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May 13, 2009

Don't give away the ice cream

In our quest to become better/decent parents, Garry and I have explored many strategies for raising and disciplining our kids. While no philosophy seems fool-proof, some methods resonate more with our family than others. Occasionally, there are also nuggets of wisdom that stick in my brain. One of these, from Love and Logic, is "Don't give away the ice cream."

This bit of advice means that while it's important to do fun things as a family, those fun things can be great opportunities to reward children for success. I think lots of times our kids feel a sense of entitlement for what I consider luxuries -- entertainment, recreation, and dessert. Don't get me wrong; I love all of those things and enjoy partaking of them myself. But I like to attach meaning to the fun, as well. Last night presented a perfect example.

Zachary has been a super star at school lately. Maybe this wouldn't mean so much to us if it weren't for his serious struggles earlier in the year. But after a particularly gratifying, exciting meeting with a group of teachers at his school yesterday, Garry and I are so excited about the progress Zachary has made in such a short period of time, and for the bright future that seems to be in store. We are so grateful for his skills and talents, but also for the scholastic environment that is allowing him to flourish. We're also thrilled that the same environment will nurture Tyler next year.

So after praising our boys up and down during dinner last night, we busted out the ice cream. It was plain old [low-fat] vanilla, but we also scrounged up every conceivable topping in the house. Given my current sweet tooth, the scrounging effort was rather fruitful, making the boys' ice cream sundaes marvelous to behold.




Seeing the boys' sugary concoctions made me a little ill, but their beaming faces made up for it!


Gavin had no idea what was going on, but he enjoyed his little taste -- a lot!

In other school news, Zach had a fun computer lab show-and-tell yesterday.
And today, he "dressed up" as one of his favorite book characters: Jack from The Magic Tree House series. See his backpack, notebook, pencil, and glasses? Quite the costume, eh?




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