Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Fulfillment Project Takes the Cake (and the Candy)

Day One of Child #2's candy deprivation starts out with me asking him to put on his coat.
And put on his coat and put on his coat.

"Okay, that's the third time I've had to ask you to do something. That's a check mark."

He looked at me and grinned. "I still get half my dessert, right?"

"Yes, but it's only 8:20." He didn't seem to mind. He skipped out the door after his sister. When I picked him up from school his teacher told me he hadn't been "making good decisions" on the playground. Another check mark for poor Child #2. After school he decided to sing at the top of his lungs while his sister was trying to practice piano. He got one chance to stop then another check mark which meant he had to hand over a piece of candy. There was no need for me to storm upstairs. He voluntarily relinquished a recent goodie bag and said, "You choose, mom."

I was a little worried.

Day Two: I asked him to put his shoes on twice. "Don't make me tell you again or it's a check mark," I added. He quickly put them on. There was no after-school chat about bad decisions with his teacher, but on the way home from school I turned my back for a moment and found him peeing on a tree, even though I'd made a point of asking if anyone needed to use the bathroom before we left the school. He got a check mark and then another one we got home for throwing pieces of pirate's booty at his sister. Again, no dessert. "That's okay, mom," he announced after dinner. "I don't like apple pie."

"I'll give you a bite of mine," said Child #1 who hates to see him suffer.

"That's okay," he said. Then he asked to be excused and slowly (and maybe a little bit sadly) climbed the stairs to his room.

Day Three was the charm. Instead of repeating myself multiple times, all I needed to say was, "I've already asked you this once." He listened. He made good choices and he stopped doing all the things I asked him to stop doing. In short, he was a very good little boy. Dessert that night was leftover apple pie. "I don't like apple pie," he reminded us.

"That's what I'm serving," I said.

"Mom," interjected Child #1. "He has worked so hard for dessert. Can't you dig up some chocolate for him?" She was right! Absolutely right, so that's exactly what I did.

5 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Hope this means you're winning the war!

naida said...

awwww....it sounds like the check mark thing is working.

Brianna said...

Great idea! I'll have to remember this when my little girl is a bit older.

Sarah Pearson said...

It sounds like it's working - also, how nice that child 1 looks out for him :-)

Johanna Garth said...

Alex, little by little ;)

Naida, yes I think it is.

Brianna, every little strategy helps.

Sarah, my kids are very close (which always makes me smile).