I took this photo BEFORE she added the p.p.s.-
"it also punishes my brothers because then they can't play with my friends either."
The greatest part of this is that I SAW it coming.
Two weeks ago when M asked to go to "CreationFest," a Christian Music festival, with her friend's family I told her that she'd have to pay her own way. I was happy to pay for her food, but she would have to pay for her ticket ($90) and spending money ($30). While Brent and I could pay for it, we want the kids to learn to earn, learn to work. She used the $80 she had in her savings account and begged to be able to earn the rest by doing chores. She earned $10 before the trip, and then begged again to earn the rest AFTER the trip. I agreed with the caveat that if she complained at all about the jobs or gave me a hard time about them, then I would NEVER lend her money again. Ever.
She returned home very late Saturday night, and I didn't mention chores on Sunday or Monday. She spent yesterday playing with a friend and watching some TV, came to the store with me to get a treat for Family Night. We all (with the exception of a daddy still at work) spent some time pulling weeds in the front yard to earn the purchased Ice Cream Treat.
So this morning after she'd spent an hour riding her skateboard with her friend Erin, I figured it was time for her to get some work done. I let her know that she'd need to spend an hour or so today working on her jobs before she went back out to play. She not so nicely reminded me that I hadn't yet given her a list of chores to do, so how was she supposed to do them? In response I quickly created a list of jobs with monetary value attached.
Vacuum stairs - $2.00
Clean downstairs baseboards and windows - $5.00
(We have a VERY small house - so it's not a huge job).
Clean upstairs baseboards and windows - $5.00
Clean downstairs bathroom - $3.00
Weed backyard $5.00
(There was another one or two that I can't even remember now.)
I gave the list to her.
Queue the EXPLOSION.
And explosion is not at all an hyperbole.
She went crazy.
She tore up the list.
She slammed her door.
Finally, I told her that she wouldn't be playing with friends today, and if she slammed her bedroom door again, it would be gone.
After she'd spent a very long time pouting in her room with the blinds closed and the lights off, I called her down for lunch. Another fit was thrown because the smoothie I made was "SO BORING!" and she didn't want to have to eat what was prepared.
The note appeared on the fridge after I let her know that if she didn't do at least two of the jobs today, she wouldn't be playing with friends tomorrow; I knew that she'd just sit around all afternoon pouting.
And still, it's 2pm and she's upstairs in her room pouting.
The thing is, I understand that she's experiencing all of these emotions right now. I try to be patient and understanding. But at some point, she has to be held accountable for her behavior, right? She's such a good kid. Most of the time. Most of the time when she's not at home.
When she's at home, though, and has to do something that she doesn't want to do...
"I hate my life" can be heard over, and over, and over.
These hormones are seriously killing me.
That may be an hyperbole.
But at the very least, they are proliferating the number of gray hairs on my head.
I'm not sure of how we are all going to survive the teenage years.
These "tweenage" years are getting scary.