The Chore System
This week Jonathan and I implemented a chores-for-video-game-time plan with Luke and Oliver. Do the chores, earn game time. Refuse to do the chores, no game time for you. Tonight is the first “official” night of chores-for-games and it went well. We ate dinner, cleaned up the kitchen, took out the trash, did a load for laundry, packed lunches, watched Doctor Who and went to bed on time. Hooray for a good start!
Luke’s next therapy session is next week so I’m working on a list of “issues” to work on with his counselor. His counselor used to be my counselor so I know her well. So far, what I think Luke needs to work on most is rage quitting everything. For example: throwing the dog house into the yard. This evening at the dinner table, Luke flopped onto the floor pretending to choke, then crawled across the floor, and stuck his head in the cat house in an attempt to get out of doing chores. Fortunately, this episode was short lived. Luke’s “episodes”, which start with silliness, often end in crying, screaming, angry, tantrums.
Oliver, 9, has realized that Luke is abnormal. Luke’s anxiety prevents him from focusing in school resulting in bad grades. Oliver calls Luke an idiot or other derogatory term because Luke annoys Oliver with bossy behavior. In spite of repeatedly telling Oliver to speak kindly to Luke (and vice versa), Oliver continues to call Luke names when the chance presents. Luke then repeats those names to himself when anything doesn’t go his way. This evening, Luke couldn’t pack lunch because he is “too stupid”. Oh, Luke…
Yesterday, Luke spent the entire day by my side as I unpacked the room which will soon be my office. Since Luke downloaded some bad software, I was teaching him how to clean up a malware infection which meant his computer was scanning archives for several hours. No games for Luke. So, he looked through all my artwork from high school and college as I cleaned. He looked through a box of toys and books from my childhood. Most parents save things for their kids, but my parents did not. Luke found it all fascinating. As he flipped through pages of sketch books and art, he concluded I should already be a famous artist.
“Already”, like being a famous artist is easy.