Dear Annie: Adding a reward system
Dear Annie: My wife and I have a perpetual disagreement with each other about cleaning. I tend to be neat and organized. My wife tends to be messy and disorganized. I’m constantly extolling the virtues of organization to her, and she’ll agree and understand, but never implement.
I try to not let her messiness bother me, but it always does. When I arrive home from work, it’s frustrating to walk into a house with dishes piled up in the kitchen, food left out on the countertops, clothes all around the house, etc. I spend my time at home cleaning up after my family.
Please help me understand how I can deal with this domestic dispute. I would like to simply accept this is her disposition, but it continues to frustrate and anger me. — Domestic Dispute
Dear Domestic Dispute: You can teach old dogs new tricks — if you use treats to reward them. The same is true with humans; we all like to be encouraged and rewarded. Sit down with your wife and let her know how frustrated you are by her messiness. Share how the mess impacts you, and come up with a reward system together to encourage her to be more neat and organized. You and your wife should do the same, as a team, with your children. Create a reward system, using dessert or allowance, to incentive your children to clean up after themselves. This may also help your wife by encouraging her to model positive behavior.
Dear Annie: Please remind your readers of the importance of turning off a phone after ending a conversation.
Recently, I gave an interview over the phone to a small local paper. Clearly, the phone was on speaker as I heard a second person, the editor, whom I have met and whose voice I recognized, interjecting and giving suggestions for questions to ask me. I was polite and helpful and told the interviewer I had forwarded additional information by email to help him with the article.
We ended our conversation after a few more questions. As I went to hang up, I heard the editor snickering and making derogatory comments about me and another woman who works in the office.
I hung up quickly because I was not interested in hearing negative comments about myself or the other woman, who is a friend. In retrospect, I wish I had calmly said, “Your phone is still on.”
Please remind readers of the importance of kind words and professional behavior in the office. Careless comments can be hurtful. — Ears Are Still Burning
Dear Ears Still Burning: Thank you for your great reminder about turning off phones. But what was even better about your letter was the reminder that careless comments can be hurtful. Words might not have wings, but they can travel thousands of miles. So, let’s please be mindful of how we speak about each other.
“Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.” — Henry Thomas Buckle