Aaron and Victoria have new incentive charts to keep them on track with daily chores and good behavior. There are 8 things they must do during each day, and they can get extra incentives for good behavior items like sharing, using manners, and being helpful. On the morning that I introduced the charts, Aaron was thrilled to know he could earn a smiley face on his chart if I heard him using his manners. Ever the quick study, he was quite prompt in asking, “Mommy, may I please have something to drink?” I applauded the great use of manners and produced juice and a smiley face for his chart.

Victoria, who was having a testy morning, to say the least, quickly shouted, “I want a smiley face!!!” Aaron leaned close to her and advised her to use manners.

She responded in a huff, “I want a smiley face PUHLEEZE.” The magic word was tainted with exhaustion at having to stoop to such a level, so I maintained my gaze into the pantry as I overheard Aaron instructing, “No, Vic! You have to use your manners and ask for something else.”


More whispered instruction from Aaron, “No, Vic!!! Ask for a juice box and use your manners.”

Victoria: “I want a juice box, and I used my manners!”

Not quite, sweetie.

Aaron prompted her this time with the entire correct request. Finally she caved, and sweetly asked, “May I have a juice box…” and then “PUH-LEEEEZE!”

Close enough.