Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Some Great Reward

That was the title of an old Depeche Mode album. (please no comments on the fact that I use the term ALBUM. DO we call them albums anymore, or is it just cds? or tracks? I'm so not urbanly hip and modernly cool.)

anyways.. I was thinking about rewards today. if we're LUCKY, we find rewards in our every day lives... not just when we reach the point of exhaustion or perfection. (yes, exhaustion happens before perfection in my house. usually exhaustion BEGETS perfection, cause I get so damn tired of trying to make things better so I just end up decreeing something 'perfect'.)

In parenthood, however.. I notice that I tend to fall under the category of OVERLY rewarding. Danny made a poopy?? "YEAH! HIGH FIVE!! good job, Moo-Moo!!!!"

no.. he didn't go in the potty or anything. just pushed out some waste from his bowels into his diaper. and most likely got it all up in and around his walnut, too. But here I am, cheering like he completed a marathon.

Rhena has essentially been potty trained for 8-10 months now. yet.. when she poops or pees by herself.. there I am... throwing out my 'good jobs' and booty shaking in my own mini-party.

I must really like poop?

I've read articles that promote this kind of parenting.. talking about fostering a positive environment for the kids. making every day activities fun and challenging, making the children proud of their accomplishments, big and small.

of COURSE there's the plethora of articles that discuss the DANGERS!!! of cheering on your child. Creates a competitive child that is only eager to please you and authoritative figures. makes the child believe they must be rewarded for everything they do.

I can for sure see both sides of this coin... but yet I still favor the rewards side. maybe it's because *I* find rewards in all things I do.. big and small.. (yes.. I even get happy after *I* have a big poop... I've had the scale go down 8/10ths of a pound after a poop once. talk about rewarding when you're trying to lose weight!!)

but seriously. I do find rewards in every day situations. most are, naturally, some type of intrinsic reward. (not saying I wouldn't mind a bonus or a big ribbon every now and then)

Danny is clearly too young to understand the difference from intrinsic and tangible rewards. Rhena, I think, is now getting to an age that she understands that making someone happy or doing something nice can make her feel just as good as eating M&Ms. We still use a lot of props, though. stickers, glow sticks, a special dinner or dessert.. dollar store crap.. you get the idea.

I'd LIKE to think that this is helping to set the stage for her to have a thorough understanding of actions/choices and consequences... but I still wonder. are our parenting methods, when combined with our world's incessant need for gratification and collection of material objects (not to mention our group-think society where everyone must be a winner, even if it means they don't keep score in sports) well... is this setting rhena up to be selfish? or a doormat? or worse.. unhappy and incomplete in her quest for perfection.


today's inspiration? still up for grabs! inspiration strikes at random times, so I'm keeping my eyes and ears open. feel free to provide me with something!


Anonymous said...

Today's inspiration? I say the poop moved you.

You inspire ME daily. MUCH LOVE!!! XOXOXOX

Christi said...

You're so much better than me. TJ needs SO much attention, and he's CONSTANTLY doing whatever it takes to get it. Soooo, I find myself going, "Oh really? Alright!" all day long. I have no idea what he's talking about 97% of the time, but I'm sure it's great...