Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Power of Rewards

Steacie Science and Engineering Library at Yor...Image via Wikipedia

Last Sunday, when we wanted to return the library books, one book was missing. It was a Magic Treehouse book that K borrowed. We did the usual "interrogation":
  • When was the last time you read it?
  • Did you read it upstairs or downstairs?
  • Did you read it in the car?
  • Did you leave it at church?
  • Did you take it to school?
  • Is it on your bed?
  • Have you checked under the sofa cushions?
  • What about under the chairs, tv, trampoline etc....
  • Did you loan it to any of your friends?
  • Is it with all our books on the bookshelves?
  • Try to remember where you put it.
  • KokoD1, KokoD2, did you guys take it? Have you seen it?
  • Are you sure you looked properly or not?
Then there was the scolding too:
  • That's why lah, you always leave your things everywhere.
  • Why didn't you just put it back after reading?
  • Why are you sitting down again, keep looking lah!
  • You have to be more responsible.
  • Why didn't you look for it yesterday? Why must you wait until we are leaving the house before you start searching for it?
  • Stop whining and giving excuses. Just look for it.
Let's not forget the threats too:
  • I'm not going to tell the lady at the library the book is lost. You go tell her yourself.
  • If you don't find the book, they are going to ban your library card.
Daddy was very kind NOT to report the lost book that day. He told K that she has 1 week to look for the book. If still cannot be found, then only will he let the library know about it. Unfortunately, kids being kids, this girl of mine don't really appreciate the "life line" that has been thrown to her. There still is no urgency to look for the book. She goes on like it's no big deal. Not much effort given to looking for the book.

It has been quite baffling where that book has gone. I know it is in the house. How come we can't find it? Well, I had an idea. While K was in school, I announced to my 2 boys that I would buy a Cornetto or Slurpee to the person who finds the book. Guess what? THE BOOK WAS FOUND WITHIN 10 MINUTES. Where was it? In my girl's bedroom, on one of the bookshelves, between some of the books.

I then asked KokoD1, "What would you like? The Cornetto or Slurpee?"
You know what he said? "Mommy, what is a Cornetto?"
Hahahah, see the power of rewards? He didn't even know what it was. He just knew it was something good and he wanted it.

The moral of this story and Mama's Parenting Tip for today:
Rewards work better than interrogation and threats!
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  1. AiLian, this is a good one. Hilarious and realistic.

  2. a&a'smom31 January, 2010 14:16

    Yeah, really good tip I wld say! Btw, just a tip fr me: I have a library book bag which I take along every 2 weeks when we go to the library. After finishing their books, they r supposed to put the books in the bag so that we can take them bck to the library. This will save time lkooking for the books.

  3. A&A's mom:
    That's what I do too. The problem was when the book didn't make it back to the bag.


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