to attend, he started to work. Before that he was doing the bare minimum.

 

Laura

 

:iagree: This was a great motivator for my sons as well. They eventually got to the point that impressing me was no longer fulfilling. They wanted the world to know how great they were (are) :D Once they discovered that being successful as big fish in a little pond (our co-op) did not translate to being successful as a little fish in a big pond (university) they kicked it into high gear and soared. Getting that top score amongst all those national merit students (and them not being national merit) really fulfilled them :tongue_smilie:

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I haven't had time to read the other replies, but what immediately came to mind is that you will have to give up the startie-stoppie checking to get other than startie-stoppie results in the children.

 

I think when you start slavishly checking every single day, they will slavishly follow the schedule/list. Perhaps they have to do it before you will provide breakfast, or dinner, or screen time, or whatever. Both carrot and stick together.

 

Thanks for the advice. Really. I know you meant well, so PLEASE no offense.:001_smile:

 

But IMO, it's not good advice for older kids.

I'm talking about the transition to adulthood here. Older teens, not younger. :001_smile:

 

My kids were/are fine when I check everything every day.

But that's a recipe for disaster for college and adulthood.

 

I need advice about what works for the transition. (And I have modeled good behavior here. That's not the problem.)

Punishment or rewards?

 

Once again, not trying to offend the gal who offered this idea (I love ya, Regentrude! You know I do!!!) Just being honest about what I'm working with here. :001_smile: Writing down the time you work? Not going to solve any problems here. Anyone can write times on a piece of paper especially when the alternative is returning to the desk for the evening because you forgot to write down the start/stop time. My kids would consider that an unjust punishment, so they would have no guilt in writing down any 'ole time on the paper.

Then of course the next step is writing down the time when you haven't actually done the work.

There are more steps after that one, but I'll stop.

 

As far as the carrot/stick idea. What other carrots/sticks work? Screen time? Really? I don't mean to be cruel, but have ya'll visited colleges/dorms recently? Higher education is FLOODED with kids who haven't mastered their own appetites when it comes to screen time.

 

Older teens.

Controlling their screen time does not help them learn to manage their screen time.

Controlling their schedule does not help them learn to manage their schedule.

 

I need transitional tools.

 

PLEASE! Advice about TRANSITIONS!!!!! Punishments/Rewards for older teens who are fine when they are controlled but way less-than-fine when they are not being mother-marionetted?

 

Thanks,

Janice

 

Thanks to all for the advice so far. Specifically:

Clarkacademy - I commend you for your due-diligence. But I'm talking about kids with driver's licenses and adult-level responsibilities. If I force people to sit on their beds instead of go to work or their college classes? Ummmm.... not the right tool for the right job. But I do think you and I were probably on the same page. For example, when they were little, kids who didn't finish their chores and arrive on time for breakfast received a salad for breakfast - with no dressing! :001_smile: (Everyone hated salad and had to muscle it down.) My kids do their own laundry once they turn eight. My kids are no strangers to tough. But even then, this transition is not easy.

Karin - I have no idea if anyone here has special needs. Probably. Most likely. Honestly? I've never had any of them tested although I've certainly had my suspicions. They certainly act like they have an organic problem. (Hugs to you and yours. Keep the comments coming!)

Cynthia, I'm exhausted by the encouraging, prodding, and nagging. It's messing up my personality.

Laura & Cynthia - I suspect you're right about the competition. I just want insurance. Tools to compete in place: schedule and a to-do list. Work time is work time. Play time is play time. Simple, neat tracks for success.

 

 

And one more thing, just so ya'll understand what I'm working with. No one here defies me openly. "Where is your schedule? Where is your to-do list for today?" is NEVER met with "I didn't do it, and I'm not going to." ;)

Instead it's the hanging of the head and "I don't have it."

"Why?"

"Because I didn't do it."

Then they go do it.

But if I hadn't said anything, it wouldn't have happened.

 

Dd is told to generate a weekly plan every Friday for the following work-week. If I ask about it on Friday, it happens on Friday. If I ask about it on the next Tuesday, it happens on the next Tuesday. Once she has the plan, she is generally very capable as far as getting the work done.

