A Parent Management System

Who's in Charge?Who’s in Charge?
A Positive Parenting Approach To Disciplining Children

You know I love the parenting books. (They are so optimistic!)  This is such a cool cover.  Note the mother’s calm demeanor.  What you can’t see is the cocktail and the gun.  This book is full of helpful charts and graphs.  (I have often whipped out a Power Point detailing my “issues” when my teens need some serious parenting–Totally works!)  The whole thing reminds me of a horrible performance evaluation form.  Maybe the parent will issue a TPS report after filling out the chart.

FYI friends, I graduated my last child on May 27 and have now taken up the moniker of “parent emeritus.”



behavior chart

behavior expectations

  1. The daughter looks like The Bad Seed. Actually, come to think of it, one of my favorite family photos is one where my daughter has that same expression and is forehead to forehead with her father!

  2. Wait…what? Electricity is listed as a daily reward?! “Sorry kids, we can’t cook dinner tonight or turn on the lights because little Johnny misbehaved today.”
    Maybe I’m missing something because I’m not a parent?

    1. I know, right? “You earned 10 minutes of recreational electricity today, and your meter starts running….NOW!”

  3. Yes, I agree, “electricity” would go over so well. “I’m sorry, but your behavior only earned you 20 minutes of electricity. You can go on Facebook if you want, but keep in mind that every minute you spend playing Farmville is one less minute you’ll be able to have the lights on while you shower and brush your teeth.” I also found “freedom” somewhat amusing.

  4. Still grappling with my last at 15. I might be able to use this! My face has lost that calm look. Sooooo, this electricity thing—how does that work exactly?

  5. Parent time is a reward?! Shouldn’t it be a given that children spend time with their parents? (Or used as a punishment, heheh!)

  6. What I find funny is that 15 minutes of “Parent Time” is also listed as a reward. Not many teenagers would consider that much incentive to “put P.J.’s away” or “eat breakfast well” (whatever that means).

    Turning home life into another version of school just sounds overly regimented and authoritarian to me. I wouldn’t have enjoyed it as a kid–probably would have hated and resented my parents even more in fact. And as an adult, I wouldn’t enjoy being the “home school principal,” either. Parents don’t have to be best friends with their kids, but home ought to be to some extent a refuge for everyone, not another workplace or school environment, or worse.

  7. To heck with electricity, I like the poker chip. “Well, son, you did a good job today, so here’s a chip for the game tonight. Maybe you’ll win big!”

    1. Yes, that one struck me, too! “OK, I’ll behave now, Mom, if only I can get me a poker chip!”

      And I WISH it only took 5 minutes to pick up stuff around the house! More like 5 months.

  8. Fussing? That works well enough for babies, but kids and teens? The closest I can think is what they call fussing, my parents would call whining.

  9. According to the author’s website, she’s a “frequent speaker at Anthony Robbins’ Results events”. Nuf said.

  10. If any posting really needs more pictures, it’s this one! And make ’em complete—I need to know what to do if my 3 1/2 year old son gets 9/11 or more bad points, and he has to go immediately to his bedroom for the remainder of…what? the day? His childhood? Until we decide to turn the electricity back on?

  11. Freedom is my favorite item on the rewards list.

    “Janey, you ate your breakfast well and you remembered to get dressed today, so as a reward, I’m taking your chains off for 15 minutes! “

  12. I’m 33 and I still think of parent time as more of a punishment then a reward. (What can I say? My mom talks too much and I’d rather listen to music and read books then actually talk to people.)

    1. jamisings…still, time w/parents is precious in retrospect. i still miss my dad 7 years after his death, now…even tho he used to get on my nerves sometimes. gone is gone.

    1. Trust me! It is! The more complicated it is the more ways there are to sabotage it! Remember I said I’m on my last child. Been there.

  13. There’s a TV ad for some kind of useless modern laptop technology where an overwraught mother is shown making spreadsheets to show her children (running round noisily in the background) how to spend each shining hour of the day…

    I mean, how anal is THAT? Are they really going to sell any on that basis? But whereas for about 150 years it was a book that would change your life, solve all your problems, now it’ll be some technological gizmo.

    And don’t start me off on the ones that show adults playing children’s games on these things! (‘Do you remember Pokemon?’, etc.)

    Get a life, or WHAT?

  14. Those idiot reward charts will NEVER work. You know the kid is going to try to manipulate it and the parent is going to be way too busy cooking, cleaning, balancing job(s), trying to have a life, disciplining–or trying to, paying bills, fixing things. You get it, don’t you?

  15. I think cutting off the electricity is brilliant. “Cut it out or I’m going to visit the breaker box again!” My laptop has a battery–his computer needs to be plugged in. Ha!

  16. I think most parents wouldn’t bother with a chart like that. It’s too complicated. And why would you reward your children with electricity and poker chips?

  17. The bedtime snack reward is baffling, too. We’re always told that it’s not healthy to snack right before going to bed, so why encourage it? And if a kid is really hungry, shouldn’t they have something to eat regardless, or maybe change their eating schedule so they’re not hungry right before bed?

    That chart seems quite complicated and hard to stick to. I’m not exactly sure what “brings school things in” means, but would it always be necessary on Saturday and Sunday? And what if the bedroom doesn’t need five minutes of cleaning on a particular day?

    The mom on the cover looks like someone I know. It’s a bit creepy.

  18. I’m reminded of that episode of Rugrats, when those two adults, can’t remember who, makes charts of what their supposed to do and when, and dresses them in sailor outfits. Ends with baby food everywhere and the adults abandon the charts.

  19. bag on head here, i just made a chart a lot like this to get my 7 year old to brush teeth, use the bathroom, and put on pajamas without having to nag constantly. We even have a timer set to 15 minutes. We reward good behavior (new lego set) and don’t ever “take away the electricity”.

    7 year old hasn’t complained yet, maybe saving it for the therapist when he grows up?