March 23, 2011

The "Three Scoop" Method

After reading my lovely post about our fist fighting in church experience, my mom commented that I should start instigating the "three scoop" method. Stacy inquired as to what that means.

Well, here's the scoop. (Ha! "Scoop".... clever, I know)

As it has been mentioned fairly frequently on this blog, sugar was an oh-so-very-rare and highly precious commodity in our house when we were young kids. There were only two nights a week when after dinner treats were given.

Sunday and Monday nights. And honestly, half the time the "treat" was popcorn.

But Sundays seemed to be ice cream day. Now the "three scoops" refers to the three scoops of ice cream you got when my dad would dish up the bowls. We never got more than three. Three was the ultimate magic number one could aspire to.

So this is how my parents used the magic number as a torture device.

It was explained to us before church that we all had three scoops of ice cream waiting for us after dinner. But if we acted up in church, we would start loosing scoops.

And sure enough if we got out of hand, all my dad had to do was lean towards us and hold up three fingers.

Oh, believe me, we knew EXACTLY what that meant.

If that first warning was not enough and we continued to act up, he would then hold up three fingers and ever so torturously slow so we didn't miss one horrible moment of it, he would lower one finger, indicating that we had just lost one of our coveted scoops of ice cream.

I can't even begin to explain the total devastation as well as perfect behavior it got out of us.

I do remember just once, having lost all three of my scoops. I'm pretty sure I still have nightmares from that.

Oh, I'm kidding! Mostly....

My parents never backed down, they never gave in with one of those weak, "okay fine, but next time, you really won't get them" things that you hope your parents will say after you've been bad. Oh no! They were hard core and VERY consistent. We fully understood that my parents stuck by this rule.

I promise you I never lost all three of my scoops again, ever.

I'm a fast learner.

So if anyone in our congregation had the notion that we were just naturally reverent children, they would be sorely mistaken.

We were just trying hard to get our ice cream! Dang those consequences! Oh believe me, we understood the concept of "choice and accountability" reeeaaaallll well. *smile*

I suppose I should also mention that my parents sat all of us in the front row for two reasons.

1. They understood that the closer you sit to the speaker, the easier it is to pay attention.
2. As we got older, we were aware of the fact that the entire congregation were sitting behind us and could see everything we did.


20 super cool people speak:

Claudia said...

That is the coolest idea! I think I will store this in my mind for when I have kiddos :)

f e l i c i t y ☂ said...

Brilliant! What a fabulous idea! I am so implementing this when I have kids!!

f e l i c i t y ☂, at
S i m p l e {&} E l e g a n t

Momza said...

Clever! let us know how it goes!


I love that! Totally stealing that idea when my kids are older - thanks!

Garden of Egan said...

Sounds like a totally great idea.
I wish I would have heard of it when I still had kids at home.
Sounds effective.

T said...

awesome! Never too late to implement this idea - because I'm pretty sure I was good enough for all 3 of my scoops the last few years... can I reward myself retro-actively?

gigi said...

Sounds like the perfect torture plan to me. You have some great parents :-) I had a mean mama too.

Sue said...

I love it! And I like that they made the sugary treats really a treat and not just an everyday occurrence.


Nicole said...

I am so going to start doing this. I love it!

And your family picture at the top is adorable!

Brittney said...

awesome :)

Sounds like an idea a friend told me for managing a roudy primary class... bring long licorice ropes - one for each kid. Set them out where they can see them, but they can't have them til the end of the lesson. Each time someone is bad, their particular rope gets cut, so they now have a visual aid showing them they get less of a treat. :)

Neisha said...

i like that idea....if it would work with my kids :p

Jess said...

That. Is. GENious!

The Kooky Queen--Rachel said...

That is AWESOME!!! What great incentive, hahaha!

Mama Smith said...

The whole fun of being a how "creative" one must become...Wish we could take credit for the "original" idea, but, Garvin read it in an "Ensign" article...We took it as "gospel"...and like any "gospel" WORKED! (smile) The fun part...was witnessing the "gnashing of teeth" when one of the fingers would "disappear"...You can simply imagine...what happened when all "3" would disappear! (smile) The congregation could hear..."No...Daddy...NO!"

ldsjaneite said...

Oh my word! My Mom told me of this when we were teens. I didn't know it came from an Ensign article! Of course, we couldn't afford ice cream much then, so that didn't work. No, our family still did the push-up punishment method. But I ALWAYS wanted to use the 3-scoop method!

Bethany said...

That's a really cool, unique idea! I love it :)

hjsmith said...

good luck with that(: we do it...most Sundays it works but there are still those days when we dont have to worry about ice cream(: 3, 2, 1 none(: Let me know how it goes for you guys(: we also add an insentive(: go figure...if the kids bear their testimony on fast Sunday they earn an extra scoop....SO they can have 4 if they dont loose any on fast Sundays(:

Charlotte said...

Your parents are genius! We use the fingers sometimes to indicate how many days they will be grounded from electronics, but I like the idea of ice cream scoops!

Garvin Smith said...

It worked very well. I highly recommend it. Three notes of caution:
1) You MUST be consistent.
2) You must NEVER capitulate. Believe me, it hurts to see your children suffer so. I actually understand Heavenly Father better now.
3) . . . Oh, two is good enough (name that movie!)
What our children learned is that when mom or dad spoke, they meant it.

Susan Case said...

Sounds yummy to me. I'm your newest follower. I hope you'll visit my blog sometime: Kindergarten & Preschool for Parents & Teachers. Have a great day with your beautiful family.

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