 

I'm SO tired of this discussion though. Do you suppose it's some sort of odd DESIRE for accountability?

 

 

Everyone, keep the advice coming. TELL ME WHAT WORKS!!!!

Edited by Janice in NJ
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Carrots and sticks worked pretty well up through middle school, but I haven't found they work at all in high school -- especially when I value their EC's enough that removing them is not a punishment I want to impose!

 

For high school --

 

1) Outsourcing schoolwork. My kids work amazingly well and hard for other teachers. They get their work done well and on-time. I think the competition helps -- their desire to get the top grade in the class is a STRONG motivator that just doesn't apply to mommy classes!

 

2) Making sure they understand that no merit aid = no college. My kids take grades and schoolwork seriously because they know that going to their top-choice colleges depends in large part on their efforts.

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Practically speaking, the best motivator for all of my boys has been concurrent enrollment at the local university. We start it in 11th and they take 2-3 courses. By senior year they are taking 10-13 hours. My role is more of a "reminder". "Do you have any assignments due this week? Any tests coming up?" At this point they are really working on their own, keeping their own schedules, maintaining their work vs. school priorities, etc. Unfortunately their bedrooms have suffered - they claim they don't have time to keep them neat :p I realize that not everyone can have their kids do concurrent work, but it has been the #1 BEST preparation my boys have had for handling the rigors of college. Both older boys have commented that many of their freshmen cohorts cannot seem to figure out how to maintain a schedule.

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Carrots and sticks worked pretty well up through middle school, but I haven't found they work at all in high school -- especially when I value their EC's enough that removing them is not a punishment I want to impose!

 

For high school --

 

1) Outsourcing schoolwork. My kids work amazingly well and hard for other teachers. They get their work done well and on-time. I think the competition helps -- their desire to get the top grade in the class is a STRONG motivator that just doesn't apply to mommy classes!

 

2) Making sure they understand that no merit aid = no college. My kids take grades and schoolwork seriously because they know that going to their top-choice colleges depends in large part on their efforts.

 

 

:iagree: Natural consequences probably work best here, but I'm not always willing to have them as the outcome as they could be too severe for the lesson that needs to be learned. Others' deadlines are always met without any intervention from me. Mine .... :tongue_smilie: To be fair though, she's got an intense schedule this year - typical for junior year.

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Wish I had time to fully engage in this conversation, but I'm living right smack in the middle of it today. :001_smile: Pushing through.

 

Bottom line for us: no matter the system, the consequences, the expectations set forth in dazzling detail, the rantings . . . it doesn't get done and done well unless there is

 

oversight, oversight, oversight.

 

::sigh::

 

My husband used to say (when called in as serious reinforcement), "You can't expect what you don't inspect."

 

Ugh. That's work for me. But there it is. Must see the math homework book, not just see them working at the table and ask if they got it done. Must check up on the pool cleaning, not just assume it's done to Disney specs.

 

Lisa

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And one more thing, just so ya'll understand what I'm working with. No one here defies me openly. "Where is your schedule? Where is your to-do list for today?" is NEVER met with "I didn't do it, and I'm not going to." ;)

Instead it's the hanging of the head and "I don't have it."

"Why?"

"Because I didn't do it."

Then they go do it.

But if I hadn't said anything, it wouldn't have happened.

 

This conversation could be directly quoted from my youngest. When asked why, she usually gives the head hanging shrug response.:glare: She is only 13, in 8th grade and I keep hoping it will get better before I panic about the college transition.

 

However, I will say it is punishment, not reward that I have finally been able to motivate her with this year. Taking away her cell phone and not letting her go to gym have both been highly effective.

 

This past week she got the highest grades of the year on two tests I expected to really challenge her AND had all her other work caught up that I only check weekly (so she usually does it on the weekend after I rant on Friday). I asked what the difference was and she told me, "I love gym and I didn't want to lose it." Purely threat.

 

My oldest is great about the internal motivation. He gets everything done to the best of his ability without prompting or me checking in. He is SO much easier to school than my younger (I know, you didn't want to hear about kids like that). With him, the problem comes when he CAN'T figure something out. He doesn't ask for help. While this is quite different from your problem, I have again found that threat of loss of what he loves most (gaming) is the best motivator. "If it isn't done, no matter how many hours you spent staring at it, if you haven't at least asked for help, you will lose gaming privileges."

