pavlov salivates


They say testosterone peaks twice in both males and females: at age 3 and age 13. Don’t we all know it.

As such, we’re instituting a Good Behavior Board (a la Kazdin and others) where our li’l Lulubeans will earn her way to organic fruit-sweetened lollipops via these positive behaviors:


From top to bottom, they are: taking a good nap/quiet time, bathing without filling the toilet full of Mommy’s conditioner, brushing hair without wailing about life’s injustices, brushing teeth without running outside to make sure lemons are still on the trees, sleeping all night without coming into our bedroom telling us “I’m not scared, but the bed is”, and finally, Just Being Totally Awesome.

A tall order, sure, but have you ever had those organic lollipops? They’re so much better than Tootsie Pops. Why was everyone so eager to fill us full of corn syrup and Polysorbate 60 in the late seventies?

0 thoughts on “pavlov salivates

  1. GFWD

    We’re trying to potty train a 2 year old. We bribe him with temporary tattoos and, if he doesn’t go poopie in his big boy pants, we promise he can stay up later.

  2. Matt

    Organic fruit-sweetened lollies? If they’re so great why didn’t they make The List: Jelly Bellies, Sour Gummies, SweetTarts, Jolly Ranchers, etc.

  3. Jason Savage

    sorry to regress, but re: the previous post i would say Arrested Development 1st Season and I definitely second the 30 Rock call.

  4. Anne

    Good ol’ behavior modification!
    You’ll be doing the same stuff when she’s a teen, only it involves car privileges and curfews rather than lollipops. :-)

  5. kent williams

    When you work in a big hospital you see unusual things. I saw a kid yesterday (who looked like he was undergoing chemotherapy) who had covered his entire face, head and neck with temporary tatoos. If they were an incentive for good behavior, he must be an angel — a crazy, bald angel.
    The organic pops may have fewer synthetic chemicals in them, but it should be said that the process of making candy involves heating the ingredients beyond the boiling point of water. This breaks down all complex carbohydrates into simple sugars, and destroys most vitamins and other nutricious compounds.
    No one claims they’re nutricious, but I doubt that in the grand scheme of things they’re better for you than Tootsie Pops. Plus the damage to tooth enamel from the raised PH in the mouth is identical.

  6. wes207

    When my first child was about three, I remember telling my dad, a pediatrician, that it seemed like everything I did to encourage good behavior involved bribing him. My dad said “How else would you ever get him to do anything?” which made me feel very justified and I have been bribing my children ever since — with great results!

  7. Sean

    I gotta tell you, the 19 month old Barnaby and I had a hell of a day yesterday. I keep thinking that it’ll get easier when he and I can fully understand each other, but then I remember that he can basically understand everything I say, he’s just choosing to do his own thing.
    He did have a good conversation with his mom yesterday when he divided the world into those who pee in a diaper and those who pee in a toilet. Among the latter was “Lulu. Ee. Tetet. Laula. Momma. Amma. Amma La. Joe!” and in the former it was just “Bar-by” his name for himself.
    I really didn’t mean to name my son Barbie.

  8. Anne

    Wes207: That’s not bribing; that’s “conditioning”. :-) Positive reinforcement: Very scientific. No parental guilt. We did it with lab rats and food pellets, in Psych 1 back in college.

  9. mom

    I’m sure I did my share of bribing. But NOT about toilet training. I’m horribly lazy, and potty training just felt like too much work. So all five of mine had to toilet train themselves. They came to me saying (at somewhere between 2 and 3) “I don’t want to wear diapers.” and I said, “OK, here’s the deal….”
    They all toilet trained in about 24 hours. Without lollipops.
    I know it doesn’t work for everyone… some people hate changing diapers, and do the “training” bit. I didn’t mind it, so I waited for the kids to hate the diapers, and it was as easy as that.
    By the way… isn’t that “Bar-by” in the toothbrush picture? Can’t miss that red hair.

  10. Bean

    Wonder if you have the same lollis we have — my Lucy’s favorite flavor is pomegranate. Hope you’re Lulu* is less stubborn than mine. Mine seems to respond to all our various efforts (including bribes!) for about a day and then the novelty wears off. As a result, her hair is now styled in a very neat, very cute, and much easier to brush bob. Good luck to all three of you! ;)
    *It’s obviously a “Lucy” thing, but it still seems odd to me that everyone I “know” with a Lucy uses the same nicknames — all the bug and bean variations included!!

  11. kazoo

    well, seeing as i don’t have kids yet, i can only relate in that i bribe all of the “resources” with whom i work…never above showing up to meetings with cupcakes or treats at 4pm, there’s a reason i’m a successful project manager, and i fully admit it’s mostly because i know how to convince people to do things. keep up the good work, ian and tessa!

  12. kjf

    every time i think you have posted the most adorable photo of your little lulu you find an even cuter one. that photo of her in the pink sweater is absolutely darling. what a sweetie.

  13. Ian

    Bean, your Lucy looks like that stunning Lucy from the “Chronicles of Narnia” movies! And yes, there’s a club for our nicknames…
    Mom, the toilet training was the same with us. She announced she wasn’t wearing diapers anymore.
    Kent, the difference between these and Tootsie Pops is that these don’t give you those PH sores in your mouth when you’re done. At least not for me.

  14. janet

    we can become so domesticated by “society” the trick is to see that !! you do see that and that is why you are great parents………ah …..that is why we connected…amongst all the shitty stuff
    yeah ………..that makes sense

  15. jje

    Three is killing me. Killing me.
    Why did I ever think the newborn stage was hard because it’s been cake the second time around compared to reasoning with a very independent and defiant three year old at bedtime.

  16. Susan

    3? 4 is killing us! We do have a boy so maybe that is why? The defiance is unbelievable and the mouth….oh the mouth. What sass that kid has! We have the Kazdin book too among many others. We also really love the Yummy Earth lollipops…are those the ones you tried? So good! We are a no artificial flavoring, preservative, colors and no high fructose corn syrup household…helps immensely with the hyperactivity. The positive reinforcement is hard sometimes but it does work!


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