I’m a mean dad. Both of my boys were given a workbook of math, english, science and social studies as “bridge work” this summer. Studies have shown that kids suffer significant learning loss while on vacation, and I am determined to keep them ahead of their classmates.
It’s tough to get kids to do “homework” in the summer months. But I added an incentive. When they finished the books, I agreed to pay for part of the Wii that Thing One wanted, and to buy Thing Two a Nintendo DS.
Thing One, the twelve year old, was pretty efficient about doing a page or two a day until he was finished. On the other hand, Thing Two, being seven, had a hard time finishing his book. It took a lot of work on my part to keep him on task.
But he finally finished today. And I let him open the DS box that’s been sitting on the homework table all summer.
After opening the box, he turned to me, and with the most serious of faces, said (and I quote exactly) “Thank you for your support and encouragement. You’re the nicest dad.”
He talks like that all the time. Sometimes I get the feeling that Thing Two really is a thirty-year-old trapped in a kid’s body.