When my siblings and I were growing up, loss of internet connection was generally due to one of two factors.
It could be that our remote location had once again set us up for failure. In that case, there was nothing we could do but wait it out or visit the nearest Starbucks or library if we had a class deadline to meet.
But often times, the reason we suddenly had no internet was that the password had been changed. Once we would rule out any other cause, we would sigh and go look for the culprit.
We didn’t even have to ask why my dad had changed the password. We knew that somewhere in the house a mess was lurking, abandoned by its careless maker. And until that mess was cleaned up, no one could have the password.
This meant we couldn’t blame each other for the messes — and frankly, my dad didn’t care who made the mess, he just cared that a mess existed, and knew the peer pressure of internet-frustrated siblings would be encouragement enough for the culprit(s).
Plenty of other parents have jumped on this bandwagon, wielding the only power that kids seem to respond to these days.
Some families use the password “motivation” to have kids take care of their own responsibilities, like picking up their belongings and keeping their rooms tidy.
Others use it as an opportunity to highlight chores the kids can do to benefit the entire family, like doing laundry, unloading dishwashers and vacuuming.
A lot of these methods require a parent to be present to oversee and approve the finished work, and make sure the mess in a room wasn’t crammed into a closet or tucked under a bed.
Parents are savvy. They know.
This mom has a very particular requirement attached to cleaning. Since she’s gone during the day, there’s no way she can check to make sure the kids actually did as she asked (in this case, cleaned the kitchen).
Part of the problem is taken care of because she requires her kids to send her a photo to prove they’ve cleaned up — but kids are clever. They could re-use a past photo, get the password and not have lifted a finger other than to select and send the image.
In much the same way that competitions of various sorts require a photo of the entrant with the day’s newspaper to prove the date, this mom asks for a different specific item to be in the photo each time her kids clean.
In a photo that’s gone viral, the item she asks for is “one box of crackers on the counter by the stove.” That way they can’t recycle any old shots and have to actually put in the work.
Have you used a method like this before? How’d it work out?
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