Twin A is a very motivated person. He wakes up in the morning (long before he needs to) all by himself with no prompting from me. He goes off to school and does his work and brings home his homework and gets it done and prepares for whatever activity he will be participating in that evening. He takes care of his diabetes without any input from me, he does his laundry when it needs to be done, and he turns out his light when he feels tired. He’s like a machine, a very happy, cute, self-sufficient machine.
Twin B is not. Twin B takes after his mama. He won’t get up unless I tell him to, he’ll do his homework but only if he feels like it (thank god he tests well), he sets up camp in his room and watches videos on his laptop until I tell him to get ready for whatever activity he needs to participate in. His laundry gets done when he’s down to too-short track pants and that t-shirt that he hates and he only takes his medication after I ask him too. He’s like a cliché of a teenager, a very funny, cute, energy-conserving (aka lazy) teenager.
A few years ago, Malison took a course in Sports Psychology. She learned that different people are motivated by different things. Some people need a reward at the end, some people are self-motivated, and some people need to see progress as they work towards their goals. I am one of the latter. I did a 30-day challenge for yoga and went for 30 days because every day I got a sticker on a chart. Once I got the first sticker I needed to complete the chart because any holes would look messy. It doesn’t have to make sense, it just is, ok? Geez.
This month, I decided Twin B should have a chart. He would pick three goals and every day he would get three stickers. It’s an experiment to see if he is motivated the same way I am. He is. And he decided that if he is doing this chart thing than I would have to too.
Twin B’s goals include:
Eight minutes a day writing with his left hand. He feels that when he’s drumming his right hand is doing exactly what he tells it to while his left hand just flops around. He’s decided that if he practices writing with his left hand then he’ll have more control over it. Nobody needs mention that there is a difference between fine and gross motor skills because the way he’s decided to practice is to write in Letters to Mom.
Twenty minutes of studying Social every day. Exams are coming up so this is a great goal. A few days after we made the charts, he realized that after exams there is still half a month left. I told him that he could still study Social well into summer vacation, but he heartily disagreed. He’ll think of something to replace that goal after his exam.
Random chores is the last goal. Some of his chores aren’t so random like garbage and lawn care, but I don’t really care because, for the first time ever, he’s not complaining about doing them. And he’s excited about doing other chores too, like organizing his bookshelf and closet, grocery shopping, and washing their car.
I’m finding that Twin B is a little more present in his life for the last week. That doesn’t mean that he’s stopped hiding in his room with his laptop, but he’s conscious about getting his stickers and plans ahead and it’s fascinating to watch. Every day we have a little contest on who can get all their stickers first (which I totally kick ass at, but I might be cheating a little by being at home while he’s at school).
Fingers crossed that this continues!