I was chatting with a grade one boy in the last week before the Christmas holiday.
"How are you today?" I asked.
"Not good," he said.
"I'm on the naughty list!" He crossed his arms and dropped his eyes to the floor.
"The naughty list? What does that mean?" I asked.
His little head jerked up and he looked at me like I was the most ill-informed person on the planet. "It means I don't get any presents!"
I threw my hands up in the air, “What? That’s not good!” Leaning forward I asked, "Can you change it?"
His eyes came to life, "YES! I'm being really good, NOW!"
I nodded, wisely. "What are you doing different?"
"Not hitting my brother and not yelling at Mum."
I nodded again. "That sounds like a good start. Are you doing good stuff, too?"
Now he nodded. "Yup. I help Mum with stuff and clean up my mess."
I put my hand over my heart and leaned back in my chair. "I can tell you something really exciting!"
"What?" he asked, his eyes fixed on mine.
"You're getting off the naughty list!" I smiled.
"I know." He said, resolved. “But it’s hard.”
“Doing the right thing often is,” I said, “but it’s worth it, right?”
“Yeah,” he smiled. “I can’t wait to get my presents!”