the cat

I had been working so hard with you on cleaning up your responses and your attitude towards your Dad and I.

I tried the "rewind" tactic, pausing to give you an example of a better way to say what you'd just spoken disrespectfully, and then allowing you the chance to correct yourself. I was hoping practice would become habit, until I learned that you were not going to budge.

I tried immediate consequence. First sending you to your room for a time out (ha-ha) where you would just find something more fun to do and refuse to come out after your time was up.

I moved on to taking away whatever you were playing with and not returning it for the rest of the day. To no avail.

FINALLY, a stroke of creative ingenious came upon me and I asked what you thought was the best place for a cat to live. You said a house. Then I asked you what the worst place for a cat to live would be. You said a dog pound.
SO, I made all three, a cat, a happy house, and a grumpy dog catcher and asked you to color each for me. We cut them out and taped them to a wall with a long strip of paper with cat spaces marked on it.

And here are the rules:
If you respond appropriately when we talk to you then the cat moves closer to the house. If you trash talk, have a bad attitude, or do not obey then the cat moves backwards toward Mr. Grumpy with the cat catching net.
If that cat is near the happy house then all appointed media time resumes as usual. If the cat is nearer to the cat catcher then all media time is OFF!

And THIS has been the one thing that has worked the miracle of motivating you to become the sweetest, most compliant, adorable, well spoken, optimistic young man I have ever met.

Your cat LIVES by the happy house. We're going on day eight.
We'll see how long this lasts. :)