I don't always have the best instincts as a mom. For instance, did you know that if you are going on a 6 hour car trip with a 2 year old and a 5 year old, you cannot give the 2 year old baby books and the 5 year old Star Wars books? The 2 year old will want the Star Wars books the 5 year old has, and the 5 year old will not want to share them and you will have to hear about this for the next five hours and fifity minutes, more if there is bad weather -- and there will be!
However for once I had a genius idea a few months ago when we decided it was time to potty train the little brother. The big brother is addicted to two things: chocolate and power (he is my son.) We had had great success using M&Ms as rewards for potty training him and figured they would work with his little bro. However, being a jealous older sibling (he is my son), I knew that all that attention on the little guy would kill him. So I made a deal: every time the little brother went potty, the big brother would receive two M&Ms, one to eat and one to administer to the little one. So the upside for the big bro was a free M&M and the power to disseminate to his little brother. The upside for the little bro was a free M&M and positive reinforcement from his idol (his big brother.) Really cute bonus that I am not making up: The older one used it as an opportunity to teach the younger one his colors.
Now, if you were going to ask me whether we suspected that the little guy purposefully peed very frequently in to get more M&Ms, I cannot tell a lie to you about how that might have backfired. However, eventually, just like his big brother eventually did, he stopped asking for/expecting an M&M each time he went. So the upside for us: more M&Ms.
This post was not sponsored by M&Ms, sadly.