Thursday, January 5, 2012

Honey Is Sweeter Than Vinegar

First Born came down with strep throat this week; the poor kiddo was so sick, that he came home early from school, so, of course, he was spoiled. He played video games, rested, drank tea with honey and lemon, and had Mom doing everything for him. He was living the high life...until...dum, dum, dum....Dad brought home a mountain of school work. 

He seemed to be feeling better, after all, he was chasing Wee One around the living room, and playing hide and seek (with First Born doing ALL of the hiding). I looked over the work and noticed that the word "Independent" had been scrawled across the top of many of the pages. Okay, we can do that. 

Here is how it went:

    Mom: "Okay, First Born, it is time to sit down and do your     
   First Born: "Oookaaayyyy." Sigh.

So, he sat down at the desk that we have conveniently located in the living room. Did he do his work? No, of course not. He twirled in the chair and said "Weeeeeee", much like the little pig in the new Geico commercials.

    Mom: "First Born, stop twirling and get to work."
    First Born: "But is sooo hard!!" 
    Mom: "Let me read the directions to you."
    First Born: "Okay."
    Mom: "Alright, you can do this First Born."

He was off!!  Five minutes ticked by before Wee One decided to use the desk chair as his personal animated walker. "Hehehe," he would say, "Faster, faster!"

    Mom: "First Born! If you don't do your homework, you 
                  won't have video game privileges for 20 years!" 
                 Alright, alright, maybe I said only 2 weeks. 
   First Born: "Oh, fine." Sulk, sulk, sulk. Sad puppy dog 
               eyes. Oh, that didn't work? Ugh. Fine. 

As the day progressed, so did the performance and the aggravation. By the day's end, I thought that I wouldn't have any hair left, and I have little to spare! Thank you genetics. Finally, a genius idea popped into my head...Positive parenting! Why didn't I think of that before?!?! 

Long, long ago, I had printed out reward bucks. I had some for reading, some for chores, and some for homework (find them here). I decided to tell First Born that for each page of homework that he completed, he would earn one buck. Each buck represented 5 minutes of video game time, but he could only redeem them if he displayed a positive attitude, did not procrastinate, and was polite when asking for help. 

Wow!! What a difference!! First Born earned three of those bucks in 15 minutes!! What a miracle!! 

1 comment:

  1. We all seem to forget HOW to positive parent. It's a key to a lot of behaviors.
    I have a site that the children do most of the talking, and "John" tells how his mother does it, and then there is a great link to a great book on the subject.