Connection Over Force (Love, Persuasion, Values)

We were at the dinner table with my parents, just finishing up. She was getting tired from late nights and pool time today with a friend. Before dinner, I had asked her when she wanted to do her 30m of reading. She chose to keep watching SpongeBob and do it after dinner only now that time had arrived and she was tired. Tired, but I thought she could do a little, at least, before watching a meaningful video about a girl who endured teasing to go on to become a dancer that my Mom had her excited about watching.

Me – “Ok, Bellina, clear your plate and then start your reading.”

She groaned and slumped on the table, unmotivated from fatigue

Me – “Oh, guess you’re too tired for the video with Nonna. Tomorrow you can see it.”

Her – “Really? You think that’s going to work?”

She paused and looked at me shaking her head

Her – “I know your tricks.”

Indeed, that is one I have used often- let her know that her choice will have a natural consequence, but knowing full well it was just a nudge to compel action Countless times, she has reconsidered and found the motivation for whatever she was stalling doing.

Not tonight.

I laughed.

Me – “Come here.”

Her – “Why? So you can try tricking me?”

Me – “No.”

She came, and I embraced her.

Me – “I love you. Please tell me my trick is going to still work for a while longer.”

She nuzzled in.

Me – “Ok, clear your plate and start reading. Compromise. Just do fifteen minutes.”

She did both, told me about what she read and is now watching videos with Nonna. They watch amusing videos, inspirational videos and educational videos.

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