Saturday, April 9, 2011

I am not above bribery when it comes to my children

Luke has been going to preschool for three years. Every spring, the school has a fundraiser event where the kids get to sing. The past two years, Luke never made it on stage to sing. One year he was sick and the next, he chickened out right at the time to get on the stage.  It was actually pretty pitiful because he was real excited about it, and hyped up to do it. He even walked up to the stage to line up, but when the time came--he got stage fright.

Since Luke came of the age in which it was time to develp social skills, he has frequently had stage-fright-like expereinces. He gets overwhelmed at big parties or in places that are new to him. This usually ends up in a shut-down where he refuses to participate--often refusing to even go into the room where the party is. This past year, we have really been working on this.  We have been encouraging him and giving him lots of time to talk about it and work through it in his head before the big day. When we can, we show up early, as he always does better if he can acclimate before the crowd gets there. He really has come a long way in this past year.

The past few months Luke's class has been preparing for the school's ArtFest fundraiser. We wanted to help him get prepared to get on stage this year. When we learned from his teachers that Luke was (not surprisingly) not participating in music class and not singing the songs we realized it was time to take action.  Luke's favorite place to go for a treat is TuttiFrutti, a little frozen yogurt shop that is self-serve with tons of yummy toppings.  We went the noble route and decided a little bribe was just what he needed. So we told Luke that if he got on stage at ArtFest and sang that we would take him to TuttiFrutti afterwards. We made him practice at home and let him stand up on tables for a "stage." The most important part is that we withheld any trips to TuttiFrutti for this time. I think it made him want it even more when we decided to go out for ice cream one night and Daddy chose Braum's and said N-O to TuttiFrutti. Did it work? See for yourself. . .

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