Breaking a Bad Habit

I don’t know if you’ve examined a picture of Bryce lately, but he has a BAD habit of crossing his fingers. Not just crossing normal, but all kind of contorted ways which make his hands look disfigured and retarded.  He has ruined a great many photo with this bad habit. We had tried incessant reminders to get him to stop crossing, bribes, and threats.  I was ready to tape his fingers together like seal flippers just so he would stop.  Then, the Pokemon died, and I had an idea.  I told him I would buy him a pack of Pokemon cards if he would stop crossing his fingers. He would get 3 warnings a day, and after a week of no crossing, he would get the pack…..FAILURE!  So, I had to up the ante, to make it more enticing.  I think I had to go to double or nothing, where I ended up actually spending over $20 for a mega pack (3 separate packs) of Pokemon cards that I kept on the fridge.  After one day of not crossing, he could open the pack and choose one card.  Now, a week or so later, we are up to two cards a day, just for being good. He has conquered the habit. I have only seen him a few times mindlessly squishing his fingers together, but not crossing.  Gus kept telling me he had a bad habit (several, actually) and needed something to earn too.  Bryce has been nice enough to allow him to choose some Pokemon cards each day out of his surplus, as long as he wasn’t especially sassy to me that day. It’s so nice to actually find some form of self-motivation in the kids, even if it involves bribes on my part.  Seems to work much better than threats.

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