Thursday, December 13, 2007

the difference between almost 6 and not yet 4 1/2

We have recently implemented a reward system to encourage the boys to stay on task during our nightly hell that difficult stretch in the evenings when a lot needs to happen and their motivation for doing it is nil. Why would they want to change for bed when they can wrestle wildly instead, pretty much guaranteeing that one or both of them will end up injured and in tears because it's late and they're really tired and their coordination and judgment (to the extent that they have any to begin with) are not what they could be?

We see their point, but still.

Now they get a star for everything they need to do--get into pajamas, put their clothing in the washing machine, brush their teeth, etc.--as long as we don't have to ask more than once. When they reach ten stars, they get a mini Kit Kat bar.

I wasn't crazy about rewarding them with candy. It was Stupid Daddy's idea; if he had his way, they'd be force-fed corn syrup and Red #40. Straight. But I couldn't think of anything else that was small and immediate and inexpensive to replace the candy--not until this morning before school, when I observed Ezra reviewing his very meager collection of Pokemon cards.

"What if you guys got Pokemon cards instead of Kit Kats?" I asked him.

"Noooo," he said. "I want Kit Kats."

"The thing about Kit Kats," I said, "is that you eat them and then they're gone. Pokemon cards you can collect, you can trade. You can bring them to the playground to show your friends."

"Yeah!" he said. "I want to do Pokemon cards!"

At that moment, Levi came downstairs, and I told him what Ezra and I had been discussing.

"Noooo," he said. "I want Kit Kats."

"But Levi," Ezra said. "I'm worried you'll be sad, because you eat a Kit Kat and then it's gone."

Levi's eyes grew wide. "YUMMMMMMYYYY!"

1 comment:

sweetisu said...

That's a great idea. I wonder if it will work with a not-quite 2.5 and a not-quite 4.5