It is an immense disappointment to both Kitty and me that the tool that we are most successful in wielding to motivate those around us in our lives to do the right thing is completely useless against Finn. We can't do a lot of things, but one thing that we can do very well, and the people seem to respond to? Pay. Pay a lot. Pay the #%$@ out of everything.
Typically, works like a charm. Everyone loves money, right? Money's awesome!
Unfortunately, Finn The Hippie doesn't care about money. This would be an arguably admirable trait in grown-up. It's incredibly frustrating in a child that you are trying to motivate.
We've tried allowance. Nothing. We've tried insisting that he has to pay for his treats/toys. Nothing. We've tried kidnapping his stuffed animals and demanding insane ransoms to save them from the horror that is the washing machine. Nothing.
I wish I could say that I was a good enough parent that I could shrug this off and simply change tactics - pick another tool from the toolbox. Unfortunately, the only toolbox I own is my wallet. I'm screwed.
The other day, Finn and I were chatting about collections and how some people like the collect things. This is an interesting topic to him because I recently showed him my pocket knife collection from when I was a kid and he almost peed his pants in excitement. Of course he asked if he could have it, and I promised it to him when he got a little bit older. I asked him if he was interested in collecting something slightly less stabby & cutty in the meantime and he decided that he wanted to collect "everything".
I explained that that wasn't how collecting worked; that's called hoarding. Collecting requires that you kind narrow in on something specific. He decided that he wanted to collect a new iPad. Also unacceptable. I explained that even if he had an iPad, he would still need a credit card to pay for the apps that he wants.
He seemed very concerned about this and got real quiet. All of a sudden, out of nowhere, he jumped up as the lightbulb in his head went off. In all sincerity, he emphatically exclaimed, "I've got it! I can collect money!"
Now we're getting somewhere. Looks like I need to dust off the old toolbox. It's time for some "parenting".