I was so happy for her, because this is the first year that she has ever received a certificate at school - and this is now her third one (the bottom one is from her swimming instructor). I gave her a big hug and told her how proud I was, and then said that as a treat she could have an icecream after dinner. She then said that she wouldn't have one because she'd had a banana split that day already. Righto, I said, well how about you have a star on your chart then? Yay, she replies and rushes off to put said star onto chart.
No big deal.
But it IS! Like 99% of 12 year olds, Jess has a marked penchant for (a) treats, and (b) moulding the truth to suit. Option B has increasingly become an issue for us of late and there have been lengthy dinner-time conversations about the benefits of telling it like it is, and the consequences of truth-telling vs being a lying little rodent (or 12-year old age appropriate words to that effect). So what I omitted to reveal is that two seconds after turning down the ice cream and taking the delayed gratification star chart option, Jess threw herself again into my arms and demanded that I notice how she had "done honesty" even though now that she thought about it, she really would like another ice cream. A moment of grammar correction passed, and we were able to get on with the business of admiring the 12 year old, complete with lots of repeating of positive encouragement, and "I'm so proud(s)" and "you're so fabulous(es)" and "you made such a good decision(s)"...
And so has followed our week. Lots of willing homeworking has ensued, bed time reading, chicken feedings and swimming lessons. Much star charting, hugs, sofa cuddles and admiring comments follow. While I have been in disguise for much of the past month, I believe I am wearing my superhero care-Mum undies this week (and I have several more clean pairs in my drawer).