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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Toddler Bribery

Helping to socially develop Bubs 1 has been challenging at times. Other times, it's clicked like clock work. For example, his mom and I are helping him learn how to sit at the dinner table - and stay in his seat. We know that a typical three-year-old doesn't have the ability to stay stationary for too long on his own, so we bribe him. Bribery is such a negative term, so let's say "reward" instead. Bribery, I mean a reward system, starts early and never ends. Quid pro quo.

During dinner, we've instituted the "five-minute-(inject reward here)" game. Over the past couple of evenings, we have been bribing (uh uhm, rewarding) Bubs 1 with these little, bite-sized fruit snacks. The Bubs normally requests the "purpool one pwease." By using a timer that offers the time remaining in red, the bubs can simply visualize (and begin to internalize) how long five minutes lasts (a very long time for a 3-year-old). In order to claim his fruit snack, Bubs 1 has to stay in his seat for the full five-minutes - and he does. He is an involved player, because he likes the reward. Sometimes he forgets (since he's only three) and climbs down from his chair until we remind him that he'll lose his reward. This reminder gets him quickly scrambling to get back into his seat.

Today, it's "purpool" fruit snacks. Tomorrow, it's going to be the keys to the car.

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