S can be hard to motivate. She is very smart and very capable of doing her schoolwork, yet at times it is near impossible to get her to do it. I am usually able to talk her into it, but it takes at least an hour longer than it should. She is supposed to read to me each night, but it takes much longer than it should. She especially hates spelling. I am not sure why the hatred is there, but it is.
It is easier to give a cat a bath than it is Savannah. This is especially true when it comes to washing her hair. She also puts up a fight when it comes to brushing her teeth and taking her medicines.
She also seems to have gotten it into her head that if she gets other people in trouble or points out their shortcomings, then she looks better in the eyes of adults. I am not sure where this comes from.
I have tried everything. I tried punishments. I tried rewards. I tried a combination of the two. I tried a reward system. Nothing seemed to work.
Now, I am trying something new. I am doing a behavior contract with her each week. I will put desirable behaviors in the contract. If she performs them all week, on Saturday I will take her to the Marble Slab for ice cream. So far this week it is working. She is writing her spelling words a couple of times each as I write this.
Here is a copy of the behavior contract. I know some will be upset that in it I forbid her from coming into our room at night bar an emergency. However, I have a reason for this. She is very restless and ends up kicking us all night long, preventing us from sleeping. J has to work and I have to get her to school and the other kids to lots of appointments as well. We need sleep. We cannot sleep if someone is kicking us all night long. (She also talks loudly in her sleep.)
Behavior Contract – Week of Feb 19, 2012
This is a contract between S and her parents, J and D. By signing the contract, S agrees that she will do the things mentioned in the contract in exchange for the reward mentioned in the contract.
1. S will read aloud for 15 minutes every night.
2. S will write her spelling words 2 times each every night and then take an oral spelling test. Any words she misses will be written two more times each and she will have to write a sentence for each word missed, using the word correctly.
3.S will take a bath each night without argument. She will wash her hair every other night without a fight. She will brush her teeth while in the bath.
4.S will neatly complete her math homework each night.
5.S will take her medications each morning and night without fuss.
6.S will stay in her own bed at night, getting up only in an emergency or to use the bathroom (and she will use one of the hall bathrooms, not the one in mommy and daddy’s room).
7.S will not instigate fights with her siblings.
8.S will not tattle unless someone is in immediate danger.
If S abides by this contract, on Saturday she will be taken to the Marble Slab and allowed to purchase a small ice cream with one mix-in.
Just hoping this continues to work! She thought it was cool signing a contract!