 

Maybe it is just because I'm a bad mom. Maybe it is because I'm not involved enough. Maybe I just have horrible kids. I don't think those are the issues for me any more than they are for you Janice. I think sometimes we have to provide motivation until our kids find their own. For mine, the best motivation seems to be threat of consequences. The consequences are loss of whatever they love most. Only you know what that is for your kids.

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Honestly, I don't have a single child who was totally self motivated. I've always been behind them encouraging, prodding, nagging, etc. I simply don't know how to do it differently. But when they are out on their own, they DO become self motivated. I'm amazed at what my older 2 get accomplished without me there prodding, nagging, etc. So maybe our role is to encourage, prod, and nag :)

:iagree:

As much as I don't like it, I agree....

 

Carrots and sticks worked pretty well up through middle school, but I haven't found they work at all in high school -- especially when I value their EC's enough that removing them is not a punishment I want to impose!

 

For high school --

 

1) Outsourcing schoolwork. My kids work amazingly well and hard for other teachers. They get their work done well and on-time. I think the competition helps -- their desire to get the top grade in the class is a STRONG motivator that just doesn't apply to mommy classes!

 

2) Making sure they understand that no merit aid = no college. My kids take grades and schoolwork seriously because they know that going to their top-choice colleges depends in large part on their efforts.

:iagree:

 

Practically speaking, the best motivator for all of my boys has been concurrent enrollment at the local university.

:iagree:

And a few on-line courses have also helped here. My sons have been so much more motivated to work for someone else.

 

Bottom line for us: no matter the system, the consequences, the expectations set forth in dazzling detail, the rantings . . . it doesn't get done and done well unless there is

 

oversight, oversight, oversight.

 

::sigh::

 

My husband used to say (when called in as serious reinforcement), "You can't expect what you don't inspect."

 

Ugh. That's work for me. But there it is. Must see the math homework book, not just see them working at the table and ask if they got it done. Must check up on the pool cleaning, not just assume it's done to Disney specs.

 

Lisa

:iagree:

All that checking is exhausing for us moms, but IMHO, you've got to keep doing it.

 

My goal has always been to slowly transition the dc into independence. That means all classes at home in 9th grade so you can help dc get used to high school work load. 9th grade has been the toughest year for both of mine. After that add some outside (on-line, local coop, CC) classes and increase the number as high school goes on. By 12th grade, they drive themselves to the CC and handle a few courses there themselves. I just do reminders at that point. I also encourage them to meet with their profs, etc.

 

I've also set up their schedules so that they will be taking some courses late in high school that they will likely repeat their freshman year at away college. My thinking here is that seeing Calculus again will help them deepen their skills, and having a few courses where they mostly know the material will give them more time to deal with scheduling hiccups and adjusting to life away from home without the academic pressure on top of it.

 

I dunno, Janice, I don't think that there is any magic wand or method of easily transitioning kids to independence. At least, here, it's always 2 steps forward, 1 step back.

 

Sounds like you need a short break to rest/revitalize,

Brenda

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Hi Janice,

 

Obviously I have nothing useful to advise you with, lol. Just want to say thanks for posting this, as I am having a particularly, shall we say challenging, day today. It is helping to see the long view being talked about here, the transition time you clarified about. I am glad to be hearing from the BTDT posters.

 

xoxoxoxox

Colleen

 

p.s. And as usual, your honesty gave me a much-needed gut-wrenching laugh today. :D

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Janice - I would hardly count myself to have any success with the kind of situation you are describing as my first was not easy and ended up back in school - so I don't feel qualified to give any advice. The next two were hard workers by nature and the last is not in the transition stage.

 

(Maybe babysitting them is really a punishment?? :tongue_smilie:)

 

(Oh, and FWIW, to those thinking that the kids must have screens in order to learn how to control their time on them .... our kids didn't have 'screen time' growing up. One computer for 7 people, and no net for years at a time - went to the library for the net. No TV or video games, etc. Now, as adults, none of them have problems with controling their screen time; and 4 of them have their own computers now - 2 of them have their own cell phones. I think it's because they learned to see computers and phones as tools, not toys. Also, because there was no TV, cell phones, or electronic entertainment, they had the chance to develop other hobbies like playing musical instruments, painting, drawing, running, knitting, etc. It really is not always necessary for kids to have screen time in order to learn to control their desires for it.)

