Practicing the piano was becoming a painful exercise, and seemed that Scott's piano career could not continue if things did not change somehow. We came up with a plan. We decided to begin awarding gold medals.
For FHE, we talked about the different roles and responsibilities we all have. Scott is a "piano student" so he has certain duties associated with that. We made a chart that he fills in when he completes one of his duties. He can earn a "Gold Medal" for completing all the requirements in one of four categories, including: 1) New Song One Hand; 2) New Song Two Hands; 3) Review Songs; 4) Study.
There are 7 weeks until the Winter Olympics are over, and we challenged him to work on earning medals every week to see if he can get more than any of the countries participating.
He rushed off to practice and got a gold medal that first night. Gold medals are awarded immediately. Bronze & silver medals are awarded Sunday evening, if those categories are not completed to the gold standard.
Katie wanted to have a duty chart and get medals too.
R made a chart for her (although she wasn't quite satisfied until she had a computer-printed one like Scott's). She is to practice going potty without being prompted. She also goes to her various classes (dance, music, sports, play group). There are only so many times that a person can go potty in one evening, so she earned a bronze medal.
She was very sad that she would have to wait until the next day to get a medal. She struggled with the concept of bronze, silver, gold. Eventually I relented and said that she could have a bronze medal tonight, and then we'll still give her a gold when she finishes that.
We started making the bronze medal out of paper and she was sad that Scott would get a nice medal made from melted beads and she would only get paper. So I started making her a little bead one. She wanted it to have purple and pink in it, as well as brown. Since Scott's gold medal had a #1 in the center of it, I started with a purple #3 for hers.
She said, "I don't want to have a THREE -- I am almost FOUR!" She did not want to listen to me when I pointed out that Scott is 6 but his medal only has a #1 on it.
"Fine," I said. "You can have a four on it. Whatever. But if you cry again, then I am not making you a medal at all, okay?"
A few moments later when it came time for the medal ceremony, Scott was sure to point out to Katie that she had to stand on the bottom stair, while he would get to be higher up on the third stair with his gold medal. The tears were still barely below the surface, but we avoided another outburst by pointing out that the bronze medalist gets her medal first. Whew.
We sang O Canada together, and then the kids went up to bed. Katie kept looking down and saying, "I love my brawn medal!"