Ella’s been going to swimming lessons for nearly 6 months and still won’t put her head under water. So I decided it was time for drastic methods: I promised her a lollie if she would put her face in the water in the bath! And she did without much hesitation. She had her lollie and when I checked on her 5 minutes later, she offered to perform the trick again, without even asking for a reward. Unfortunately she forgot to blow bubbles and got water up her nose.
I spent the next 20 or so minutes trying to persuade her to put her head under again. Not once did she say that she didn’t want to do it, though she did mention that she was a bit scared but that she would be brave. However, she kept stalling. We went through the steps umpteen times. Then she’d get a sponge out of the bath and say:
“This is my map. I’ll just check the map to see what I have to do.”
“Err… [studying the sponge]… close my eyes, blow bubbles, close my nose, or leave it open.”
She did this several times with several sponges. She got me to count to 3 several times only to bail out again and check the map or find some other distraction.
When the bathwater was getting way too cold… I promised her another lollie and 30 seconds later I watched her put her face under water again.
I am really not an advocate for edible rewards but in parenting matters, just sometimes the end does justify the means.