Monday, October 19, 2009

The Power of Incentives

October is the month of Halloween and so at the beginning of the month we were talking about Halloween costumes with the kids. Two years ago Stephanie and I bought a Harry Potter robe on clearance and it finally fits Rhianna so she decided to go as Hermione. However, she had never read Harry Potter. She has read a number of other fantasy books, but she just never really seemed interested when I would suggest it. I decided that if she was going as Hermione, she should read the book. So I told her that if she finished the book by the end of the month that I would take her on a Daddy Daughter Date. Of course, she finished the book in only a few days. She loved it. She especially loved how smart Hermione was. Also, because she has such a tender hear, she felt bad that Harry's parents were killed. We had a really fun time on our date. Even though the miniature gold course was closed for a private event, we had fun playing games at Chuck E Cheeses and having lunch and then shopping. I really enjoyed talking with her during lunch. A parent at another table even marveled when we were talking about how big a million is. She looked over at us talking about numbers and said: "She is going to be so smart." I think she already is.

When I made this deal with Rhianna, Rand wanted to be included, so I decided to make a challenge for him. Rand has always been very outgoing and fearless about meeting new people and being away from his parents, but ever since we returned from our vacation he has really been having trouble being separated from us. He wouldn't let us leave him with anyone, he couldn't even stand to go to Primary without one of us there. We didn't want to make too big a deal about it because we figured it was just a phase, but it was hard seeing him so sad. So, I decided to challenge him to try to be separated from us 10 times. If he succeeded, then I would take him on a Father son outing. That meant he had to be willing to go to the babysitting at the YMCA while Stephanie exercised, or go to a friend's house while Stephanie helped out at Rhianna's school. He accepted the challenge and tried hard to be brave and get used to going to these places. On Friday he finished the challenge and we had our outing on Saturday. He wanted to do the same things as Rhianna (except for the shopping). We had a great time.

I am so grateful to have such cool kids. Whenever we hang out one on one, it is so fun. I am also glad that they took on my challenges and succeeded.

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