 

The babysitting approach is very dedicated - you must have made a lot of time for them...

 

About TV/video/computer game time - I just wanted to chime in because ours were only permitted 1/2 hr Wed and 1/2 hr Sun, which could be saved but could only be carried over to the following week. So then they developed other interests as well and now as adults or almost (for three oldest) they don't watch TV (just a very infrequent video of an educational nature) and are very serious about monitoring their own computer time (eg ds2 blocked YouTube on his computer so he can't even look at things people send - completely of his own volition and invention). Ds1 is much more social IRL and online but would not be called 'junky'....So I would agree with ksva. BUT I know there are people who have reactions to childhood situations of 'withholding' so there must be some other ingredients in the equation which I haven't figured out what they are. I do think that starting early is better than trying to change well-established habits....So I'm writing more for any parents with younger children really.

 

Joan

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I wish people would specify when they need input on issues concerning children with special needs, so others wouldn't waste their time saying what they personally do only to have it thrown back at them because their children don't have the identical challenges of the inquirer. Just my two cents on that.

 

l.

 

Except that that wasn't really relevant to the OPs question (she wanted to know what does and doesn't work, not what should work--you can go back & check if you like), and the person I was responding to a. had not read my post correctly (I did NOT say my dd wore dirty clothes, just that she wore them until they were dirty, and in fact she rotates them the way people use to do all the time) and b. criticized me because I was doing exactly what she told me I should do already, and even if I weren't, she doesn't know my family or what is best for them.

 

We all give and get offense at times because we're human. I was merely hoping for an apology from ClarkAcademy. That's what I do when I misread a post (it's an easy thing to do :).)

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I have been a miserable failure in so many ways in this area. I lean to the stick; my dh leans to the carrot.

 

The single most helpful advice I ever got was to do both. Here is an example:

 

Dh's way: I'll pay you $5 to catch the bus every day.

My way: If you don't catch the school bus every day, it will cost you $10 to pay for gas and trouble to get you to school.

 

Neither had any effect. THIS worked:

 

If you catch the bus, we pay you $5. If we drive you to school, you pay us $10.

 

Stick AND carrot.

 

 

Patty Joanna,

 

OK. Now we haven't tried this. But I've considered it. I was wondering if anyone had tried this.

 

We've tried the usual things:

If you do A, you'll get B.

If you don't do A, I'll take away B.

 

But I haven't tried: If you do A, you get $; if you don't do A, I get $. (The kid picks his/her own B. And so do I.)

 

So, does it work?

Janice

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If you do A, you get $; if you don't do A, I get $. (The kid picks his/her own B. And so do I.)

 

We have tried it three times -- twice unsuccessfully and once successfully. I think money can be a motivator, but only if

 

1) The monetary incentive is considerable;

2) Whatever behavior is being motivated is "almost" in place to begin with.

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We have tried it three times -- twice unsuccessfully and once successfully. I think money can be a motivator, but only if

 

1) The monetary incentive is considerable;

2) Whatever behavior is being motivated is "almost" in place to begin with.

 

With three different kids? or three different times?

Was it a short-term or long-term fix? (time-frame?)

Details? (email me if you don't want to share too much on-line?)

 

I'm concerned about what this will do to the idea of "team" around here. I know, I know, I said I want pragmatic solutions not ideology. But I'm still anxious about this....... I have always postured myself as being there to assist my kids in their struggles. "We all work together to get what everyone wants."

This system seems withdrawn to me in a "taker" kind of way. Can you help me get over that? I really do need a working solution, not a "feel good" solution. :-)

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Patty Joanna,

 

OK. Now we haven't tried this. But I've considered it. I was wondering if anyone had tried this.

 

We've tried the usual things:

If you do A, you'll get B.

If you don't do A, I'll take away B.

 

But I haven't tried: If you do A, you get $; if you don't do A, I get $. (The kid picks his/her own B. And so do I.)

