Tuesday, April 1, 2014
My Child - The Subcontractor
We are always harping on the kids to clean their rooms, but a few months ago, my son came up with a win-win-win solution: he paid his sister to do it. She, who will clean any room BUT her own, was thrilled. She is the best organizer in the house and takes great pride in her skills. She's meticulous and will spend hours getting a room just-so. She's also motivated by money.
Junior, in a stroke of genius, channeled her skills and desire for compensation and offered her the grand sum of $1 to take over the much-dreaded chore. Diva spent three hours one weekend, organizing his closet, putting his laundry away, making his bed, and taking care of the display of his many sports trophies. She then took great satisfaction in showing off the finished product not only to Junior, but to Mom and Dad. After realizing how much work she'd put into the room, we convinced him to up the ante to $2.
Again, the result was multitude:
- The Boy got a clean room and his parents off his back.
- Diva was kept busy for several hours doing something constructive.
- She earned money, on her own.
- Her self-esteem was boosted when she displayed the wonderful result.
He used this technique during the Winter to get his little sister to shovel snow, vacuum, and help tame the mess in the garage. I want to be upset by his laziness, but am too proud of his ingenuity to make an issue of it. The other element that keeps me quiet is the fact that Diva benefits from this arrangement so much. The only problem is that he underpays her, so I wind up acting as the "union" and arguing on her behalf, for a decent wage.
The ability to think outside the box is an important one. A few years ago, my son started his own dog walking business and did quite well. He also earns a salary umpiring for Little League in my town. I see the makings of a real businessman. And to think, his first employee was his little sister!
Thanks for reading! Please tune back in tomorrow when I'll post again.