Tuesday, November 12, 2013

On Teeth-brushing...Again

I get asked often enough about how we get the kids to do things like brushing their teeth or picking up without rewards or bribes. I've written about it before from other viewpoints. Today I want to distill the idea down to pleasure.

Whatever it is you'd like the kids to do, you have to do all you can to make it a pleasurable experience. No one wants to do things they associate with being unpleasant. The act itself has to be the pleasure, not a reward afterward, because a reward shifts the focus to the wrong place. Unless, of course the reward is the direct result of the act, like picking up so you can roll around on the floor or something.

Some things which work well for us- Adding songs or dance. Making a game or race of it. Doing chores in pairs so we can play, talk, and laugh while the chores get done in half the time. Using Magic Mud to brush our teeth.

If you've punished, rewarded, or otherwise forced issues in the past, it will take some patience and baby steps to get past those feelings of unpleasantness associated with things. I've been there. It's not fun. There were many nights teeth just didn't get brushed, but we stuck with this idea and it paid off. No more battles.

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