Has something like this happened to you?

I was walking with my 4-year old child to the park. It’s just a few blocks away, an easy walk for him most days. But not today – he wants to be carried.

“I’m tired.” He says. Huh? He was just gung ho about going.

No matter how I try to get him to continue walking, he won’t. I try to use reason – “it’s just two blocks – you can do that.” I try to encourage – “you’re a big kid now who can do this easily.” I use incentives – “if you walk, we can stay an extra 15 minutes at the park”

It is all to no avail…

Ok. I pick him up and carry him on my shoulders. I carry him until the edge of the playground – and now…

Now he is full of energy. He wants down. He takes off. I can’t catch him. He runs, he slides, he swings and he plays….on and on and on.

So here is my question – do I have a lazy kid or did his motivation just kick in? Was it the proximity effect or was he rested because I carried him? Was I played? In the end it doesn’t matter: he enjoyed the park and I enjoyed watching him.

PS – I made him walk the whole way home.

Tell me your experience with motivating a child…