Long read but totally worth it!!!! **Disclaimer** I am not an expert and do not play one on t.v. My difficult child's results may be atypical. Each difficult child responds to things in their own way and time. History: My Dad is a psychologist, he specialized in kids when I was young. He had a system he learned in his training (I have no reference to site). He used the system on me when I was 5 and it was very effective. I just did a modified version for my 15 y.o. and had remarkable results. What: A simple point system. There are + and - or for older kids merits and demerits. I assign point values to good behaviors like doing a certain chore, redirecting self after bad behavior, having a good attitude, being helpful etc. The bulk of it is based on daily chores. The demerits are based on negative things like outbursts, lies, inappropriate moodiness, poor grades etc. Ie: dishwasher filled + 1 point Room clean +1 point Polite in morning before school + 1 Vs. Leaving a mess somewhere in common areas (shared parts of house like living room) -1 Moody - 1 Outburst (raised voice, cursing) - 5 I added up how many points were possible to earn each day/week and assigned privileges. For my difficult child there are weekly rewards like picking a rental movie, monthly rewards like an item of clothing and long term goals such as earning the opportunity to get a drivers license. I made it percentage based. Ie: if there are 100 points possible per week I expect 80% or 80 points to earn certain things. (it's like magazine fundraiser prizes, lol) In this way each day is a new day with a new start so if he is a troll one day he can feel as if he can redeem himself the next. I do keep a running total of points so I have extra chores called bonus points. Basically those are the extra credit to make up for lost points on his bad days. Each week his weekly points start fresh, same goes for monthly. I keep track though for the big rewards. Why: I got tired of trying to teach difficult child to be responsible or constantly reminding him about things. It felt like chasing a toddler and then we would fight over the smallest chore. It got ridiculous, I was tired of the drama. This way I am sort of out of the loop. I keep score but it is up to him to earn or not earn things. That way I am not consequence based. I have a dry erase board with his chores listed in permanent marker. Then he can come by and c heck off chores with a dry erase marker. Then each night he can look at it and know how he did. We erase his check marks but the chores are permanently there. MAJOR help for a flakey forgetful teen. For younger kids you may try pictures of things like a trash can to signify taking out trash. Some more difficult kids may take some time getting used to the idea. There are those who will fight you every step of the way. I solved that by declaring this the system until he was moved out, no compromise. The first few days we had an outburst everyday, he was worse than usual. He hated the chore board, hated it hated it hated it. Then it happened, today he had a 100% perfect day. We haven't had one of those in 4 years. He finally realized that the chores were not new or harder the system was set up to help him police himself. Today he did everything he was supposed to without a single cue. This is a kid that went without a shower or change of clothes for 3 days last week. My biggest goal was for him to be accountable for his behavior. I didn't think it was fair for us if he could have an outburst with no 'consequence' and then act like nothing ever happened. He never cared about any punishment, they never worked no matter how harsh. Rewards never worked for more than a day. Now he has personal accountability because he looses hard earned points by acting out. Then if he wants a reward he has to work overtime to make amends. Now he connects his behavior with what things happen to him. Major step for 'captain oblivious'. The sense of entitlement goes out the door when he sees in writing how he earns or fails to earn those things he thinks he needs. Now he is policing himself and I don't have to argue. If he makes the choice to not do chores I accept it because he is also making the choice to not earn things. He figured out very quickly that making that choice to dump his chores on me was a bad idea. After a couple days of being lazy he stopped thinking it was funny and started thinking about how much further his license is. Sorry to ramble on. I am just so excited. Two weeks ago I was thinking about placing him outside the home. We had gone that far as a family. I know he will have slips back but now that we have a routine that is consistent and easy for an exhausted parent to monitor things are getting so much better. I was just too tired to give him the kick in the rear he needed. This system is so low maintenance for me. I just inspect the jobs and add up points. He gave me a hug and a 'love you' tonight. Hugs he gives based on mood. Haven't had a 'love you' since before puberty hit. …..I better go check his room for drugs.