 

So, does it work?

Janice

 

 

We tried this and found it successful only when the boys were young enough that a bit of $$ meant something. Now that they have their own jobs and $$ it has no motivating value.

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Our most successful use of money as a motivator was when the kids were younger. We wanted them to read through the Bible in a year; they wanted to read through the Bible in a year. We offered $100 to each kid who actually followed through and did this. Each one of our kids read through the Bible around age ten as a result of this motivation; several read through it multiple times over the years. It was a beginning to regular daily reading and was more successful than we dared hope.

 

Our other attempts have failed. Most recently we have tried $$ to motivate a kid to do was a complete flop. We offered omeny (small sum per day, much larger sum for week-long success) for a trivial thing she should do ten times or so per day. She has a healthy bank account, she isn't inclined to record this stuff to begin with, and the money wasn't enough of a motivator. We still haven't found what will help in this instance. :-(

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Janice, I have a 20 yo, a 17 yo, and a 14yo and I have absolutely no words of wisdom for you, only a deep sense of empathy and compassion. :grouphug: I recognize the point you are at all too well. I no longer wish to stand on my head, whistle through my nose, and click my heals simulataneously in order to get my kids to do what they need to do. It has been a long day and tomorrow I am going on a high school field trip with 40 juniors and seniors in AP European History at our local art museum, so I am going to bed to contemplate on this problem some more.

 

Years ago, our swim coach told the parents that swimmers move through a three-step progression as they matured in the sport. First, they swim for the approval of their parent, then they swim for the approval of their coaches, but the very best swimmers swim for themselves. When my youngest was still swimming competitively, he was in the last category even from a very young age. He worked hard, really hard, excelled, was always organized as far as never missing a race or even losing his goggles, and loved what he was doing. My son "owned" his swimming. What I take away from the coach's scenario is that the best results belong to those who "buy into or own" what they are doing whether it is sports at an elite level, academics, or their chores. To move from being a dependent teen to a successfully independent adult requires "owning" the process. As long as the outcomes are more important to me than to my kids, they aren't going to get there.

 

So what is the key? I am darned if I know. I just know that we are still at stages one and two with all three kids. No ideology here, only more :grouphug: and lifting a glass of vino in sympathy.

 

"Because I said so," is looking really good these days.

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Janice, I have a 20 yo, a 17 yo, and a 14yo and I have absolutely no words of wisdom for you, only a deep sense of empathy and compassion. :grouphug: I recognize the point you are at all too well. I no longer wish to stand on my head, whistle through my nose, and click my heals simulataneously in order to get my kids to do what they need to do. It has been a long day and tomorrow I am going on a high school field trip with 40 juniors and seniors in AP European History at our local art museum, so I am going to bed to contemplate on this problem some more.

 

Years ago, our swim coach told the parents that swimmers move through a three-step progression as they matured in the sport. First, they swim for the approval of their parent, then they swim for the approval of their coaches, but the very best swimmers swim for themselves. When my youngest was still swimming competitively, he was in the last category even from a very young age. He worked hard, really hard, excelled, was always organized as far as never missing a race or even losing his goggles, and loved what he was doing. My son "owned" his swimming. What I take away from the coach's scenario is that the best results belong to those who "buy into or own" what they are doing whether it is sports at an elite level, academics, or their chores. To move from being a dependent teen to a successfully independent adult requires "owning" the process. As long as the outcomes are more important to me than to my kids, they aren't going to get there.

 

So what is the key? I am darned if I know. I just know that we are still at stages one and two with all three kids. No ideology here, only more :grouphug: and lifting a glass of vino in sympathy.

 

"Because I said so," is looking really good these days.

 

 

Lisa,

 

I really appreciate your honesty. I do have to say I would rather you'd said there is hope and suddenly everyone will be self-motivated. On the other hand it is also good to know that I am not alone in this struggle. Boy do I feel like some vino often. :gnorsi:

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Sometimes giving the results over to the kid helps him mature.

 

I had a kid who was headed in a direction that dh and I didn't want. It wasn't a BAD direction, but it skipped college and would have severely limited him later on.

 

After a year or so of dragging him along and much fighting, we said, "You win. We reluctantly support your decision. It's your life. We envision these consequences, but if you're happy with that, we will go along."

