Kent recently claimed on social media to have finished reading Carrots and Sticks by Ian Ayers. Four hundred books purchased by Kent stood on their shelves in this house and collectively sobbed, “Why not me, Kent? I’m just as good as that book, yet you caressed me but once, read the blurb on my book jacket, then left me to molder on the shelf for time and all eternity!”
I don’t know why Carrots and Sticks was the lucky winner, but apparently it was a pretty good read. Kent summarized it thusly: “Adults respond better to sticks, and children respond better to carrots. The carrot that children will work the hardest for is their parents’ approval.” Powerful words.
In my own parenting, I don’t discriminate between carrots and sticks. I find the foot-long, non-organic carrots Monsanto churns out are as serviceable a child-thwacker as many a fine stick. And can later be used in soups. Also, I’m offering a $1m reward as incentive to anyone who can get my children to eat a carrot. And yes, I’ve already tried offering them a carrot as a reward for eating a carrot, but it didn’t work.
That’s so meta! (See other post from today.)
Now that the boys are substantially potty trained!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m looking into all sorts of other parenting issues that I loudly and deliberate deferred until after potty training was established like picky eating, iPad addiction, morning whining, and all sorts of garbage.
I do want to introduce my boys to the wonders of our 10 point reward system with Fluffy. Currently, for any act of awesomeness, she gets a point. When she accumulates 10, she gets to choose a reward like a late bedtime or a treat. Sometimes we’ll take 20 points for a parent date or a toy. This game-ification system has worked marvels in our home. If you really want to turn it into a carnival, here’s a more elaborate scheme from this article. I think we can all agree that bowling should be 15,000 tickets, though, right?
Go to school nicely – 3 tickets
Make my bed – 1 ticket
Put breakfast dishes in the sink – 1 ticket
Pick up toys before bed – 3 tickets
Go to bed nicely – 1 ticket
Feed the cat – 1 ticket
Help mommy with laundry – 3 tickets
Get to read an extra book – 5 tickets
Go to the library – 10 tickets
Pick what to eat for dinner – 10 tickets
Get a movie – 10 tickets
Play a game with mom or dad – 10 tickets
Rent a video game – 20 tickets
1 Hour of computer time – 25 tickets
Pick and make a snack with mommy – 25 tickets
Go to the dollar movie – 30 tickets
Stay up one hour late – 35 tickets
Get ice cream – 35 tickets
Go bowling – 100 tickets