Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Big Carrot

We have found that one of the secrets of parenting is to figure out what motivates the children. Historically, Noah is more motivated by the carrot and Lily by the stick. In other words, Noah will behave with the promise of a reward and Lily will behave to avoid punishment. However, Lily surprised us last night.

We are in the process of painting our downstairs bathroom. For some reason, Lily is really into painting walls with a roller. She didn’t get to do it last week because her behavior sent her to her room on the nights I painted. But last night she was syrupy-sweet throughout dinnertime. In fact, I had to correct her on something and she didn’t flip out. That was a happy surprise indeed.

We painted and she actually did a pretty good job. She probably saved me a good 20-30 minutes of work. As a bonus, she was able to do the low stuff so I didn’t have to get down on the floor! The room looks pretty good, though I still need to paint the trim. I’m not very excited about that, but it needs to happen. She won’t be much help with painting trim, but I do think I will give her a job when it comes time to paint the cabinets. I think she will be able to paint the doors. 

It’s nice that she is a legitimate helper with a household task that I don’t hate, but I don’t particularly enjoy either. We will see how long this lasts as a good carrot for her.