A week ago, I signed up me and the boys to attend an anti-bullying, hero training program called Heroify Your Life. (I was invited by good friend and amazing hero Scott Dietrich. The speakers were amazing and the topics should be taught in every school every year for all kids.) Initially, the boys were a little bummed by the idea of being talked at all day long on a Saturday. But then… on the day, they behaved so well and were so engaged for the entire day. I was a very proud Mama. At the end of the day as we walked through the mall to find dinner, I offered to reward them with a present!
My younger son said: “You probably shouldn’t do that. If you connect behaving well with a present, I’ll be disappointed next time if you don’t buy me a present.” What a wise 9-year old. I had to backtrack and reframe it… that I wanted them to be happy, that it was separate from my being pleased with their behaviour. He nodded approvingly and happily accepted the gift with the understanding that it isn’t necessarily going to happen again. The older one declined the present I offered but counter-offered with something else that he felt was more age appropriate. Everyone was happy.
Fast forward to a week later. My father was so pleased that I took his health advice seriously, he offered to buy me a big present if I could sustain these habits for 3 months. I was like, my present was the advice, my present will be improved health, I don’t need a present… wait a minute… this all sounds familiar!
The apple does not fall from the tree. I guess parents are not beyond rewarding and bribing our kids… regardless of how old we all are.