The following is a test of your parenting skills. . . .

  i am no one's authority figure.  Apparently i have influence in some quarters; authority is something different.
  Even the dog, who's most bonded to me, looks to just about anyone else as the pack leader.

  i like people to do as i want, but i hate to tell them to do it.
  So this was a trying day, and Max has promised me more of the same.


  Recently i instituted a rule that if he declines to do what i ask, when flexibility is not an option, he'll lose some TV time.  It's hard to find a consequence that means something to him.
  Today i asked him to carry the 2nd laundry basket to the car.  There are two reasons why i might do this.  One is, i'm hurting too much to manage it, or, two, he's more anxious to get out of here than i am, and this will speed things up.  This time it was a hurry-up thing.
  And he didn't.  It's not that he doesn't understand what's required, or that he's never done it before.  He just prefers not to.  (and what kid, or adult, doesn't sometimes prefer that?)
  So i arrived in the car with a carefully written note explaining this.
and the rest of the note: There is no reason to talk about this.  If you try, you will lose 15 more minutes each time.

He's Stuck

  In the car, Max began the obsessive thing:  "TV TV TV TV TV TV TV TV TV TV TV TV TV TV TV."
  i invoked Part 2 of the rule.
  He read the scrawled note, said ok, and in two minutes was doing it again.
  Another 15 minutes.
  By the time we got home to stay, he was up to an hour and 45 minutes.  (Though the obsessive repetitions each time did decrease.)

This is a Test.

 Just before going in to see Miss Tutor, i asked him if he'd like me to just take away TV for the entire day all at once.
  He answered, "Yes - NO."
 Ah.  Perfect "Yes Mode,"and for once caught himself in an undesired answer.
  At Miss Tutor's, we discussed this.
  Max was wearing his biggest "I'm so proud of me" grin.
  We asked if he was deliberately trying to test the limits.
  Okay.  So be it.  Kids need to know the boundaries.  We're going to enforce this one.

And After

  The noTV  time went smoothly.  i explained a few more ground rules (i need to go to the grocery.  You may choose to come with me or not, but the noTV time will be while i'm home.)
  Here's another tool, underused but something to remember.
  After all, it's not like the parents who told the rowdy kids in the backseat, "One more peep out of you, and you're staying with your cousins and NOT going to Disneyland."

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