Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Brownie Points

Most of the time, Lisa is a pretty sweet kid. She’s nice to her siblings, helpful around the house, polite and appreciative. Except when she’s not. And when she’s not delightful, she is most definitely frightful.

The worst is when she hasn’t had enough sleep. When she is overtired, she’s whiny and shouty and stubborn and just generally difficult. As it happens, she’s overtired when she goes to Brownies*. Her meeting only goes until 8:00 PM, but she is usually in bed by 8:00, so Brownie nights are tough. Last week I told her that if she couldn’t control herself after one late(ish) night in the week, there would be no more Brownies. Well, she didn’t control herself and I told her that her Brownie days were over. Around Saturday, she started talking about the play she would be doing this week at Brownies and the sleepover in December. I reminded her that she wouldn’t be participating in those events. Do you know what she said? “Oh, I just figured you would forget about that.” Burn. Also? Brat.

I don’t know why, but I started to feel guilty about the punishment. When she, completely unprovoked, helped Bart sweetly and patiently with a computer game he was having trouble with, I told her, “You just earned a Brownie point!” And so began her four days of butt-kissing, dripping with sweetness, random acts of kindness and helpfulness. This morning, she earned her last of 10 Brownie points by setting out all the coats, snow pants, boots, hats, mittens and backpacks for herself and her siblings. These Brownie points have been a wonderful thing!

So tonight, after the meeting, she’ll start with 10 Brownie Points (meaning she can go to next week’s meeting), but she’ll lose points (at my discretion) for bad behaviour and have to earn them back with good behaviour. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’m hoping she needs to do a little grovelling this week. Hee.

*I just had to Google “Brownies” to see if it’s a Canadian thing. It’s not, except in the US they’re called Brownie Girl Scouts and here they’re just Brownies, then they become Girl Guides at the appropriate age. Huh.

13 comments:

Banana said...

Ha! "I thought you'd forget" sounds exactly like something I would have banked on when I was a kid. I used to behave like a winey brat when we would travel as a family and I got the "if you can't improve your attitude you don't get to come along" talks.

Not Your Aunt Bea said...

I love your "brownie points". Totally stealing the idea and tucking it away for when my girls are old enough. Genius!

Rolling Off The Edge... Together said...

I was a Brownie and I lived in California but maybe they have changed it?

Also BRILLANT move on your part! Can you milk it for more help?!?! I am only partly kidding BTW!

ccr in MA said...

Sounds like a great way to extend the "be good 'cause Santa's watching" all year round!

When I was a kid, it was Brownies, then Girl Scouts. Of course, that was a loooong time ago!

Mandy said...

you know what sticks out in my mind about this post??


.....all of the paraphernalia you people need to put on to go outside!!!!!

CAQuincy said...

I'm a Brownie leader here in the US. I have always tried to have our meetings end by 7:30 to help stop all the crankies. THEN I merged with a troop who ends at 8:00. UGH! But Mary is older now, and she copes better now.

LOVE your Brownie points. I will probably need to use that for my littlest next year when she joins! Thanks!

Chantal said...

I hope it works out for both of you. I remember the post you did a few months back about all the shuffling you do on Brownie night and I don't know if I would have the strength to go through all that and then have a grouchy kid at the end of it. The things we do for our kids.

Lora said...

I was a Brownie too, and was most disappointed when there was no brownies at the meeting. I begged my mom to let me quit after the second meeting (the first I thought was a fluke). She didn't let me because she had already ordered my uniform from Sears. Poor me. I never made it to Scout level.

I love the Brownie Points too! We do kinda the same thing with pennies in a can. I don't know what I'll do when Jake realizes that pennies just aren't that valuable.

Jess said...

This reminds me of my mother's policy for dealing with bad behavior when I was a kid. My sister and I each had a list of privileges on the fridge, tailored to our specific tastes, starting with the least important privilege and working up to the biggest one (gymnastics class). Each time we did something we shouldn't, we lost the next privilege on the list. It reset every week unless we did something majorly heinous in which case the list was not considered sufficient and some extra consequence would be doled out. It was pretty effective.

Beck said...

The only one of my kids that works on is The Boy, who would probably join the monkhood if I took away his computer priviledges permanently. As far as The Girl goes, she has shrugging disdain for our priviledge-denying efforts.
It is the age, and it's a FUN one.

Erin said...

Actually sounds like a great system.

That makes me think of something I would have said to my own mother. Ha! Only, not so funny when the tables are turned ;-)

Misty said...

You are so with it and together. Frankly, I don't think I could keep up with the points system. I would forget.

Yes, I know there are only ten points to keep track of. :)

Astarte said...

You are a GENIUS!!! That is so funny, Brownie points for Brownies!