Thinking & Feeling

“The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think.” Horace Walpole

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Very proud mommy moment.

First a confession. I sometimes resort to 'parenting by bribery' although I have been told a better term is 'sensible rewarding system'. ;) How does this work? Well kid needs or wants something - which they would most likely get anyway - but instead of just giving it, you devise a way for them to earn it. Thereby you get something back in return, either they do something for you, or they cooperate or behave or what-have-you for said benefit. Hey don't knock it, it works!

So the boys get pocket money semi-regularly which they can use if we go out etc. This week was the school's Grade 7 fair, where the Grade 7s show their entrepreneurial flair and make stuff to sell at break time for a profit. All the younger kids flock around with their money to bargain and buy whatever is on offer. It's a pretty big deal - especially for Quinn who is a master bargainer. Seriously this child will bargain someone down to cost price, buy something and then sell it for a profit... and to OLDER kids usually. He has a knack!

So anyhow I decided I would give the boys some money to take to school to spend at the fair. But I told them I'd decide how much to give them in the morning after I had seen how well the evening had gone in terms of homework, dinner and bedtime and if they were ready on time and cooperating in the morning.

Come the morning they were ready on time and good as gold. So I checked my purse and I had a R20, a R10 and aR5 coin. Hrm. I had intended to give them R20 each. So I got in the car and explained the situation and I said one would have to get R20, and one would have to get R15 and we were going to have to vote on who we thought deserved the R20... Yeah yeah, I can hear you thinking, 'This is not going to end well', believe me I was thinking the same thing!

So I ask Griffin first and he said he thought HE deserved it, because he had read so beautifully the night before (he did!) etc etc. Fair enough. I agreed that he had a good case. I then put the question to Quinn. Knowing we were about to hit a tie-breaker situation.... He thought and then said, 'Yes, I agree Griffin should get it. Because he really did try hard with his reading and I am proud of him'. Well knock me down with a feather! I totally did not see that coming!

In fact I was so blown away I told him I was extremely proud of him and spoke to Griffin and said I was So proud of Quinn and his display of magnanimous generosity that although he won I think we should give the prize to Quinn for being so (uncharacteristically) unselfish. And blow me down if Griffin didn't agree and say he thinks Quinn was very kind too and deserved the reward for this!

So I gave Quinn the R20 and Griffin the R15 and double checked that he was happy, and he said 'Yes, I think it's fine. I am really proud of Quinn for being so nice'. With that Quinn says, 'When I buy something and get change I am going to come and find you Griffin and I will give you R2'. And off they went to school arm in arm. Awwww!

You won't believe the grin on my face all the way to work after that. That was really heart warming!


  1. Oh Jane! THOSE are the moments when we realise despite all the crap WE are doing ok! We ARE teaching them to be proper!


  2. Jane, that is just so fantastic! Wow! Well done mum!!

  3. scrumptious story.

  4. Wow. Thats so awesome!!!

  5. You are raising some pretty special boys

  6. Your boys are so amazing, you've taught them well Jane, well done. That's such a warm story.