Monday, January 18, 2010

My Hero: Lord Baden Powell

While biding my time until I send my offspring out into a cold, wet, frostbitey winter's night later this week, I figured out a way to motivate them. Calm down, the boxing gloves are not the implement of my success. (I just thought it was a nice picture to show that for once, and for about the next 30 minutes until they figure it out, I'm in control!)

Control? What is that? Ever since the day someone told me that there was two instead of one, I've had no control over anything. Until today...

As I've said before, the Boy Scouts are an amazing lot. Yes, they can start a mean fire and splint your broken foot all while identifying deciduous trees. But that Lord Baden Powell guy? He knew exactly what he was doing 101 years ago when he sent his Scouts out on mules to do whatever he sent them off to do. (He may have been trying to see which ones were too lily-livered to come back.) It's all about motivation. So here's the scheme, er, well thought out parental plan I've hatched...

No Driver's License until you're an Eagle Scout. Evil, huh?

We now have all sorts of possibilities including two boys, who were only fairly motivated, but are now, Eventual Freedom Controlled By Mom, Motivated!

Shockingly, they allowed me to spreadsheet their daily chores for the next 12 weeks.

Guess what happened? They made their beds today- FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER. (Yes, that's pathetic, but there are some things that are just not worth fighting about when you can shut a door. But now, I have a spreadsheet.)

Then, guess what? They took the trash out - WITHOUT COMPLAINING.

Right now? They are voluntarily cleaning up the basement family room so they can get a gold star on their charts. This is nothing short of miraculous.

Hold your applause. I need to quit while I'm ahead. But, I didn't. They each wrote a letter to their school principal for a letter of reference that they need. Then, they each wrote a letter to our United States Senators requesting their support for relief efforts in Haiti.

If Lord Powell was alive, I'd kiss him, right on the mouth.

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