 

After that, he had to own the process. It was HIS life; he was no longer doing things for us. Lo and behold, with some help from a youth pastor and his brother, ds decided to follow what dh and I wanted all laong -- but this time it was HIS decision! By backing off and giving him the freedom to fail, we allowed him to own the process.

 

A story I heard on "From the Top", a radio show featuring talented teens in classical music, is relevant here. A girl was good enough on the clarinet that she went to Interlochen one summer. She left it seriously burned out, and later that fall she dropped the clarinet. Her parents were NOT happy, but they allowed her to drop it. A few months later she decided that music was so much a part of her that she couldn't be truly her if she didn't play the clarinet, so she picked it back up and majored in it and went on to play professionally.

 

My brother and I have talked about this story a fair amount because our parents were to enamoured of the idea of their kids being wonderful amateur classical musicians that both of us HAD to continue to play through high school. Despite the pre-professional training, we both dropped our instruments like a hot potato the moment we left for college. We both miss playing now. If our parents had allowed to to drop the instrument and thereby own the process, would we now be playing in civic orchestras, etc.? Who knows, but both of us rate "kid enjoying the process" as top priority in our kids' musical experience!

 

I think getting the kid to own the process is HUGE!!!!!!

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Lisa,

 

I really appreciate your honesty. I do have to say I would rather you'd said there is hope and suddenly everyone will be self-motivated. On the other hand it is also good to know that I am not alone in this struggle. Boy do I feel like some vino often. :gnorsi:

 

Susie, I do feel like there is hope, but in my limited experience, gaining the positive outcome requires exactly the type of thinking that I am tired of doing - you know, the standing on your head and whistling through your nose. In other words, things work best here when I think and operate outside my box because my kids are not me. They do not think the same, they are not motivated by the same things, and what is obvious to me is an incredible mystery to them.

 

When my oldest son was in preschool, we attended a Christmas production that the children put on. My boy was always fidgeting and since I was a very uptight mother, I was nearly always embarrassed by my son. That year, while the pastor was giving the closing remarks, my 4 yo son, was tugging on the pastor's sleeve. I was really upset with his behavior. When it was all over, my dd, who was 6 at the time, explained that the minister's microphone cord ran directly under my son's chair. He thought it was an electrical cord and since we had told him they were dangerous, he was upset and wanted the minister to know about it. I did not find this out until after I had given him a swat on the backside. That incident is seared into my mind. My son and I had two distinctly different perceptions of the same event. I apologized, hugged the boy, and told him that he did exactly the right thing. If my daughter had not told me what my son was thinking, the situation would have remained unsatisfactory for both of us.

 

Even though teens run with a more advanced skill set than a preschooler, I think as parents and teens we have live out numerous "cord incidents" on a daily basis. In order to help guide a teen or young adult in "owning" whatever it is we wish them to own, we have to understand what is going through their mind at that moment. For example, my youngest just recieved his first quarter grades. This is the first report card, in five years. He was not as bothered about the grades as I was until I took a deep breath and showed him exactly how to figure his GPA. At that point, he owned the process as he was then considerably more upset with himself than I could be. :D

 

I have used this example before, but for many kids not turning in an assignment is not all that big of deal and that don't know why you are all red in the face and screeching. My daughter needed only to see exactly what a "0" did to her grades, mathematically. That was something she could understand. My oldest son had to see not only the effect of the zero, but exactly how many "A's" it took to take the edge off the zero. At that point, he realized it took less effort to turn the work in than to try and recover. Again, what is obvious to us is not obvious to them.

 

On the subject of motivation, my oldest son returned to the public high school for his senior year and is having one of his best years ever. He is not doing well because I am hovering, paranoid he'll return to some bad habits, but because he has a darling, smart girlfriend and he does not want to be the "stupid boyfriend." Go figure. :tongue_smilie:

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Just reread your comments. Sounds like you might have to put on your calendar that weekly planning session and make sure it happens. Some people are not internally organized. You're teaching them a structure for your expectations but also how to have habits that help them succeed later. In our house paper checklists go in a bitty binder, so they don't get lost. Better is technology. Your kids probably have or want some device that could run a To Do list. There's an ipad app for To Do lists where you can input all the lessons for each class for the entire semester or year, assign dates, and it pops up everything for the day, upcoming, etc. I use that for my lesson plans and from that compile the weekly checklist. The weekly checklist goes in a binder that stays in a known location, because of course if you can't find it you can't use it.

