We’re going through some adjustments around our house. I have been on the scene for two and a half years and lived with them for two of those, but the Minions and I are still figuring things out. There are days I feel completely powerless and unappreciated in my home and the feeling is not unfounded. I am the odd man out in our house.
The Boyfriend is usually understanding but sometimes doesn’t see things the way I see them. Minion 1 is excellent at turning on the charm around The Boyfriend, just seconds after pretending I wasn’t there or ignoring something I asked him.
To deal with this kind of behavior, we came up with house rules last week as a family. They are less rules than preferred behavioral qualities. Kindness, consideration, cooperation, honesty, and respect. So far, they’re working out alright. The Minions know consistently what we expect, and for the most part, they follow through.
As a reward system, I stole a points card idea from a friend and we keep a running points chart with some unknown prize at the end. If The Boyfriend cooks dinner, he gets a point. If Minion 1 takes out the trash without being asked, he gets a point or two. Points can be given by anyone and don’t get taken away. Minion 2 especially pays attention to the system and faithfully reminds us when he does anything that he sees worthy of points (unfortunately, no points for asking for them). Even without his reminders though, the points system puts us more on the lookout for good behavior and less on the lookout for behavior with negative consequences.
We’re all working on integrating and finding our way in our new family and I think our new system will help with it.