Monday, April 29, 2013

Drink Your Water

My kids hate water. Every time we go to the pediatrician and they ask about the amount of water they drink, I try to figure out exactly how much water is in the orange juice they love. The last time we went, the doctor caught on to me after doing a quick blood test. "He's dehydrated," she told me. "Very normal for kids in Florida. Just up his intake of water." Uh huh. You do it, I thought.

I started giving them half water and half juice but my son knows my tricks. As soon as he sees his Granny he will say, "Let's have juice with NOOOOOOO water!" as if he is sneaking a Bud Light. Life is tough for my kids.

But this has all recently changed. My husband ordered a new water bottle by Contigo that has a flip top lid. As soon as he unpacked it from the box, my boys swarmed him. "Do it again, Daddy! Flip the lid up! How do you do it? Can I try it?!" my oldest shouted. It was love at first flip.

I started filling it up with water to take with us when we head out and the boys started asking for a sip. "Sure, but it's filled with water," I told them. "Not sure if you want it." I wasn't even trying to work them. I just had given up the fight.

"Oh that still sounds good, Mommy," my oldest said. "Wawa! Mine!" my youngest added.

I passed the bottle to the backseat of the car and they drank the entire thing by the time we got to the park.
Amazed, I tried it again the next day and the day after that. Each time I would fill it up, they drank it. Now my only problem is dealing with them fighting over it.

It made me see that the packaging really does matter to kids. Turning their broccoli into trees, cutting their sandwiches in the shape of Mickey Mouse and giving them water in a bottle with a flip top lid make a difference to them. I believe the same is true with our words. If we package a request as a demand rather than a fun challenge, they are more apt to say no. If we package our compliments with a hug and a smile, they understand that the words are coming from our hearts. It does take a bit more work on the front end but good things always do.

How do you make the "have to's" more fun?

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