Mai has gotten to an age where not only is she able to communicate with us better, she has a better grasp on what we are saying. It is wonderful being able to explain to her that she has to eat her dinner before she has an ice cream cone or that if she picks up all her toys we will go play outside. She gets it! She finally gets it,..well sort of. We try to offer praise & encouragement to our daughter as much as possible, from cleaning up her toys, to sharing with a friend, using good manners & for attempting to or learning something new. Every once in a while we offer a little extra incentive in the form of bribery, most notably with Skittles which are a favorite of our daughters.
We have used them as a learning tool in her geography lessons. She calls them her Skittles lessons.
“Where is the Skittle on India?”
She is getting pretty good with her continents & countries. Thanks Skittles!
We also use it as incentive to get her to sit on the potty. Potty training has been a slow going process, but the bribery has worked for us in making it a more desirable process. Today it back fired on me. We woke up this morning & the ritual is that when she wakes we go straight to the potty. This morning she did not want to do it, I will not force her to because I don’t want to put any pressure on her as I know if will happen in time, but I thought a little prize at the end might help.
“Mai Mai, if you sit on the potty for mama, you can have a Skittle.”
“Oooooookaaaay! I want to hold the bag.”
I did not think there was any harm in this. I left her on her potty and quickly grabbed the bag of Skittles. I ripped around the top of the bag to make it smaller & removed all but 3 Skittles. I put the remainder in a baggie for another day & brought her the small bag with the 3 Skittles in it. She looked in the bag & immediately looked up at me.
“I want a purple Skittle.”
Pheew! I knew there was one in the bag so I told her, “There is a purple Skittle in the bag.”
She look in it again. “I want the orange Skittle.”
Uh Oh! No such luck. “Sorry honey, there is no more orange, but look there is purple & red Skittles.”
“I want the green Skittle!”
Oh Geez. “Honey, these are the last Skittles.” (lying)
“I want the green one & the orange & the yellow.”
“That is all we have left.” (More lying)
I want mama’s bag of Skittles.”
“Mommy doesn’t have a bag, only Mai Mai has a bag.” (still lying)
“MOMMY HAS A BIG BAG OF SKITTLES!”
This was an extremely difficult conversation that went back & forth with me trying to explain that we did not have any more Skittles & her insisting that she needed a green, yellow & orange one. I tried to reason calmly with her with no success. I tried distracting her, this only seemed to make her more upset. I tried letting her be & tantrum it out. This did not work either. She simply followed me around & insisted that I produce the other colored Skittles.
It reminded me of a this funny clip that I saw a while ago.
I have to be honest with you. I cannot even remember how it finally ended because it seemed to last forever. Mind you, I could have went and gotten her the other colored Skittles, but I do not want to teach her that. She needs to learn that sometimes in life just like the song says, “You can’t always get what you want.” So maybe she doesn’t totally get it yet, but we will get there & hopefully mommy will get there someday too.