So I was having a difficult time yesterday asking my four year old to do her homework. We got home and she went straight to the television. So I told her that she must finish her homework before any television. She looked at me defiantly and said “no!” Then I commanded, “Do your homework!” for which she replied, I don’t have any crayons.
Now, if that statement were true, I wouldn’t be stepping on crayons all the time. So I told her, to open the drawer and grab her bucket full of crayons. She proceeded to get her crayons and her picture and plop on the bed with the television on. I pitched in for the compromise and said you can keep the tv on but you have to also do your homework. I will be back in 10 minutes to check on you
Really?!?! At four years old, it’s coloring! It’s not calculus or a book report. It’s coloring!!!!! At most it will take 10 minutes.
So I came back to see the homework still not done. So I turned the TV off for which she promptly began to have a tantrum and I explained to her. Do your homework than you can watch tv.
So she defiantly did her homework for which she colored everything brown. Then she ran to me and said, “See I did it!” Seeing that it wasn’t her normal rainbow of colors I asked her, “Do you feel proud of the work you did on your homework?” Then she said, “No!” Then I asked her, “So would you want me to put this up on the fridge and take away that rainbow you drew for me that you are proud of?” Then her eyes started to water and she said, “No!” So I told her to redo her homework into something she would be proud of.
So she began to add more color and drawings. She forgot all about TV and instead took a bath and went to bed.
The moral of this story for me as a parent (unknowingly or unwittingly at the time) was that in everything you do, be proud of the amount of work or effort you put into things. Don’t just see the trees without the forest. I’m hoping this will just be one of many efforts on my daughter’s part to be proud of hard work.