Monday, January 02, 2006

Reverse Psychology?

Our everyday eat-your-dinner battle has reached a new level. We've tried just about anything and everything to get Alex to eat his dinner, to the point of giving him a standing ovation for each bite taken, that didn't work and neither did bribery, which is our last resort catch all. Tonight we took it to a new level. I was talking to Mark about positive reinforcement and how that's the thing to do these days. We chuckled about how grateful we'd be to get the opportunity to give him positive reinforcement, but that he actually had to do something positive first. lol I decided that I would dupe him in to some reverse psychology by praising him for taking a bite even when he didn't. So I praise him, he gives me a funny look, but remarkably, he responds and takes a bit. Wooohoooo! We're on to something here. So I can't just take my winnings and leave the table, I have to have more, so in a weak moment when he's on his knees playing in his chair I continue the lying mommy's version of positve reinforcement and tell him how proud I am at how good he's being by staying on his bottom and eating so well. He responds by saying "but momma I was doing this..." and he stands up on his knees to demonstrate his poor behavior. By the end of his demonstration Mark and I are holding our guts laughing out loud. Turns out we're the ones that got duped. The lying mommy's version of positive reinforcement is a crock. I guess that's why I've never actually been given this advice and why it's not published in any child rearing books. One thing the lying mommy's version of positive reinforcement did do was provide a pleasant dinner. When that didn't work, I decided to use it on Mark instead. "Mark, thank you so much for cleaning up after dinner" didn't work too well either. ;)

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