Me: Go upstairs to your room. I've had enough of all this fighting.
Tigger, yelling from the stairs: I'm going to my room and I'm going to use the F word!
I have no doubt that he's heard the word before, but he's really come to understand that it's a bad word as a result of watching A Christmas Story. Yet he conveniently seems to have forgotten about the giant bar of soap that Ralphie was sucking on in the next scene. Do you suppose that Fells Naptha would be considered child abuse these days? OK, in looking for that last link, I found this that also struck me as funny. Maybe I'm just punchy, but I wonder what prompted the original question.
Seriously though, Piper and I are constantly amazed at the amount of sass that comes out of that boy's mouth at age 6. Some of it is funny, some not. I don't remember talking back much at all until I was a teenager, when I started to realize how utterly backed into a corner I was. That could easily describe Tigger who is constantly frustrated that he is not in charge of his little brother and the rest of the whole world. I don't know. I struggle to empower a boy who is impulsive and doesn't know when to stop. How do you teach him to take control of things when he can't seem to control himself?
This is where I need to start working out some kind of reward system, something so antithetical to the way I was raised. You do what you are supposed to do because you know you are supposed to do it, or you'll face some kind of consequences, not because some fool adult might buy you an ice cream later.
I have difficulty on both fronts. I feel that I am too often facing behaviors in my children for which there seem to be no meaningful consquences (or consequences that would completely throw off the family schedule), and I am missing opportunities for recognition because a) I feel that the accomplishment was something they should be doing automatically or b) I'm too busy being frustrated about something else.
Sometime this weekend I have to tackle some kind of chore chart. I have been thinking about doing this for a year and I have finally hit upon something like the daily task plan that they have both seen in their kindergarten classrooms. The challenge comes when I need to combine activities that they take turns with such as feeding the dog and setting the table with stuff I want them both to do, such as making their beds and straightening their closets. When things get done consistently, and with little fighting, they are easier to reward.