The Daughter Chronicles

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Teaching them quid pro quo at such a young age

Ah, the children. So innocent, so fresh, so full of vim and vigor and unaffected by the darkening cynicism of our age. Well, we need to get that out of them as soon as possible, and Mia is learning. Slowly.

We have been teaching her the principle of quid pro quo. In the morning, when she chows down on Kix, she also has to drink. Drinking is not her thing. Therefore, I have started giving her one nugget of Kix (exactly what is one piece of Kix called, anyway?) and then giving her a cup with juice in it. If she would rather not drink, I explain to her that she cannot have Kix without taking a drink. Usually she understands, or she just gets bored with me talking and decides the drink will be more interesting (I'm inclined toward the latter). So we go back and forth - a nugget, a drink, etc. Occasionally this lesson needs to be reinforced. This morning she didn't want to drink, so I patiently explained it to her again. Then all was well. She usually puts away a entire juice box at breakfast.

She would eat Kix until she exploded. It's practically the only non-sweet thing she will eat unequivocally. Today she said "Kix" quite clearly, so that was nice. New words are always cool.

I enjoy teaching her real-world lessons like, "Nothing's free, man." She must lose that delightful innocence where everyone loves her and gives her things, no strings attached. She must learn, and always remember in the back of her mind: "No Kix until I do something Daddy wants." Then she will be a bitter adult who always looks for ulterior motives. And isn't that what we want?


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