Thank You For Doing What I Asked

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by susiestar, Mar 25, 2013.

  1. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    This is about Jess, but I am posting here because it is a problem with some of the difficult children also.

    Something clicked for me yesterday. We have been intensely frustrated by this issue since Jess was maybe four. She will spent up to a few hours doing chores around the house when asked to do a specific chore. Not the same chore each time, and often she isn't able to tell us why. I say isnt because I dont think she knows they herself.Evem of the chore is under five minutes, she will spend far longer periods of time doing other chores.

    Why it can be so dang hard to do a simple chore but you happily. and totally without prompting of any kind, spend way more time doing way more work??

    Yesterday I realzed I was going about changing this the wrong way, and I have been for years. So I tried something to change it. I was looking at the situation as though the chore was the real issue. I have done all sorts of things, including having her keep track of how long it took over several days/weeks, then to try to break her record, my record, etc. That sure didn't work. Even sticker charts for the specific chores didn't work.

    Finally it occurred to me to praise not the completion of the assigned task, or the quality of the work, how long it took to do it, how much easier ti was to do the chore compared with the hours of work did to work to get out of the job. She is aware of all of those things.

    I started praising her for doing what I asked her to do. Of course I thanked her for doing a good job,, but I also made a point of being specific with my praise for doing what I asked.

    Maybe odd, maybe not, but she 'perked up' aka seemed more confident and generally happier and proud of herself.

    This may seem little and strange to point out or be happy about, but it truly seems as though this may be what is needed.I know today she was making an effort to do the chore that she has been working around, and having me notice both the hard work and the specific chore seemed to make a difference.
  2. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    Positives can work wonders. My kids work best with lots of very specific praise. Sometimes I have to jump start them. Praise for things before they even start the job.
  3. Bunny

    Bunny Active Member

    I have found that specific praise works wonders with my difficult child. The problem is that I don't always remember to do it!
  4. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I think you nailed this one!
  5. StressedM0mma

    StressedM0mma Active Member

    It does work well, but like Bunny, I tend to forget to use it. Also, I get frustrated that I have to praise my 16yr. old to do what she is told.
  6. Bunny

    Bunny Active Member

    *Yes, I get frustrated about that, too.
  7. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Forget about age.
    I have to tell myself that 100x a day - especially on non-school days.

    Developmentally, where is he/she at? Is this way of dealing with difficult child "developmentally appropriate"?
    Even when his developmental age swings depending on the day... I have to match my response to where difficult child is at - not the other way around. Is this a "2 year old" day or a "12 year old day" or an "adult day" (yes we get some of those).
  8. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Very good!
    My difficult child needs specific praise, too, and I am very forgetful about it. You are right to pick up on the specifics, whether it's the task itself, the willingness to do it, the time it took, the work that went into it, or the quality.