Laura's biggest challenge in life is listening. We ask her to do something. She doesn't. We warn her about making choices. She ignores us. We follow-through with a threatened punishment, and all of a sudden she loses it and can't believe this is happening to her.
And last night, after a really bad trip to the grocery store, she said it.
I hate you, Mommy. I hate everything and I hate you.
That went straight to my heart like a dagger. It stung me to silence.
Laura, I get angry with you sometimes, but I always love you. Always. Right this minute, I am hurt and angry... but I still love you.
Needless to say, Laura did not get a star in the "listening" box of her chore chart. The chore chart - a strategy we enacted Sunday evening after a really bad day of listening. Yesterday was her first day, so I wasn't expecting her to really understand earning the stars for her chart... but I was still pretty sad with how poorly her listening was.
We're just trying out the chore chart for now. Experimenting to see how it works. I have a chalkboard in the hall, so right now it has a grid on it with each day of the week, and the four chores she is expected to do each day:
Yesterday, she got three stars. At the end of the week, we'll review the chart to see if she earned a DVD of "The Princess and the Frog," which is currently balanced on top of the chalkboard as incentive. We'll see how it goes. If we have success, I might be in the market for something more permanent. If not... I'm not sure what to do.