I know you’re not supposed to bribe your children, or at least that’s what the so-called experts say these days, but how else do you expect me to get Lilia to do her homework? Yesterday I told her I’d take her to the video store if she’d do all of her homework in the morning and fold the laundry. She balked at first, shaking her head and tossing the prints, but she finally buckled down and did most of it. She wanted to leave half of the math for tomorrow. Ha! I showed her all the homework she had yet to do. This morning I told her that she couldn’t go into the wading pool until she’d done her math. She and Jio both are struggling with basic arithmetic, which puzzles me, because I read somewhere that learning a second language early makes math easier.

I let Jio and Lilia watch as much TV as they wanted today so that I could read The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo by Peter Orner, about a volunteer from Cincinnati who goes to teach at an isolated school in Namibia and falls in love with a fallen (in the moral sense) former soldier. So there is the African setting, which interests me, and the teaching aspect, which reminds me of myself, getting off the plane in Tokyo at the age of 22 with no experience to speak of. But beyond that, this book is very funny and the characters are completely real.


2 thoughts on “Bribery

  1. I don’t think what you’re doing is bribery, it’s just teaching delayed gratification, which is part of what it means (sigh) to grow up.

    What I’m doing is definitely bribery. Our 12 yr old, as it turns out, has many “holes” in her math abilities. We found out early this summer that in some areas she is 2 years delayed. We really want to get her up to grade level as quickly as possible so we are having her go to tutoring 4x a week. We’re paying her $20 a week because we know it’s absolutely odious to her. Now that’s bribery!

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