My headstrong seven-year old is having a hard time with a couple of issues. One deals with being helpful to others, and by others, I mean me. That's my bad. I've done too much for him for too long, and now when I request his help, he reacts as though it's exhausting drudgery. Welp. Time for a re-training. Better late than never. The second issue is long-standing and it involves listening and doing something the first, rather than the umpteenth time I say it (which is usually issued in a menacing threat.) Depending on his mood or current activity, he tends to wait for the threat level to reach magenta before he reacts, and even then he moves at his own sweet pace. I want to kill him snatch him up redirect him. (I don't spank, and I try to use disciplinary measures that teach by showing the direct consequence of his actions. It's tough sometimes, but I'm up for the challenge.)
Tonight's request dealt with making his bed. I'm teaching him to be more self-sufficient and learn how to complete household chores, especially those that directly relate to him. So I said, "Come here and help to make up your bed." I wait. He pretends to be enthralled w/some useless object. So I ever so swiftly stepped to him and raised him by his arm and repeated my request in the tone he's grown accustomed to. So accustomed, in fact, that he wasn't fazed. He sat right back down. Mmkay, mmkay. Gotcha.
So that's when it came to me. I said, "No problem. Don't worry. You don't have to help." He looked simultaneously bewildered and suspicious of my tone. "No-ho-ho-ho," I sang. (You know it's dangerous when someone turns "No" into a laugh.) "You can do it yourself. Since you want to ignore my request for help, make your own bed."
"But I don't know how."
"Welp. Figure it out and do the best you can. Whatever you come up with, that's what you sleep on."
"But, but, Mommy." He's standing now, fitted sheets in hand, ever so ready. Hmph.
"All done with this conversation. From here on out, if you don't help the first time I ask, you will be doing it yourself. So...do your best."
You made your bed, now lie in it--literally.
Now I'm chillin, no stress, no frustration, no reinforcement of wrinkle-lines in my forehead, and he's making his own bed, wishing he'd listened the first time. (He actually did a decent job, not great, but good enough.)
Hmm...any other non-spanking tips for helping out in this scenario? Or any similar experiences?