What do you track about your child’s behavior? (by Eric Peacock)

Yesterday my wife and I took our 7-year old, Jack, and 4-year old, Katie, to the San Mateo County Fair.  All in all it was a pretty fun outing.  We saw the pig races, pet some goats and sheep, ate some Blue Ribbon chocolate cake from the 4H baking contest and rode on the “Swings”.  All was good until I let Jack talk me into giving him a few bucks to try his hand at a seemingly simple carnival game (note to reader: This would also be known as Parenting Mistake #1).

Tantrum Starter

In this game one simply bounces a small basketball off of a backboard into a giant hoop to win a life-sized stuffed animal.  “This is genius!” my son surely thought to himself, watching the guy operating the game easily toss shot after shot into the hoop.  Then he got his 4 balls (mistake #2, I not only caved to Jack, but I also fell for the the operator leaning over and saying, “I’ll give you 4 tries for $5”).  First ball bounced so far off the tilted backboard that it nearly came right back and hit Jack.  That ball didn’t come close to the big old hoop.  He tried to adjust his second, third and fourth tosses, but only managed to hit the rim once!  Just like that it was over.  My $5 gone in 40 seconds and no massive stuffed animal.
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