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Si Podemos!

Simon is turning into quite the little helper. Matt and I try to encourage this as much as possible, and our weapon of choice is positive reinforcement:

Great job putting all the pillows back on the bed, Simon.

“I like it when you put your toys away, Simon. It helps me keep the house neat, and I appreciate it.

“Thanks for being such a good helper, Simon.

“Simon, when you play so well with a friend and share, you are a great host. Being a good host makes you a good friend, and that makes Mommy and Daddy very proud of you.”

I’m sure it sounds nauseating to outsiders, but as much as possible we try to catch Simon being good and praise him for it. Much as with the negative side of discipline, he’s mirroring it back to us with hilarious results.

Like today, when he needed some mommy time (I’ve been getting ready for Passover), and I needed to change the sheets on the bed. I decided to enlist his support, as I have in the past. He helps me sort laundry in the bedroom these days, too. Anyway, he clearly understood the gravity of the situation, as he took one look at our rumpled bed and declared, “Mommy, your bed is a mess!” His “job” was to take the sheets that I handed to him and put them in the hamper, to “help” me put the sheets on the bed, and to put the pillows and throw back on the bed when we were almost finished. Throughout this adventure, he praised me so much I could barely get a word in edge-wise to praise him.

Great job taking that sheet off, Mommy.

“Great job putting that sheet on, Mommy.

“Ooooh, Mommy, that blanket is so heavy. You are doing a great, pretty job.

“Thank you for being such a good helper, Mommy.”

And then my absolute favorite, taken from the Spanish language commercials for Bob the Builder (theme song, “Can we build it? Yes, we can!”): and applied to our domestic projects:

Si podemos!!!!

Come to find out, this positive reinforcement thing works both ways. By the end of our session, I was feeling great, was eager to change the sheets on his bed, and was reluctant to hand him over to his daddy so I could do more Passover prep.

One Response to “Si Podemos!”

  1. blg says:

    Simon is one smart little guy.

    Seriously, though, I am impressed by how consistently you link consequences to his good actions: helps keept he house neat, makes us proud of you….

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