Modeling Behavior

So Tuesday I skipped going to my regular yoga class so that Sophia could go to Edible Science at the library (which has some wicked cool summer programs for kids!). It’s one of the programs you had to pre-register for, and we just made it before it maxed out. Sophia is pretty familiar with my schedule, but I did point out that I was not going to yoga, and that I had to hurry home and shower, so we could get her to the program. I never complained about it, which I wouldn’t have anyway, because love is a process of give and take, compromise. This is what I wanted to impress upon her. I made it very matter of fact, even though she knows how important yoga is to me.

I said nothing more about it until this evening. I took her to an information session at Riverflow Yoga on their teacher training program that I am planning to begin next month. Sophia knows how important this is to me, but it was later in the evening that we are usually out. Robert works late into the evening currently, so he couldn’t watch her while I went alone. She’s quiet and well-behaved, so I knew it wouldn’t be a problem to bring her. She just said aside and read a book and played on her iPad while everyone forgot she was even there. Afterwards we didn’t get home until close to 9pm. By the time she dressed for bed and brushed her teeth, I knew there would be no time for reading. We read every night religiously, so it’s a big deal to miss it. I knew she’d be upset, so on the way home, as she mentioned how tired she was, I reinforced the compromise behavior.

I said, “Sophia, do you remember how I didn’t go to yoga so you could go to Edible Science at the library?”

She immediately knew something was up with that statement and said, “Yeah.”

“Well, it’s really late right now, and by the time we get home and get you ready for bed, there will be no time for reading tonight.” I could feel the tears about to well up in her eyes, so I added, “You know how coming to this informational session was very important to me, right?”

She said, “Yes.” There was a pause, and then she added, “Can we read two chapters tomorrow then?”

I agreed so long as there was enough time for it, and that seemed to smooth everything over. Hopefully I modeled the behavior well enough for it to sink in, though it could backfire into “now I know how to call in favors.”

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