Sunday, July 15, 2007

Rigidity and Flexibility

I find it really strange to experience Alan's rigidity in some things. Today we had a perfect example. Alan drinks chocolate soy milk. Not just any brand, though. It has to be Silk chocolate soy milk. Dana bought another brand. It has an almost identical container. The colors and printing on the box are quite similar. There is even a similar recipe on the other brand's box. Dana could detect no difference in taste between the two brands. Yes, I do know that some brands taste different, but she is as likely as he is to detect a difference in taste or mouth feel. Alan refused to try the new brand. We agreed to play a round of Apples to Apples with him. Then, we told him we would only play another round if he would agree to a sip of the other brand. He declined. He preferred not to play again if the cost was the coercion of trying it.

As an aside, I am being made to feel like a bad parent for using bribes and coercion. I do try to reason with Alan. I surely love him with all my heart. The book I am reading is called Unconditional Parenting: Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason by Alfie Kohn. I have to say I never would have toilet trained Alan if we had not been able to use a treat (operant conditioning as the behaviorists once called it).

On the other hand, his dad and I were concerned that Alan would not accept wearing braces. He said he wanted them, but we feared that he would not do well with the needed dental surgery before the braces. He sailed through that. Then, we worried that he would bolt or suffer a melt-down in the orthodontist's office when he had to submit to having the upper braces applied. He got through that fine with no coercion, no medication or any special reward. We have had a few tune-up visits. Two visits ago, Alan asked when he could have the bottom braces put on! I was flabbergasted. At the last visit, he got his own orthodontist, who agreed that he could have the bottom braces and applied the needed spacers that visit. Up until then, both Dad and I have been at each of the visits. Tomorrow morning, at 8:15, an unhealthy hour from my perspective, I will go alone with Alan to this appointment. The staff know him now. I am as confident as I could be that he won't cause me embarrassment or difficulty. I have paid half the cost in advance, I am so sure he will go through this without grief. Yes, I am touching wood.


Blogger The Glasers said...

WOW, Mary!!! I would rather some rigidity over something minor (brand of milk) than something major (orthodontia)! At least, he is picking his battles over the minors.


4:04 AM  
Anonymous Bonnie Sayers said...

My son Matthew is the same way withn his soymilk container. We cannot use silk anymore since he used to see me putting vitamins in it so it has to be the non refrigerated cartons of Westsoy.

I buy the three pack of small individual cartons for lunch and camp at Whole Foods of the rice and soy milk, which he likes.

I had to take him a few years ago to Childrens Hospital in Los Angeles to get a dental checkup. Should look into another one soon.

I will be homeshooling my other son who is 12 and HFA going into sixth grade, which is how I came across this blog. I am gathering sites and resources for a future article on my site about homeschooling and will be sharing this blog. ~ Bonnie

12:21 PM  
Blogger Dana said...

Though it's certainly in character for me, Dad was the one who bought the other brand.

10:33 PM  
Blogger Junosmom said...

Who is making you feel like a bad parent? They should have to walk in your shoes a few days. Glad the application of braces going well.

5:03 AM  

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