Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Fast forward

Ryan purchased an app that takes video and replays it at triple the normal speed. It's especially cool for watching seemingly boring, low-key events like the hour we prepare and eat dinner with the kids. Ryan took this one of him playing with the kids.. shows you how they are always moving.

Waiting is the hardest part

Because my kids are human, they are very impatient. When they want things NOW, I often sing the chorus to Tom Petty's song The Waiting so they know that this is such a common part of the human experience that there is a song about it.  We play the song from time to time and they know the chorus. We were playing it recently and they started to dance. About 20 seconds in you get to see what great dancers we have.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The age of reason and external motivation

Someone told me that 7 is the age of reason.  I have observed that Jack seems older all of a sudden. He is reading. He likes to read and reads whenever there is a book around. He has been enjoying the Garfield cartoon books.  The popularity of cat videos on youtube reminds me that people really enjoy funny cats.

He takes his plate to the sink. He rarely has tantrums. He brings his back pack in from the car after school. He loves legos. He is HIGHLY motivated by the promise of screen time. We have started watching a 20 minute bbc show in the evenings called 'Shaun the Sheep.' We all love this show. It is laugh-out-loud funny. So with the promise of the show, the kids clean up, get ready for bed and Jack works on his homework. Alfie Kohn says this is terrible. I am raising children who will only participate with the promise of a reward. They will develop no internal motivation. For many, many years, I tried to develop internal motivation in my kids. They never helped around the house. They were not motivated by their responsibility as part of the family or ephemeral concepts like being kind. They are both motivated by the only things I fervently control - sugar and screen time. They are also motivated (albeit less so) when I tell them if they don't pick up their toys, I'll throw them away. I always follow through but they just don't care that much about most toys.