Pointed Questions, part 2 (answers)

Pointed Questions from my kids require answers.  Sometimes that leaves me struggling with what to say.

About the second day of summer, as I asked Watty to pick up his trash off the floor, he rolled his eyes and gave me the big sigh. Then he yelled “why do I have to do EVERYTHING around here” and stomped off. I adjusted my attitude (mommy timeout) and then adjusted his. He did pick up the trash as expected (eventually).

Later the same day, as I was adding up their points for the day, GoGo sweetly asked me “How many points did you get today mommy?” I didn’t have an answer.

Our first chore list.  Pointed questions will happenI slept on it. I prayed about it. They both were expressing big ideas that needed to be addressed.

Daddy works, what exactly is YOUR job mommy?

Watty sees that I sit down and spend time in front of the computer or reading a book. His perception is that I goof off… a LOT. He felt that I was shifting my work load onto him so I could play more. He didn’t see the length of my to-do list. I realized he needed a way to comprehend how much work I was doing each day. (OK, maybe he was just being snippy… but it got me thinking).

You work hard mommy, but you don’t get paid.

GoGo was asking about the value of my work. This is the kid that asked every day when he got out of school “so what did you accomplish today mommy?” Since I started awarding myself points, he now asks if my points are worth more than his. (OK, so my son was also being competitive, but it was still a good question).

See?  They ask pointed questions!

pointed questions

I decided to award myself points on a basis similar to the kids. I get “double time” for gross tasks like cleaning the toilet, and I also get points for good habits like drinking water and cleaning out my spam filter for my emails.

So far, I’ve scored more points than the kids each day. I’m not stupid! I control the points and the system is rigged in my favor. (more on that in another post). They haven’t asked, but I’m prepared to back up my reasoning and show how I have earned more points than them.

The downside is that I have to keep up with all these points. I use an index card and pencil shoved in my pocket to jot stuff down. At the end of the day, I tally it all up.

The benefits are amazing.

  • I don’t get the pushback from Watty because he sees how much I do.
  • The kids are somewhat competitive about claiming points and trying to beat me.
  • I get a sense of accomplishment. It feels good to award myself points.
  • It’s motivating. I have a point goal set for the day, and sometimes it’s a struggle to meet it.
  • I can see the days I goofed off too much based on a low point score.
  • Because time = points, it’s a simple time management structure that is working (that’s at least a full blog post to explain)
  • The kids are beginning to understand the relationship between time (work) and money.

GoGo asked again how much my points are worth. I just smiled and told him to ask his Daddy. Personally, I think they are priceless.

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Susan Baker
I have a passion for encouraging weary worn out mothers to find joy in everyday motherhood and peace in unlikely places. I have two elementary school boys, one nerdy husband, and two cats. I have a strange fascination for bad puns, the color pink, socks, and books. I worry about running out of toilet paper, wine, and chocolate.. I serve an amazing God. I live an ordinary life filled with wonder.
Susan Baker
Susan Baker

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  1. My husband wanted to point out that I don’t clean the potties, no matter how many points the task might be worth. I ask him to do this. We have an ongoing discussion about “boy mess” and how I shouldn’t have to clean it up.

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