Monday, 5 May 2014

Reading: To Bribe or Not To Bribe?

Tiger is sooooo into Cars from Pixar.
Every time we are at the toy section of any mall, he will be at
the Cars alley drooling over the selection of mini cars.
OMG, freaking expensive!!!!
They cost around 39 to 59 for a car the size of my forefinger.
FYI, my fingers are stubby.

He has 4 so far, so, those are already worth roughly rm 160:
Tokyo Mater (redeem with ToyRus Star Points)
Francesco Bernoulli (Jusco voucher)
Max Schnell (Parkson voucher)
Jeff Corvette (Parkson voucher)
Total spent: rm 0
Hehe!
You can probably tell I am cheapskate from here.

He knows the names of ALL the characters, which is scary
because we didn't watch the cartoon.
Simply shows how much time he had spent on Youtube,
watching merchandise propaganda.

After each purchase, I would say to him, "Okay, that's your last car."
But then smart aleck Papa would promise him another.
And I hate lying to kids.
Words are not taken lightly and promises are to be kept.
Hence, the four cars laaaa....
Argghh....

He goes every where with them, bathroom, bed, school...
So, in order to make it a win-win situation, 
(you know how much I love my win-wins)
I came up with this idea.

I wrote down all the characters name on stick-its.
Then, I gave him all his Peter and Jane books, from 5B onwards.
And we did this.
One ticket on the back cover of each book.

The first note was something like this:

Congratulations, Tiger

You have now completed Peter & Jane, Book 5B.

You can now redeem your Lightning Mcqueen from Papa!


Mama ran out of vouchers, so go get from papa, ya?

I was too lazy to write long notes,
and the rest were just like this: Finn Mcmissile.
You get the idea.

Before going to bed :)
The books are in his treasure box, usually reserved
for his most treasured possessions, like race cars.
Sorted into blue and orange piles, of course.

He was so excited at the prospect of 'earning' his cars,
he was grinning like a cat.
I think, in his mind, he was already holding his cars :)

We are consistently reading 6 pages every night.
I wanted to do more but Grandma started complaining 
that I was torturing his grandson.
Tiger defended me by saying, "Mama, don't stop.
I want to PLAY some more!"
I want to collect my ticket!
Of course, being a almost four year old,
he would monkey around, lose focus, or
ask his Grandma to keep-quiet-I-am-reading.
I just draw his attention back by saying,
"You want your car or you just want Mcqueen's tyre?"
Snap, full attention.
Like magic!
I used to promise him a car if he completes a book,
but words are just words.
By writing it down and putting it on the back cover,
it is so much more promising.
It becomes a tempting, solid treat that is just within reach but not quite.

I know it is still a bribe.
I argued with my bipolar conscience before giving it a green light.
 We, (meaning my mind and I) shall call it  motivation/reward instead.

What??? Really one, if you think about it...
Best student = award
First class honours = waived fees
Best employee =promotion, huge bonus and pay rise
Life is filled with rewards and awards and bribes.
You can think I am rewarding unnecessarily but I am going to buy him the cars
anyway, why not make him work for them instead of just giving?

 He tried to cheat by asking for Book 12A.
I just said casually, "Can if you can read it."
He took a look at one page and said, "Ohhh, I cannot read this..."
"...yet. When you go slowly from Book 1 to 12, you will eventually be able to read it"
He smiled and said okay.
I feel it teaches him determination, grit and diligence too.
But that's just me.

Oh, and he thinks it is a game because at the end of each session,
I will always ask him some simple questions.
How many rabbits?
How many fish?
Rabbits more than fish?
What kind of shop is this?
Who is carrying the bag of sweets?
Do you want some sweets? 
Here, try it, hmmm, blackcurrant, can I have a cinnamon sweet?

Happy reading!

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