Saturday, November 20, 2010


I'm bribing my children.
We have one more BIG sucker from Halloween. (A fun gift from Grandma Jones)
Since Gretchie doesn't really need hers, the kids have been trying to figure out which one of them should get it.
During a stress-filled moment at lunch today, I impulsively offered it up as a prize for the "nicest child" this weekend.
I told them that I will be keeping track and every time I hear them say something nice or do something kind... they get a point. Sunday night, whoever has the most points, gets the sucker. I gave them a few examples, changed the rules a couple times (kind of making this up as I go, you know) and have started keeping tally marks in a secret spot.

Is this a bit forced? Yes.
Would parenting "experts" agree? Probably not.
But is this momma a little desperate at this point? Absolutely.
When you are told that in order to get out of time out, you have to apologize to your little brother and tell him something that you like about him and the answer is, "I can't think of anything I like about him," then something needs to be done.

And right now both kids are sitting beside me on the couch, sharing a little piano book (you follow the colors in the book and can play a little song). They are working together, encouraging each other and BEING KIND!
Honestly, I'm pretty sure the only reason Sophie came and sat by Lawson and started "helping" was in order to get a point. But I'm pretty sure she's forgotten about it now and is enjoying herself.

So right now... at this moment... my plan is working.
Sunday night I may feel differently.


Anonymous said...

you better find another sucker, they both should be winners

Amy said...

Yes... already thought of that. Thank you, Anonymous.

But no... depending on attitudes and choices that might be made, they may not both deserve to be winners. That would be part of the lesson.

flower power momma said...

You are doing just fine!
And I think learning how to handle disappointments (i.e. not always winning)is a good thing to teach our children. Even if it's being disappointed in yourself and your actions.

Anonymous said...

Yikes, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be able to give just one sucker and have the winner flaunt it in his/her sibling's face!

Amy said...

But since the lesson is about being kind and thinking about others... don't you think I would do some pre-teaching about NOT flaunting it in his/her sibling's face?

Chad and Jody said...

We have done that before- have the girls say something nice to each other- something they like about the other one. They end up hugging, and sometimes we have to wait until they can think of something that doesn't have to do with, "I like your hair." You're doing a good job.

Anonymous said...

I think some of the problems of society stem from kids that have not learned to lose- not learned to take resposibility for their actions-knowing someone will give in to them anyway. Some of life's lessons are hard.

Jenny said...

We did a similar thing over the summer. My boys seemed to fight over everything!! They had to get 5circles to complete a caterpillar. Everytime they did something nice they got a circle. The first person to fill out their caterpillar got to do something special with mommy or daddy. It was really hard the first time that one of them didn't get to do the special thing, but eventually they both go to do it....but they each had to earn it. After awhile we didn't need the circles, they got along with eachother (for the most part) really well & it has stayed that way. I think what you are doing is a great idea. Kids have to learn about consequences at some point or another. =)

Frau said...

One of the most memorable "lessons" in sibling kindness I learned as a child involved my mom sitting us down and asking us to imagine life without the other one..."what if you woke up one day and realized he was gone...forever?" I remember both of us crying, hugging and apologizing. Kind of dramatic, but memorable...I think I was about Sophie's age.

Anonymous said...

Frau, I live a life without my only sibling as a result of a car accident, I'm so grateful my parents allowed us to work through our normal sibling stuff on our own(yes, we were occasionally nasty to one another), I had and have the fondest affection and greatest respect for my sibling and thankfully those are my memories, not angry ones or guilty ones remembering missing out on a sucker as a punishement for being a "normal" kid.

Anonymous Mocker said...

Anonymous....who are you? I bet you are some tree hugging, cat lady that has 35 ceramic dolls in your house. I bet they each have a sucker, too. First, you give parenting advice and then tell another how to think. Why do you think we care? She was simply stating what was going on.
Instead of bothering her, why don't you go to Sam's club. I hear they have a sale on big bags of Meow Mix and suckers. If you are going to give advice, at least have the courage and courtesy to reveal yourself.

Courtney said...

amy-great idea. and i'm sure totally appropriate for YOUR kids on that day. maybe you wouldn't do it today (maybe you would). but either way, it was a great choice by their mom at that moment. life's not always fair and there's NOTHING wrong with someone else getting rewarded in front of you! you are a GREAT mom!!!