In a previous blog post titled Does Your Homeschool Match Your Personality, I mentioned that reading some of Gretchen Rubin’s work changed how I thought. I could not understand, for example, why I resisted meeting demands even when I had imposed them on myself. Thanks to learning more about the four tendencies, I am beginning to learn how to use my dominant traits to work for me rather than against me.
It’s Okay to Change
I am always a little envious of people who seem to know themselves. You know the type – they’re articulate, they seem to have thought things through, they have opinions at the age of twenty about how the world works. I am not one of them. As I approach forty, I am beginning to realize I’m never going to have the world sorted out.
But that’s okay. Because all living things change. And change includes changing your mind.
By this, I don’t mean I know nothing. There are some basic things I have sorted out, but I am not in favor of clinging to something if it’s clearly not working.
Case in Point
We recently discovered that we have two out of three children motivated by gaining pleasure and one motivated only by avoiding pain. As you probably know, we had been paying our children to do chores around the home. As it turned out, one child took on more chores and accumulated a decent amount of wealth (for her!) while the other one had to be constantly reminded, goaded, nagged to get something done.
So we changed the structure. We began to give him a basic payment for regular chores and then added optional chores. And then we changed it again. The problem was, he was happy with too little. We had to go the all-or-nothing route.
So now he has mandatory tasks for which he gets nothing (well, he still gets bed and board, as I remind him often enough) and the optional, “in case you’d like to make money” tasks. These are nevertheless important tasks which we need done and appreciate.
Don’t be Married to Ideology
Look for results. This applies as much in your homeschool as it does to everything else. If we had decided we had arrived, chores would never get done, or at least be incredibly frustrating. So we changed our mind.
You can, too.