As the Tumbleweed approaches her 5th birthday, I have decided she needs to do more for herself. She is often capable of doing more than she does, and sometimes giving up before she tries. Counter that with the times she insists she can do something without help that she can't, and gets mad when she can't do it. So I devised a new plan...
I purchased a pack of poker chips in the Target $1 section. I put 10 chips in two plastic bags - one for me and one for her. Every time she does something to help me, I "pay" her a chip. Every time I help her with something, she "pays" me a chip. And even though the goal is to keep your chips, it is okay to ask for help with something when you need it because you can always help the other person to get the chip back. At the end of each day, the person with the most chips gets a nickel. (I chose a nickel because she is working on counting by 5s).
After about 2 weeks, it is going pretty well. She is back to zipping her own coat and tying her own shoes (which she has been able to do since August, but after the novelty wore off she just decided to walk around with untied sneakers). She has stopped asking for "assistance" in the bathroom (although we are going through more toilet paper now) and has been getting dressed in the morning before I even get out of bed. And she has even been looking for jobs around the house "to help" - cleaning up, swiffering, etc.
All told it has cost me 50¢ (we have had 2 times that Mommy has had more chips). We still need to work on the value of money a little more, because she thinks that she is rich :)
10 months ago