Recording your kid’s promises with a digital camera

CMM came up with this hack to deal with High Candy season (Halloween), but Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, so this hack may get some use yet.

We don’t want our daughter eating candy all day, but sometimes she just really, really wants a piece when it’s not “time”. And, y’know, sometimes I eat my sandwich at 10 in the morning instead of lunchtime, so fair enough.

My husband came up with the idea of using the video function on our digital camera to record her promising not to get upset when we say “no” to candy later because we’re letting her have a piece early. It worked! We’ve started doing it other times, too. She loves the digital camera, and it reminds her about the whole “delayed gratification” thing. She hasn’t bugged about getting extra candy (or screen time, or whatever limited thing she wanted “now” instead of “later”) and now we’re going to see if it’ll work to actually get her to wait for things.

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  1. says

    This is a great idea! I’ll use it next time.

    We got the kids digital cameras for Christmas, but they don’t have the video feature so they won’t be able to turn the tables on us. Phew!

  2. says

    I love the idea of recording promises and oaths, makes for a nice sense of accountability with the side benefit of having some cool footage for the family archives. Connected to that idea…

    A year or so ago I snapped a few pics of our 4 year old while he was throwing a fit. Afterwards I showed him the pics and asked what he was feeling, why he did that and this, etc. He was able to work out some triggers and got better and letting us know. He still throws fits but now he is much better at the post fit wrap up show in getting to us the core of his issues. Eventually it feels like we will be able to shorten, wishfully thinking, avoid the fits. The pictures do make for some amusing contrast against the other pics we have of him.

    Older kid wise, I was wondering what it would take to get our older kid to keep her room clean. Over the years we tried rewards, denials of service, harsh words, bribes….nada. One day recently I came up with this idea…

    When she realized I was going to give the url out to family, friends and post it on her myspace page her room cleaning responses became much swifter. The younger ones don’t have the global scope of exposure needed for this to work well.

  3. Deirdre says

    This is a great idea. I think digital cameras are a great parenting tool.

    I use my digital camera to take photos of things my super-sensitive daugher can’t eat or throw away or leave because they’re too cute or precious or whatever.

    For example, I discovered she still had Easter candy in her room several months after Easter because she didn’t want to eat the cute little bunnies. I took a photo, and she ate them.

    She’s a prolific artist and doesn’t discern between her masterpieces and her sketches, so I take photos of the ones I don’t feel we need to keep, and then she’s okay with disposing of them.

    We’ve been places where she’s seen an object that’s so cute she refuses to leave. I take a photo, and she moves on.

    She actually has her own camera now and does a lot of this herself.

  4. YourBuddyKate says

    That is a great idea. Just be sure to save the footage! You can later make a wonderful video of these real life moments with your child.

  5. cw says

    I had such a bad afternoon and evening with my almost 7 year old daughter yesterday, I tried to find our video camera to document for a future visit to a (as yet unprocured) therapist. I couldn’t find the camera but the evening is etched indelibly in my brain.

    I think it would be worth a try to run all those movies together for a hair-raising night of video some time in the future. It brings to mind a time in my daughter’s life when she became verbal and still had memories about being non-verbal. There was a window when she could articulate what had set her off in her pre-verbal period. The video might serve as as a similar bridge.