Today, Sarah and I learned another lesson. She came home and finished her homework and wanted to go outside to play. I told her she couldn't because she didn't clean her room or do her chores. She started to protest and I just walked away. An hour or so later, she came to me asking to go over to the neighbors. Towards the end of that hour, she looked out her window and saw her friends all jumping around in the neighbors pool. That apparently lit a fire under her! Before she came to me, she had already cleaned her room. I told her that she knew what had to be done before she could play and in the span of 15 minutes, she had completed her chores and changed into her bathing suit.
Basically, Sarah learned that she could not enjoy the fun things until she took care of her responsibilities.
I learned that even though it aggravates me, I sometimes will have to wait for Sarah to learn her lessons. You see, she was told to clean her room yesterday and missed out on playing because she didn't want to do it. If I had harped on her about instead of walking away, I would be extremely stressed out right now. Instead, I'm happy that she has a clean room and that she was able to go swimming and wear herself out. She's happy that she got to go outside and play even though she had to clean her room and do her chores. I think it's a win-win for today.