Thanks to the influence of a certain big brother, Veronika has learned to say, “I want [fill-in-the-blank], gimme!” When I then remind her, “Say please, not gimme,” she becomes impish, doubling down on the “gimme”. So I came up with this incentive to guide her back towards the magic word of please!
We have a set of stacking monkeys that the kids love. I told them that every time Veronika says please instead of “gimme”, a monkey gets added to a tower. Travis’s job is to help remind her that “please” is the word to use. Once the monkeys are all in a pyramid, the kids get a reward.
To incentivize Travis a bit more, a monkey also gets added when he does a kind deed for his sister.
I love that this added an element of sibling cooperation to the game. Part of the issue, I realized, is that I taught Veronika to say “please” using sign language. Reminding her of the sign prompted her to start using it, rather than “gimme”.
By the end of the first day, the monkey pyramid was growing. Travis was so proud when he could add one for his good behavior.
After two days, the monkeys had all been stacked – success! The kids decided they wanted hot chocolate from a cafe as a reward, a rare treat. And well earned!