 

It sounds like you have enough compliance that you could get this going with a bit of organization. It's not like they're balking their feet or unwilling to do the work. They just aren't taking it over. Like the others, my dd works more pro-actively for someone else. Oh well. It's not our reality right now, so we make do.

 

I was reading a book on the Rapid Prompting method of instruction a while back, and while the actual method of instruction has nothing to do with you, I found her observations on learning potent. She said that *learning is its own reward* and that we should *not praise*. That runs EXTREMELY counter to our own culture! (The author is from India btw.) In context, she was attempting to teach totally non-verbal children with autism with whom no one else had been able to connect. They're stimming, they seem not focused on the task, etc. etc. If ever there were a situation where you would THINK you would offer them praise, that would be it, right? Nope, she said you acknowledge it to be correct and keep moving. Learning is its own reward.

 

I do reward or use bribery on occasion with extremely hard, short-term things where I need compliance and motivation to get over a hurdle. But for just every day work (make bed, do your school list, unload the dishwasher), no reward. The learning is its own reward. Someone else can do differently, but that's how it is in our house. We don't give allowances either, because it's your JOB to wake up and work. It's your job to wake up and work even when the economy is bad or you're unemployed. It's your job to do a FULL job even if your pay gets cut in half. You work because it's what you're made to do.

 

PS. Somehow my dd always has money, in spite of no allowance. I haven't figured that one out, lol.

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PLEASE! Advice about TRANSITIONS!!!!! Punishments/Rewards for older teens who are fine when they are controlled but way less-than-fine when they are not being mother-marionetted?

 

Thanks,

Janice

 

 

 

What if you just put it on their device calendars as a recurrent event? Every Saturday or Sunday night "Have you made your plans for the week yet?" pops up.

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I was reading a book on the Rapid Prompting method of instruction a while back, and while the actual method of instruction has nothing to do with you, I found her observations on learning potent. She said that *learning is its own reward* and that we should *not praise*. That runs EXTREMELY counter to our own culture! (The author is from India btw.) In context, she was attempting to teach totally non-verbal children with autism with whom no one else had been able to connect. They're stimming, they seem not focused on the task, etc. etc. If ever there were a situation where you would THINK you would offer them praise, that would be it, right? Nope, she said you acknowledge it to be correct and keep moving. Learning is its own reward.

 

This reminds me of a family of 13 children that I know whose mom did not praise them normally. (I say normally just so it is not an absolute). The youngest is now 20 yo and the children have all grown up to be really great adults - good parents, serious about their work, thoughtful of others, etc.

 

They have a lot of convictions in terms of God and how their faith affects their life - but the idea, as an American, of not praising my children, surprised me greatly - yet when I see the results - it really makes me think.

 

Joan

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This reminds me of a family of 13 children that I know whose mom did not praise them normally. (I say normally just so it is not an absolute). The youngest is now 20 yo and the children have all grown up to be really great adults - good parents, serious about their work, thoughtful of others, etc.

 

They have a lot of convictions in terms of God and how their faith affects their life - but the idea, as an American, of not praising my children, surprised me greatly - yet when I see the results - it really makes me think.

 

Joan

 

 

I agree with much of this. I don't praise my dc for learning and rarely--only for things they do an unusually good job on or if they have obviously been working hard to overcome a character flaw or ethical issue (eg learning not to lie). I don't think we should never give praise, but our society greatly overdoes it.

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I'm still learning about what works. Ds is a stubborn, born to negotiate everything individual. These skills will come in handy if guided in the right way, I hope. I do try to see them as positives and he gets a lot of leeway in his education. However, he's at that same point about grades, he doesn't care about them. Part of me struggles with this because we haven't been doing grades for so long. I don't believe grades are the best indication, but it's part of the game. I'm not comfortable not doing grades and the truth is he may need the GPA for scholarships. So we had the long talk about long-term GPA and how that could affect his college choice, and the choice to study what he wants vs what is available locally.

