Perfect Moment Monday: Shiny things

March 27, 2011

in Parenting, Perfect Moment, Tessa

This is on my nightstand. No reason .


We’d made a deal, Tessa and I. If she could go four days in a row without any arguing with me — not over clothes, homework, TV, eating, bedtime, bathtime or anything else — she could get her ears pierced early for her birthday.

(Secretly I half-predicted enough false starts to take us all the way to her 2012 birthday.)

This arrangement was set on a Thursday night.

Friday was very pleasant as Tessa was on her best behavior. Granted, during the school day she wasn’t with me, but during the times she was, I heard “OK, Mom!” over and over.

Hear that? The angel choir?

Saturday and Sunday were the same. No fights with her brother. All chores done happily. Appropriate clothing chosen. Agreeable to a fault. Toys put away.

The transformation was amazing. I no longer had to exert such control over her because she was now controlling herself.

Which, of course we noticed and praised and reinforced in every way we could think of.

I wish there were more of a plot line (well, not really), but Monday went off without a hitch, too. So Tuesday after school, Tessa and Grandma and I went where every pre-teen girl on the planet seems to go to get her ears pierced (do you know how many such videos are on YouTube??):  Claire’s.

And Tessa grew up from this:

to this:

In more ways than one.

I am quite enjoying this new relationship with my very grown up girl.

Ear Images: © May be used only with attribution and linkage.


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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

LJ March 27, 2011 at 8:04 pm

Badass! I’m so happy for you guys – even if just for a few days.


a March 27, 2011 at 8:22 pm

How awesome! Only 4 days? You should have dragged that out for at least a week! But, go Tessa! Way to figure out that compliance sometimes works well for you!


RobinJP March 27, 2011 at 8:46 pm

Great job, Tessa.
I can just hear you saying… “Remember those four days … ” She’s gonna get so sick of hearing that, but she’ll have cute earrings.


Kristin March 27, 2011 at 9:03 pm

Way to go Tessa and Lori!


Baby Smiling In Back Seat March 27, 2011 at 9:29 pm

Now that she’s proven that she can do it, the bar has been set high for her future behavior…

I had my ears pierced at Claire’s once upon a time. And I’ve also waited with you outside Claire’s for Tessa for long periods of time!


Michelle March 27, 2011 at 10:22 pm

So laughing at this. I love how positive reinforcement works. What I love further is when kids are accountable and show that they ‘can do it’!!! It makes for great reminders for when they chose to fall from the mountain…later. Much later for you of course. I’m certain that Tessa is a changed young woman…FOREVER!!!




jjiraffe March 28, 2011 at 12:37 am

I too got my ears pierced at Claires! There were some epic battles waged to get there.

A lot of fellow pre-school moms are asking me when my daughter is going to get her ears pierced. I was thinking of sticking to my Mom’s 13 years old birthday rule, but we’ll see. I have a lovely pair of very small diamond studs picked out for when the blessed day comes.

It’s a big rite of passage. Congrats on that, and the positive reinforcement victories :)


Andy March 28, 2011 at 4:14 am

Way to go Tessa!! And Mom too!


Debbie Schwartz March 28, 2011 at 8:19 am

It worked so well, you might have considered having only one ear pierced this week, then requiring a full week of compliance out of her before letting her pierce the second!


Melissa @ Full Circle March 28, 2011 at 8:43 am

OOOHHH.. I like Deb’s thought! LOL!

Can I just say I cracked up over the “bribery rocks” tag!?


Delenn March 28, 2011 at 9:00 am

Nice! I love reading about your relationship with your daughter! Glad she was able to achieve her goal, and make you happy too…and learned something even more, we hope! :-)


Kir March 28, 2011 at 10:26 am

wow, I love reading a post about an agreeable child!!! I really do.

So the book works???? I may need it for Gio.

more importantly, I am glad that she gave you a drama free weekend, something that I am sure you were ready to celebrate.

plus her ears look beautiful!!!! Great job Mama! xo


Suzy March 28, 2011 at 10:57 am

Way to go Tessa! I still remember going to get my ears pierced. My Dad took me and we made it a special event.

So glad Tessa will have a great memory of it too. And Mom knows that she can go four days without complaining! ; )


Sheri March 28, 2011 at 12:34 pm

That is awesome! I’m SO proud of Tessa. I can’t wait to see those beautifully pierced ears. Happy Birthday!

Woo Hoo!


Tracy March 28, 2011 at 2:34 pm

After two holes in each ear, I told my daughter the only way she gets any more holes is with a grad school diploma. I probably shouldn’t mention that I had limited success with enforcing this once she left for college.


Valerie Power March 28, 2011 at 3:46 pm

LOVE it! I just recently did this with my DDD (darling definant daughter) with my old iPhone. I told her she still can’t have phone/texting ability (I’m THAT Mama), but it could act as an iTouch with full iTunes and gaming capability IF she kept her room clean for an entire week WITHOUT backtalking or eye rolling. And, VOILA! My DDD suddently became DDIHD (darling do it herself daughter) and she is the proud owner of a new-to-her iTouch!

Now, if only I can figure out how to have her INTERNALIZE that desire to do what’s right WITHOUT external incentives. If someone’s figured THAT one out, PLEASE fill a Mama in!


JJ March 28, 2011 at 7:18 pm

I remember being a handful for my parents–arent all pre-teen/teenage girls? Gotta hand it to you, my friend–Im proud of you for the efforts you are making to connect with her on lots of positive levels. Hope the trend continues for you both.


Mel March 28, 2011 at 7:26 pm

Go Tessa! It’s huge in two reasons — you are totally in control of yourself and you’re creating your own happiness, AND you now have those rockin’ earrings. Cannot wait to hear what other amazing things you get to do in the future. I hope every time you look at your earrings, you think about how much you’ve accomplished.


Barb March 28, 2011 at 7:42 pm



Nicole March 28, 2011 at 9:39 pm

Way to go, Tessa! And way to go, Lori! I am so impressed with how you let her take control of her behavior and how she rose to the challenge. (And I am SO adding that book to my Amazon Wishlist . . . I think I see a copy on my nightstand in my future!)


Sandy March 28, 2011 at 11:43 pm

Such a happy milestone for a teenage girl! Oh, man, did I give my poor mother a run for her money. I am blown away by what a good mom you are.


Quiet Dreams March 29, 2011 at 2:23 pm

Four whole days, huh? That’s amazing! Yay for motivation to help us do more than we thought we could! Yay Tessa!


Tami March 30, 2011 at 9:57 am

I wish I could have nee there! I’m sure she was brave and is now even more beautiful. I’m sure she will love being shiny. And I’ll have to find some new possessions I can “loan” to her.


loribeth March 30, 2011 at 5:29 pm

Oooh, very pretty!


St Elsewhere April 5, 2011 at 4:10 am

Congrats on getting your ears pierced, Tessa…now you can wear all the beautiful earrings that you want…


Jamie April 5, 2011 at 3:53 pm

Very nice! Ahhh, Claire’s. So many memories!!


Kami April 25, 2011 at 2:18 pm

What amazing things we can accomplish with the right motivation! I hope this is more than just a temporary change.


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