We were only a few weeks into summer, and Desperation arrived early this year.  My wife made the announcement at Sunday dinner:  if our 2 boys, ages 12 and 7, could get along on any particular day, they
would earn $1 for that day.  Any problems from either of them, while interacting, and they both lose the

So a value has been placed on Peace, and it is low.  A dollar per day for juveniles, two dollars per day for adults (we have to pay out to multiple parties, so it’s worth twice as much to us).  I like the plan. 
It turns the Penalty into Opportunity.  This is a concession from my wife.  She expects them to get along, but now she’s willing to pay for it.

I don’t know if you’ve ever used behavioral tactics designed for children on adults who work for you, but I have.  We used to do this thing
with the kids:  if one of them misbehaved, we’d calmly say, “That’s one.”  If they did something else, we’d say, “That’s two.”  If they got to
three, they went into time-out. The actions didn’t have to be related to each other, and they didn’t have to be of the same severity.  If they got to one or two and reeled it in for awhile, say an hour or so, they would get to start over.  It was something my wife read about in a book.

A driver who worked for me came stormed into my office one day, ranting about something meaningless.  He was visibly angry.  I expected him to start stomping his feet at any moment.  I engaged him, briefly, then stopped and said, calmly, “That’s one.”

He yelled more incoherencies, so I said, “That’s two.  If I get to three, you’re fired.”

I really did not expect him to pull it together at that point.  This guy had a short fuse, and I could tell by the changing shades of red that he really wanted to say something more, but he kept his mouth shut and walked out.

It worked.  And he hadn’t even been clued in to the program at the family meeting.

Have a safe and profitable week.
Nick Kemper


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