Thursday, March 27, 2008

Toothy incentives

So the second of our 7 year old son's two front teeth is ready to come out. Currently, he looks and sounds like a caricature of Bugs Bunny. The problem is that it is getting quite painful to eat. And that is not fun to watch as I discovered at dinner tonight.
"I've had enough. I'll give you $10 if you let me take it out."

7 year-old: "No! It will hurt more."

9 year old: "Why not? Add to that $2 from the tooth fairy and that's $12. Take one from me."

"This isn't about you. Well, it is that or we are going to the dentist."

7 year-old: "No."

9 year-old: "I know. Why don't you take $10 from his money box if he doesn't let you take his tooth out."

"How will that help?"

9-year old: "That means that with the $10 you will give him if he lets you, he makes $22 in total from letting you take his tooth out and that costs you only $10."

"Hmm. Obi-Wan has taught you well. I like that thinking."

7 year-old: "No!!!!!"
Suffice it to say, he was not sufficiently motivated by money to want the threat induced incentive. But I will have to remember my daughter's clever use of incentives the next time I try to bribe her; it is a cost effective plan.