Sunday, September 16, 2012

Hard Habit to Learn?

My children have learned many routines in the course of their 8 to 11 year lives.  They bring their plates to the dishwasher (70% of the time); they brush their teeth at night (99%); they unload the dishwasher or sweep (90% with parental urging).

So that's why it defies understanding why they CANNOT learn to pick up wet towels from the floor after a shower.  Innocent, clean, ready-to-be-used again towels.  No amount of explanation or insistence works.  I've discussed the issue with several moms, and they are similarly perplexed.  Doesn't matter where the towels are ditched-- bathroom, hall, kitchen, porch.  They're gone, outta sight outta mind.

One time I left the towel on the floor to get all mildewy and smelly. Then I gave it to my daughter after a shower.  "Here's the towel you left on the floor yesterday." She didn't even notice. So much for hoping "natural consequences" would change behavior.

Maybe when something is dropped out of eyesight it is forgotten forever?  But don't they later walk right over the towel on their bedroom floor?  Fascinating.  Must be a universal of child development. (Will they finally get it when their college roommate gets really pissed?)

Here's some sweet and loving advice on this topic from a how-to website:

Honestly, I am so beyond "buy your child a towel with his favorite character on it," that I think a little electric shock or tazer might be worth a try.

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