Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Bribery

Thanks to everyone who had helpful suggestions about dealing with my son's... lack of enthusiasm for his academic endeavors. You've given me a few ideas which I will implement as needed.

However, this morning, ZBoy unwittingly handed me the ultimate bribe.

We were driving to Whataburger to grab a BOB before school and were listening to the radio, when an ad for "Walking with the Dinosaurs" came on.

He rather wistfully gazed at the radio, then said, "I'd really like to go see that, Mom. It's supposed to be amazing!"

"But, hon... remember when the dinosaur exhibit came to the Mary Brogan Museum? You wouldn't even go in the room with them!"

"Yeah, but I was FOUR!"

We dropped it after that, but I tucked it into the back of my mind. We had our breakfast and over breakfast, talked about these academic issues he's having. I explained to him that doing well in his studies and in his behavior would make him a powerful person now and as an adult. Being the rabid Star Wars fan, he could relate to the idea of personal power. We shall see how he interprets this bit of advice.

After dropping him at school, I headed for work. Mid-morning, an email popped up from our United Way fund drive coordinator. She is a marvelously inventive person and has devised several ways to motivate people to donate.

I have never donated to United Way before. I have a bit of an issue with my workplace dictating my charitable giving. But this year I caved. Why? you may ask.

One of the "incentives to give" is a raffle this Friday for tickets to "Walking with the Dinosaurs"! First draw gets 4 tickets, second draw is 2 tickets.

The tickets have been donated to the station, in addition to a block that we can sell for fundraising purposes of our own. I don't actually know how much they cost, but I can tell you that there is no way I'd be able to afford taking my kid to that if I had to pay for it myself. So I made my UW donation to get my name in the raffle and designated Refuge House (for battered women and children) as the recipient of my donation.

I think that if he can get through next week and the week after without getting any points off for behavior infractions and doing all the work he gets to the best of his ability, dinosaurs could be a powerful bribe.

And if not, I know a few people who would LOVE to go.

5 comments:

m (the misanthrope) said...

Sayre, I wanted to comment yesterday but didn't get to. It sounds like you got some good advice from the other moms. I know that my parents' logic re. school, chores etc. was that in the real world, people have to do a job in order to earn their salary. They said that school and chores were my "job" and if I did that job, I would "earn" my allowance, or an excursion I wanted to go on...it didn't always eliminate my whining, but I did see the logic. So I don't see it as bribing so much, as preparation for adulthood and the working world. Just my opinion :-)

I also know exactly how you feel about feeling "stuck" professionally because you don't have a degree. I do have my Bachelor's degree, but I am similarly stuck because realistically, I don't think I'll get much further without a Master's or Ph.D. And I am simply not in a position where I can afford to go back to school. *sigh*

karisma said...

You said it yourself! The kid is smart! I also was just like him (hiding books under the desk) I can't tell you how many times I got whacked in the head because I was not focusing! Sayre Im 39 and I STILL cannot focus unless I have something in my hands, be it a book or some sort of craft while I listen or watch! I swear, last time I took my kids to library lesson and she rambled on, I lost focus after about 5 mins. I swore I would not subject my kids to it again!

Leave the kid be! He will be fine! Support him, don't knock him! Sort out the stupid teachers!

Ari_1965 said...

I must admit that I thought the "running in the halls" notation on his report card was rather petty. What red-blooded kid doesn't run in the halls once in a while?

That dinosaur show sounds interesting. I hope you win a block of tickets.

MommyWizdom said...

Sayre, I came over for Fun Monday and saw your posts about your son. I read this amazing book that I think might help you "get through" to your brilliant son. It may be out of print, but you can get it used from Amazon or a used book store. I was amazed when I read it.

Funny, I said the same thing to my daughter today (she's almost four), that in order to survive in this world, she needs to behave and listen to her teachers. I didn't tell her that to knock her but to make her understand that there are expectations. It's important that they know that.

Your son is smart enough to know that, but he's clearly bored. You need to find an outlet for him, outside of school. A rocket club, a chess team (you know what I mean - something that he'll look forward to when in school). Something in which he can flex his brain muscles so he can survive school. Read this book, trust me; it will help you help him!

And as far as the Dinosaur thing goes, WOW! I would love to go see that too! I hope you win!!

Good luck with him. Let me know what you think of the book.

Jennifer said...

hehehehe, you don't know how pleased I was to read that my evil plotting has got you to be a United Way giver (insert evil cackle- for the good of society- here). Which is why I'm making sure you go. It's nice that I have a blog to prove that my evil schemes sometimes work :)