 

I made him read this the other day , 13 Reasons you're not as successful as you should be. It's geared toward adults, but I pulled examples from my own life to use. I also told him he was being lazy and entitled, which he didn't argue about. Right now I'm using the carrot, he has some big life goals. I try not to push too much because I don't want him to end up dropping his goals because they sound too hard to obtain. I also point out what could happen if he decides to quit moving towards those goals. I'm very frank with him about the shortcomings in my own life because I didn't make decisions or work toward goals.

 

I'm still working on the balance. Punishment rarely works for him, we've had enough real life hits to our life, that negative consequences aren't what I want. We are having more discussion on real life, and that aside from himself I will always be his biggest cheerleader.

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This reminds me of a family of 13 children that I know whose mom did not praise them normally. (I say normally just so it is not an absolute). The youngest is now 20 yo and the children have all grown up to be really great adults - good parents, serious about their work, thoughtful of others, etc.

 

They have a lot of convictions in terms of God and how their faith affects their life - but the idea, as an American, of not praising my children, surprised me greatly - yet when I see the results - it really makes me think.

 

Joan

 

Joan, so what I am taking from this is that it really has little to do with praise and everything to do with those convictions.

 

Isn't the continuous praise still a relatively new thing in American culture? Somehow, I don't think our Puritan foremothers praised their children for drawing breath or putting the toilet paper roll on the spindle like we do today. Do our children need more praise as a substitute for the self-satisfaction of real accomplishment. Two generations ago, these "children" in adult bodies would often have had far more responsibilities. While growing up, it was my job to paint the white fence around the yard and upper pasture. It was hard work, but every time we came up to the driveway, there was a certain sense of satisfaction in seeing that gleaming white fence.

 

Sorry Janice. This thread has me thinking in circles and asking more questions than I can answer. You asked for simple concrete steps, but in many ways, you are asking philosophical questions. At least in my mind. :tongue_smilie:

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Joan, so what I am taking from this is that it really has little to do with praise and everything to do with those convictions.

 

Isn't the continuous praise still a relatively new thing in American culture? Somehow, I don't think our Puritan foremothers praised their children for drawing breath or putting the toilet paper roll on the spindle like we do today. Do our children need more praise as a substitute for the self-satisfaction of real accomplishment. Two generations ago, these "children" in adult bodies would often have had far more responsibilities. While growing up, it was my job to paint the white fence around the yard and upper pasture. It was hard work, but every time we came up to the driveway, there was a certain sense of satisfaction in seeing that gleaming white fence.

 

Sorry Janice. This thread has me thinking in circles and asking more questions than I can answer. You asked for simple concrete steps, but in many ways, you are asking philosophical questions. At least in my mind. :tongue_smilie:

 

I'll take this one step further. I would differentiate *responsibility* from *work*. We work because we live, breathe, and want to eat. Everyone has work. Responsibility is connected to capability and maturity. That's connected to development and is going to vary with the dc. A dc might be unusually ready for certain *work* without being ready for the *responsibility* of the work. My dd is like that, and I try to work with her very carefully to enable her to do all the work she wants to do (because she IS a doer) without foisting on her responsibility that still needs (developmentally) to be mine. There can be a big gap there. In preparing Thanksgiving dinner, it was that she could literally make the entire menu and cook all the food, but she couldn't bear the responsibility of having it be on time. She still needed that supervision. Unusual ability hits developmental reality. On her school work, it means I don't confuse the level she's able to work at with the level she's ready to take responsibility for planning and organizing and making sure gets completed.

 

BTW, part of what goes with that work ethic is the responsibility to make increasing decisions. We call it "owning it". We give her the chance to make decisions, and we walk away. It's just our responsibility to make sure that the decision is developmentally appropriate. It started with clothing when she was young, small things, and now we're having the 4 year talk (this is where you want to be 4 years from now, this is what they will require, do you want that, what do you chose to do to be ready?). If she choses not to do the thing she needs to do now to be ready 4 years from now, I walk. That's a decision we give her.

 

2nd btw, hehe, cell phones, gas, etc. in our culture have become sort of social rights rather than work tools.

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