Now, with our third child, as with many third children, he lives life exuberantly. He follows two older siblings and so gets into more, experiences higher levels of achievements and takes greater risks.
And so we figure that if we feed him well, try to make sure he is reasonably safe and fairly well schooled, that we've done alright. We don't really use any motivational tools like we did with the other two. There just isn't the same focus on artificial rewards. No time? Maybe. Not as creative? Maybe. Allowing him to find his own internally useful values? Maybe. If I want to impress people with my parenting philosophies this third reason is the one I actually use in public.
Through this process, however, some things just don't have the same value for him that existed for the older two.
So, this morning, whilst sitting at the table doing math, my older son said to my younger son, "Finish your page and I'll give you a sticker."
To which the younger one shrugged and responded, "What's So Important About Stickers?"
And I thought, "Yeah."