One of the questions we had to answer for Gabriel's teacher to prepare for an upcoming parent-teacher conference was, "How is your child motivated?"
Well, unfortunately, Dave and I immediately came up with the same answer: Money! Ever since the allowance started, Gabriel is all about money. He wants to play piano for us so we'll drop coins in his tip jar (Dave started that), and doesn't quite understand when I suggested that being a musician is not a great way to make money. He counts the days down to allowance, and the threat of losing his allowance or any money at all resonates harder with him than anything else.
Lately the boys have been giving us no end of trouble after going to bed: laughing, throwing things, running around, screeching so loud you can hear it outside, well past bedtime. Our standard strategy is to take things away until they're quiet for 5 minutes, but last night this backfired, Gabriel-style, as we found ourselves cleaning out their room and they were still completely hyper pushing 10pm. It's usually just Gabriel who needs to be calmed down; Julian will follow.
Tonight, Dave didn't mess around. After one warning, Gabriel was "fined" ten cents. That put a stop to it, fast. As Dr. Phil says, we've found his currency.
Now how do we explain that to his teacher?!