Saturday, June 9, 2012

June 9: Audrey's Princess Hopscotch Sprinkler

I have been looking for a sprinkler that we can use in our backyard this summer.  We have the "robot sprinkler" but I wanted one that was more like a mat, where Isla could sit and play with the water on low.  Something that could work as a baby pool for Isla and a sprinkler for Audrey, all at the same time.  Audrey had also put in a request for a princes sprinkler.

So last week, we were picking up a couple of things at Walgreens, and Audrey spotted a Disney Princess hopscotch sprinkler.  It was a mat type sprinkler, exactly what I had been looking for.  It was also the last one on the shelf.  At $10, the price seemed reasonable enough, so I thought I would buy it for the girls.

But, then Audrey started to whine and beg and insist that she NEEDED to have this sprinkler.  I was in a bind.  I really wanted to get it, but I did not want to give in to her whining.

So, in a split second decision, I decided to buy the sprinkler with the condition that Audrey would have to earn it.  I'm not sure if this was a good parenting move or not; I probably should have just walked out.  But that's what I decided, so that is what we did.

We came home from the store and made a special sign for the sprinkler, and then we put it away.  We also made a chart.  When she did good things (specifically: no crying or fits, sharing with Isla, being kind to us, and first time listening), then she got a sticker on her chart.  When her chart was full, she would get her hopscotch sprinkler.

We stuck with this plan, and it took her about ten days to fill her chart with stickers. We were a bit generous with the stickers the last day or so, because we really wanted her to get the sprinkler before we left for vacation.  Today, she finally got to play with her hopscotch sprinkler, which she had been talking about constantly for the past ten days.
 After adjusting the water so that it didn't hit her straight in the eyes, she loved the sprinkler and played in it for a long time this afternoon.  We didn't put Isla on it today, but I do think it will be perfect for Isla too.  The water pools up inside each square, and I think she will love to sit and scoot and play and splash in it.

I don't think we will constantly have a sticker/reward system for good behavior going on around here, but it did seem to work fairly well with her in this instance.   I  think it was a good lesson/reminder for Audrey that you can't always get what you want when you want it.  (I think she could probably handle to learn the lesson that sometimes you just don't get what you want at all...we'll keep working on that one).  It was fun to see her get so excited as she watched her stickers grow and then today when she finally earned her reward.  I'm sure ten days seemed like an eternity in three year old time!


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