Got my copy of Fast Company today and did my normal flip straight through to the “Made to Stick” article by Dan & Chip Heath. This months column was entitled the Curse of Incentives. Their point seems to be that incentives not only are dangerous but often carry with them collateral damage. I found it interesting but not all that relevant.
Not all that relevant until dinner time which was a mere 20 minutes later. You see we are still in the process of convincing Toby that both number 1 AND number 2 can go in the potty. Struggling to have a win in that department we busted out the incentive. Last Friday I ordered a construction truck movie off of Amazon and UPS decided to deliver it at 5:15 tonight. I decide to show Toby what he could watch the next time he goes number 2 on the potty. He jumped off his chair and ran to the bathroom yelling “come on daddy!” That little guy was trying so hard but he just couldn’t go. I told him we could try again later and sure enough 5 minutes later we were back in there trying again and despite that absolutely most hilarious faces in the world he could not go. After his third disappointment he was a mess. He so badly wanted to go but just couldn’t. Incentive Back Fire!