Ricki and I were working this afternoon on a bit of homework. I was first and foremost trying to teach her to “stop, read, think”: the need to ascertain the task before attempting it. She had grabbed her pencil, and I could see that there was no point in continuing until the pencil would be put aside. She was raring to go, like a race horse at the starting gate. She wanted to launch off in order to finish, and to conclude her homework at nearly all costs. This of course made the probability of not doing the work properly a foregone conclusion. So I told her to put her pencil aside. She put it down, but only about 3 millimeters from her hand, which was in “hover” position. Her entire concentration was on her writing implement.
“Ricki”, I said, “Put the pencil next to your apple”. (The apple was an arms reach away.) She refused, and I got insistent. So she reached over, and put the apple next to the pencil.
I threatened a consequence.
She put her pencil aside, and finally turned her head to listen.