I feel like something we have had to work on repeatedly with Grant is following directions the first time and not arguing or complaining. I go between trying to figure out what is normal kid stuff and what is definitely not ok. I even remember a time a few years back when Grant asked me if he would get his way if he just kept asking. I held in a laugh and responded, "no," but I still sometimes wonder if that's what he's hoping for.
Lots of days and times are really easy and Grant will do what he's supposed to with no complaints, but there are other times that it's not so good. Take for example Grant wanting to wear his basketball jersey to school without a shirt underneath when it's 20 degrees outside. If it was nice, it would be no big deal, but when it's freezing, that's just not happening. Brian and I don't budge, but it's in instances like this that Grant will whine and complain and it drives me crazy, before he ultimately ends up following directions. Sigh....
So, we decided to try a marble jar at home. He get's twenty marbles, each worth a dine, totaling his allowance of $2. He follows directions the first time without arguing and keeps his marbles in, he doesn't listen the first time or argues/complains, he loses a marble. Any marbles he's lost can be earned back by following directions the first time again. At the end of the week if he has all his marbles in his jar he gets an extra $1 of allowance.
We started last week and it's going well. He's really responding to getting to put marbles back in or keep them in there, and it's helping me to praise his positive behavior too. It's also shutting down any arguments or complaining because I simply respond by saying, "You did not listen, go move a marble," or "You are complaining, go move a marble." I know this isn't something that will work forever, but I hope it can help train him into becoming a better listener the first time. Trying to figure everything out is not easy, that's for sure!