Teach a boy to fish, and you have fed him for a lifetime

View thru the deer netting

This is much more challenging than it sounds.  Before I became a mother, I knew that my child would be excited about the things I’m excited about, and run with my suggestions, learn from my experience, you know?  Well, a week of going to the garden has made it, let’s say, less than exciting to Eeya. So today I pick him up from school, and drive over to the garden – first I have to entice him out of the car with a snack, then he just sits there on a stump, as mama and I begin to install the deer netting (all 7 feet tall of it).  After we’re about half way through the installation, and he’s done no more than throw a few shovel fulls of dirt into a wheelbarrow and whine about missing “Rescue Heroes”, I begin to put my mind to work on motivation.  I decide to try a small experiment in motivation – so I tell him that for every rock he takes out of the garden, I’ll give him a penny (he’s got his eye on a huge Playmobil set) – there are thousands of little rocks, so I have to be conservative in my offer of compensation, but make it enticing enough to motivate him. First he tells me that he just wants to dig, he doesn’t want to look for rocks.  I change my approach.  I tell him to imagine that every little rock in the garden is a penny – would he just leave them sitting there?  or would he pick them up?  I can see his little brain mulling over this, and he soon begins to pick up rocks.  Ok, so he wasn’t exactly the energizer-bunny-on-speed picking up rocks, but he did pick up close to 80 rocks…not bad for a first try.  Maybe jelly beans would be a better motivator.  Anyone have any experience with this? RE: the garden – the deer netting is up, thanks to mama’s hard work mostly, and I turned over the earth in about 1/4 of the garden. Plus, my seeds arrived in the mail today from Johnny’s Selected Seeds! We’ll be on to planting, as soon as we put our door up…


~ by Shelli on April 30, 2010.

3 Responses to “Teach a boy to fish, and you have fed him for a lifetime”

  1. The blog is a great idea Michelle! I can see him mulling over his options. Being a mommy ain’t easy.

    • I hope you noticed that you were featured in one of the early entries, Aunt Susie. Yes, you were there when the first clod of earth was broken up! A truly momentous occasion.

  2. As you have experienced it already, you learn as you go… Life has many lessons. It is up to oneself to figure out the ones which give us the results we expect. It is a slow process but a sure one. You can read a thousand books but your life is unique and you have to figure it out. Good job! keep it up…. Eeya is surrounded by love and one day in the future he will realize what a good life this is!

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