Thursday, February 28, 2013

A New App

My son Michael has a character flaw that comes from being half me.  Though brilliant, loving, and awesome in so many ways...he really struggles with letting his attitude be blown by the wind of circumstances.  All it takes sometimes is not being able to play a video game or perhaps playing one and performing poorly and his attitude is in the gutter.  We've done our best to teach him age appropriate responses to his feelings of disappointment and anger.  But he still tends to make a production out of things that most seven year old's have put behind them.  His two biggest outbursts being baby-like whining and full blown toddler-type tantrums.

This past weekend I appealed to two parts of his personality in attempt to curb this behavior; his very logical mind, and his adventurous love for games and points systems.  I took out my iPhone and told him I had this new app.  It was actually the factory installed calculator that comes with the phone, so by new I actually meant we were going to use it in a new way.  I put "100" on the screen and explained that he would start every day with one hundred points.  Every time he did his chores, homework, and daily tasks with a good attitude, he would get ten points added to the total.  When he had slip ups, he would lose ten points.

He was so excited about earning points that he not only kept a good attitude with very minimal slips but he started seeking out opportunities to do things for his mom, his sister, and was volunteering to do all this extra stuff.  He was conversely so horrified at the idea of losing ten points that all it took was me briefly warning him that might happen for him to snap back into shape.  Now every night before bed, he wants me to tell him what his score for the day was and we proudly mark it on his calendar so he can keep track of his best days and highest records.  Who'd a thunk?  It just goes to show, once you figure out how a particular person is motivated and implement or adapt your style to fit into their paradigm just how much they can thrive.  So my new, most favorite app right now is the calculator.

I highly recommend you give it a shot, especially if you have a little boy that loves to earn video game points!