Parenting Help: Teach Your Kids to Calculate their ROI

steam geyser erupting

So. Today I got pretty mad at the boys and did some scolding.

Okay, maybe it was yelling.

Every now and again, they need me to get their attention. I believe I accomplished that today.

Plus I blew off some steam.

Anyhow.

After the yelling calmed down, it occurred to me to teach the boys a little lesson. First, I’ll tell you that I got upset because they made us late. Like crazy late. Can’t recover from it late. We needed to leave the house at 4:45 to pick up The Mercenary. I informed the boys at 4:15 that they’d need to get ready for the soccer game.

It was approximately 4:43 when they started getting ready. And then? Couldn’t find cleats, socks, or shin guards. These are all items that they’re SUPPOSED to be putting away properly EVERY time we come home. It’s as simple as I can make it. Enter the house, take off shoes and shin guards and put them away. Put socks in the laundry basket so I can wash them. Easy peasy.

By the time they’d located all of their equipment and gotten their sorry selves out to the van, it was 5:00.

Now I don’t normally blow my top about being late. But this was the hundredth time we’d played out the exact same scenario. It didn’t seem to matter what we did to improve things, the boys just repeated the mistakes. So I yelled.

After some silence, a boy asked me politely if I’d turn on the radio. I did. Then another boy asked if he could adjust the treble because it looked like the slider was off. After I purchased them some food, I was thanked politely.

Much better.

Okay, so now you know the story. Here’s the ROI part. I explained that ROI stands for Return On Investment. In any business, the owner looks at money he’s spending and makes SURE that he’s earning more of something back for his expenditure. If he spends $5000 on advertisement, he jolly well better be generating a whole lot of sales in return. Make sense?

“Yes,” they told me. I continued.

In life, you should be calculating the ROI on everything you do. If there’s little or no cost to doing something, and you generate huge benefits, then hello! You should be doing it. Putting your shoes away properly on the way through the house didn’t cost much; the resulting peace and happy Mama would be more than worth the effort.

It didn’t cost much to ask politely about the radio or the treble slider, and it certainly didn’t cost much to thank me for buying them food. But they did it, and I was feeling much better. They had an excellent ROI on those investments.

Now they need to keep that up.

And, always put their stuff away.

Earnest Parenting: help for parents who occasionally get steamed.

Image courtesy of luvpreloved via Creative Commons license, some rights reserved.

The editor-in-chief of Earnest Parenting, Amy is the mother of two sets of twin boys. Yes, they drive her crazy, but they also make her laugh occasionally. Amy enjoys writing, quilting, reading, and working on her burgeoning cyber empire.

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