Well, a lot of times the pestering persists. What then?
“Mason, do you need to draw a job?”
At that point, Mason either heads off in a new direction or draws a five minute job out of a jar.
The “Job Jar” is an ordinary looking jar full of paper slips with “jobs” written on them. There is a magical suspense of “What job will I get?” The jobs in our jar consist of things like: clean one of your drawers, clean the mop boards in the front room, do the piano flash cards for five minutes, wash the window by the kitchen table, sweep the front porch, clean the pan cupboard, clean the dog’s kennel, pull 30 weeds…etc. If you are like me, it won’t take much effort to walk around the house with a pad of paper and come up will all kinds of things that need cleaning. But, the most important thing is to make the jobs short and make sure they are age appropriate for your children.
Now the jobs aren’t really for punishment, they are given for a change of focus and a chance for kids to stop and think about their actions.
Once when I was at a church event one of my kids was acting up, I caught his eye and raised my eyebrow at him. My child stopped. I was asked, “How did you do that?” I just smiled and said my child didn’t want to “draw a job.” I smiled because things don’t always work that easy, but the thought of consequences does help teach kids.
This idea has three obvious benefits: kids’ focus is changed, kids learn that consequences follow actions, and jobs of Mom’s choice get completed.