Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Slippery Slope, Indeed

Monday night, I wandered into the kitchen, intent on getting a drink of water and then settling down for a nice half hour of pre-bedtime knitting. Reality - in the form of a sinkful of dirty dishes - smacked me in the face. I had forgotten that I promised my husband (who had had a bad day) I would do those after Bunko (yes, sometimes I do do some work around here).

Darn.

Keep in mind that it was 11 PM, and I had just kicked Anna off the computer (after her earned 20 minutes of Facebook) so she would get to bed at a decent hour. Because, you see, I am a good, conscientious parent, who wouldn't dream of letting her daughter stay up too late socializing via the Internet.

Anyway, Anna came into the kitchen and suddenly I had an idea. An awful idea. A terrible, awful idea. An idea, I must admit, which I did not even hesitate to act upon.

"Hey, Anna," I said. "Do you want some more Facebook time this evening?" (Hey, little girl, want some candy?)

"Oh! Sure! Yeah!" she said, and then, more guardedly, "What do I have to do?"

"Just those dishes there," I said. (It's too easy. No way she'll take the bait.)

"Oh, okay!"

I didn't know anyone could do dishes that fast. And I'm thinking that this business of using Facebook as a carrot to dangle in front of my teen daughter is somewhat of a slippery slope. How long before I'm sitting around all day doing nothing but knitting and blogging while she scurries around earning Facebook minutes?

Then again, what's so bad about that?

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38 comments:

  1. I think it is brilliant.
    Eventually she will catch on but for the time being you can use it to your advantage.

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  2. and you now have the best location for posting your video next time she pulls the windshield scraping show. the more time she invests... the more power the video threat gains..

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  3. Um yeah, my first thought right before your last line there was "What's so wrong with that idea?" LOL Glad you found a "happy place" for you and anna!

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  4. Well, if I wasn't paid, I wouldn't show up at work, so how is that different?

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  5. Brilliant! Oh wait, my kids don't know about Facebook yet. Hummm, what else are they addicted too.

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  6. I would have done the same thing.

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  7. Okya Mrs. Grinch . . . you forgot an adjective: "An awful idea. A terrible awful CLEVER idea."

    As one Mom to another . . . I totally get it.

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  8. Having older children who want things is a beautiful thing. I currently have a new-ipod-wanter mopping the floor.

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  9. I'm all about bribery with my kids. They get something they want, I get something I want. It's a win/win!

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  10. You're showing her that by doing the hard stuff and helping out she has a direct/indirect benefit. Its actually a great lesson. And she learns that she really can do these tasks fast and well. And you have a chance to praise her and tell her how great she's done instead of complaining that she isn't making good choices.

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  11. Ohh my parents used AIM which was the Facebook of 1998.

    I thought it was normal to bribe children with social networking technology.

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  12. She got what she wanted, you got what you wanted...I see nothing wrong with it.

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  13. I think I will sign up all 4 of my children on Facebook.

    Today.

    (I have a sinkfull of dirty dishes, and a laundry room full of dirty clothes)

    Have I ever told you that you're brilliant?

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  14. It sounds like a win-win to me. You have found her "button." Push with abandon I say!

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  15. I need a facebook. Right now all I have is Chuck E Cheese which is NOT acceptable to this mama as it is inconvenient and insufferable for me to use as bribery.

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  16. Yep, sounds like a match made in heaven to me!

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  17. Well, eventually it will balance out. For instance: If she were to get 10 minutes for every hour she works, and assuming she sleeps a healthy 8 hours a night but has nothing else to do in her life:

    24h-8h=16h
    (16h*60m)/x(60m+10m)=1day
    960m/x70m=1day
    -> approx. 13.7h of chores she can complete in one day.

    Thus, if she's good at math, you will only be able to swindle her from a maximum of 13.7 hours each day... with the givens I assumed. If she's not good at math... well, this may be the impetus she needs to start working on that Algebra stuff [smile].

    ~Luke

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  18. Sounds like a plan to me!

    Although I almost couldn't see past the word "Bunko." I haven't played since I moved here. *sigh*

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  19. Do you know what my children call the dog droppings in the back yard? "Computer Time". As in, "Let Josie out, she's going to go make more computer time." Cleaning up the yarn is worth 20 minutes for them.

    They each get a regular 35 minutes per day (and a double dose on Sunday, don't ask me how that got start.) Any additional time is bribe fodder.

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  20. Got my kiddos to clean their rooms last night with the promise of fresh baked browines...Facebook sounds easier. How old do you think they have to be before I can sign em up?

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  21. Hey, I really think you have something here. My 15 year old is going to hate me! Muhahahaha!

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  22. I love the Grinch should out in this post. (A Terrible Awful Idea!) Maybe this will help Anna's attitude and you'll finally be able to finish that knitted baby coat!

    Good stuff all around!

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  23. you know what, anna is old enough and whatever mistakes you did in raising her can't be fixed anymore. so using facebook as a carrot doesn't ruin anything!
    ;-)

    franzi

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  24. I bribe my kids all the time. You want me to do ____ for you, then do ____ for me. My oldest drives to school everyday, dropping her siblings off for me. Thats the only reason she gets to drive my car, rather than taking the over crowded bus that makes her motion sick.

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  25. Shoot, I don't think there's anything bad about that!

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  26. I do the same thing with my kids, only it's for their Nintendo DS (which I tell them stands for Double Stupid). More DS time? Sure, clean your room first. As many before me said, it's a win/win...

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  27. He-he. You are so much smarter than me. In desperation, I told the kids if they got all ready for bed in 15 minutes, I'd give them a dollar. TEN MINUTES! That's it. A 2 hour circus down to ten freakin' minutes. Too bad I'm too cheap to do it again.

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  28. *laughing and holding my sides*

    Facebook pimp?

    H
    x

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  29. Nothing wrong with adding another weapon to the arsenal, I always say.

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  30. It's not bribery, it's motivation! AND she's learning real-world skills (washing dishes) and techniques (if you do this, you can have that).

    so you are NOT a foul one, Mrs. Grinch. Wait till she figures out she can negotiate back at you.

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  31. I believe in the business world this is called artful negotiation.

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  32. You, my dear, are a genius.

    *twirls oily moustache*

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  33. I've bribed a kid $.50 to pack his sister up and get her in the car while I load up the trunk. Does that count? (Did I mention that they're the same age?!)

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  34. NOTHING wrong with that. In fact, why doesn't she just do everything? Think of the minutes she would rack up.

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  35. OH Karen! You are an evil GENIUS!! Too bad my kid is only five and doesn't do facebook!
    I bow to your awesomeness!!

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  36. You are a shrewd one, Madam Correspondent.

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