We were playing a bit of basketball this afternoon, in the back yard with our coach, Gary Washington. We hadn’t seen Gary in awhile and the boys were less than thrilled about shooting a few hoops! Funny and engaging as Gary can be, it was rough getting the boys to agree to play!
So I started out with,”No TV, if you don’t play!” Then I remembered my psychology and moved away from a punishment model, toward a reward model instead.
Jarvie got out there and started dribbling the ball with a style I’d never seen before. It was so exciting. Gary showed him how to fake left, dribble right and then pogo stick in the air for the shot. My little guy was doing something that really looked like basketball. I was jazzed! Gary really inspired him. But with all the dribbling there were less baskets.
I knew I had to go with a low bar to get Giles involved. So I suggested that if they shot 10 baskets they could have TV, once the lesson was over. If they shot 15 baskets they could have TV and a snack. If they shot 20 baskets, Jarvie suggested they could have a piece of candy too. I agreed.
In the end both boys made 20 shots. Jarvie did his before Gary left and Giles worked after class to get all of his done. And he popped them in one, two, three, badabing, badabang, badaboom! Before we came inside, Jarvie suggested they could have a second piece of candy if they shot 30 baskets!
A bit later, as we were eating candy, Giles said, “if I go out and shoot one more basket, then I can have another piece of candy!”
Jarvie, replied “No it’s not 1 more for a piece of candy. It’s 10 more. I already ESTABLISHED that you need 30 shots for 2 pieces of candy.”
Heck, I was impressed with their performance on the basketball court, but I nearly fell off my chair when I heard my 5 year old use the word establish in a sentence correctly! All in all it was a good afternoon!
Lisa J Lafave, PhD, MBA, ACC
The Surrogacy Rocks Coach
CEO & Founder of Coaching Rocks, LLC
A Single Mom By Choice Raising Surrogacy Twin Boys
Written in My Little a Brick in University Heights, Ohio