Luke will be 13 in 5 short months. Luke’s behavior has also been really bad lately. He’s been insulting, back talking, refusing to do his daily chore, refusing to shower, refusing to do homework, refusing to go to bed, refusing to get ready for school, refusing to pack his lunch, and lying about darn near everything. On top of all this, Luke is dangerously close to failing the 6th grade. He’s already a year behind since he failed 2nd grade.
After listening to numerous yelling, screaming, crying fits between Jonathan and Luke, I decided to make a responsibility/privilege chart. Each day, Luke (and Oliver) start with no privileges. By fulfilling their responsibilities like doing homework, getting good grades, finishing chores, etc they earn privileges like using the phone to talk to friends, time to spend on the computer or Wii, and staying up until 9:30 instead of going to bed at 9. I’m hoping that the chart helps motivate Luke since it clearly spells out what he should be doing and how to be able to do what he wants – like play video games.
This evening I explained the responsibility/privilege chart to Luke and Oliver after getting Jonathan’s approval. I didn’t even finish the explanation before Luke dramatically declared I’m threatening him. I explained the difference between consequences and threats. Jonathan explained the difference too. Luke escalated to shouting about how I’m threatening him. Jonathan told Luke he was being dramatic and to knock it off. This didn’t go well…
Oliver seemed totally fine with the responsibility/privilege chart, however. He was excited to earn money for getting good grades and wanted to score all the “points” so he could get special rewards at the end of the week like a treat from the grocery store. (If the kids fulfill all their responsibilities for the week, they get an extra treat at the end of the week – a treat from the store, a day out with a parent, or a chore-free day.)
Personally I’m hoping the clearly defined expectations and consequences motivate Luke to improve his behavior and his grades. Oliver, who is 10, is not having problems following the rules so we’re implementing the behavior chart for him for fairness. In any case, something has to change since I don’t have the energy to constantly butt heads with Luke. Constantly staying vigilant and getting after Luke so Luke and Jonathan don’t engage in a shouting match is impacting my health. Fibro and RA mean that I’m perpetually short of energy and in constant physical pain. I just can’t keep working 10hrs a day, butting heads with Luke every morning and evening, and sleeping 6hrs of fewer a night.