Monday, July 19, 2010

Difficult Choices

Hurray!  Both boys have filled their sticker charts!  

We recently reinstated the use of sticker charts with our boys.  It is funny - a sticker on an empty chart at the beginning is far less motivating than when we they get down to the last few spots.  Those stickers are vigorously sought after!  Once they can almost feel that "special toy" in their hot little hands or taste that "special treat" on their tongues, it is amazing how motivated they are to fill up those last few spots!  I have boys asking what they can clean for me and if they can please practice their letters and saying things like, "Did you see how kind I just was to Jack?" and "I sure love you, mom," and "I just brought the mail up for you, mom!"

This time, for their reward, they both decided to pick out a toy at the store.  After choosing something in the acceptable price range, we came home with two small airplanes - one for each boy.  Ben got his immediately, but Mitchell still had one spot to fill, so he had to wait a bit.  By the time he did fill it, he had changed his mind about what he wanted and was certain that he would like an ice cream cone at McDonald's instead.  I tried my hardest to help him understand that once he ate his ice cream cone, there was no going back and he couldn't then change his mind again.  He assured me that he understood and we rode our bikes to McDonald's for his chosen treat.  We had a great time and Mitchell fully enjoyed his ice cream (even voluntarily shared a few bites with Ben!), but as I suspected, the moment we returned home, he said he decided he wanted his plane after all.  I just knew he was going to do this!  I reminded him that we had already talked about this, but he suddenly didn't seem to understand anymore.  It didn't help at all that Ben was very disappointed that his new plane didn't have a "friend" to fly with and was joining in the battle on Mitchell's side, fighting with him for double treats.  I had to stand my ground, of course, but in the end, I think that when Mitchell sees Ben playing with his treat after his treat has long digested, he feels a bit cheated.  Maybe next time I should eliminate the choice for him and just get him a little treat ahead of time and avoid the drama.  

This does make me wonder about Mitchell though.  Does he really not get it and did he really feel cheated, or is he smarter than I give him credit for and was intentionally trying to work me on this?  I really can't tell with Mitchell...

1 comment:

  1. I think it's a matter of cognitive development. He may not fully grasp the either/or situation. As much as the boys do together, they are not thinking the same. :)



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