Every once in awhile (read "seven times a day"), as a parent, I get to the end of my rope and I don't know what else to do. Yesterday it happened with regards to swimming lessons. Generally (you know, based on two days of experience), Sam and Rachel have been pretty cooperative during their lessons. However, they are stubborn kids. (I have no idea where they get that from!)
Sam has been refusing to put his head in the water. On Tuesday he dipped the end of his nose in, but his eyes, let alone his hair -- no way was it getting wet. So I told his teacher I was okay if she "encouraged" him a bit in this endeavor. And then I warned Sam it was going to happen. I also pulled out my most amazing parenting technique and told him, "If your teacher dunks you and you don't complain, you get one ice cream treat from the pool. If you do it on your own, then I'll buy you two." He didn't get two.
And then during her swimming lesson, Rachel refused to put her head in the water to do a back float. So I offered her the same deal. She then complied for about all of .07 seconds, but for that .07 seconds she was rocking the perfect back float. The rest of the time she was clinging to me and crying. It was awesome.
Today I'm hoping to teach the kids that I will also work for ice cream treats. "You want me to read you the same story 473 times? I'll read it once for every treat you buy me." I'm thinking it should work just as well...