Thursday, April 4, 2013

Eat Your Heart Out Martha Stewart

Have you ever told your kids to do something and then hold your breath because you know what is coming?

For instance,

"Billy, take your shower."

Snappy reply, "What? I went first last night."


"Mary, did you practice violin?"

Her reply in a soft whine, "Noooooo"


"Tommy, did you read for 15 minutes yet?"

His reply in an annoying tone, "I was just about to play basketball!!"

It had been getting to the point where I was actually afraid to remind them of their duties.  I finally realized how wrong and unacceptable this was.  I was the parent after all.  The disrespect had to stop. 

Introducing the Argue Meter!!!

The Argue Meter-Patent Pending

Each child's name is at the bottom of a column.  Every time they argue me, a dot goes on the line.  Once it reaches the top, they lose XBox for a weekend. (they only play Xbox on the weekend, so this is a big deal.)

Once they saw this and heard the rules and consequences, they got nervous.  They asked a lot of questions.
When does the weekend start?
Can you get dots removed for good behavior? (no)
Does the column start over at the start of the month? (no)

The biggest hurdle they had to learn was that if they recognized another child arguing and I didn't pick up on it, were they allowed to "tattle"? (No. And if they did, they themselves would get a dot.)

It has worked WONDERS, let me tell you.  We are about 7 weeks in and I rarely add dots.  I think the child with the most - who shall remain nameless - only has 4 dots.

I will, however, name Ann, who has zero dots.

Tommy says that Bill and I should have an Argue-Meter for the two of us and that when one of us reaches the top line we have to spend a weekend without watching Fox and Friends.

I must admit - the thought scared me a little.

I know what you're all thinking.  You need to pin this on Pinterest.

Go ahead.  You can.  Just remember to link it back to me.


  1. I. Love. This. Kathleen, you are a genius!! We have almost the same conversations here ...Rhett...showers, Madison...being on time!!!...and Peyton...well, nothing really! And X box? Perfect! Thanks dear friend!! Don't mind if I steal your genius, do you??

  2. I am a firm believer in charts. Well done, Babe'

  3. Patent pending-funny stuff! Reminds me of our consequences for behavior not being able to stay up half hour longer for Friday night Brady bunch. Devastasting! Nice Work!

  4. I love charts ! They were always useful when mine were little! Great idea and very cute post!!

    And of course Ann has zero dots :)

  5. Good idea! I find myself wishing my kids were young enough to use it :)