You saw my posts on bribery/positive reinforcement and how well it worked for me. And you know that I am desperate for suggestions to help Allen behave at the meetings. I have done some research and a lot of praying, and Brian and I decided that we would "play" meeting today while we studied for book study, and that we would not mention the potential reward until after he exhibited the good behavior.
So we studied for the meeting together. We had some disruptions, but eventually he sat on Mommy's lap and was pretty quiet. During the preparation, I asked him if he wanted to answer, but he declined to do so.
However, after a reward, a hearty dinner, and a bath, he decided that he did want to raise his hand at the meeting. We had discussed two possible answers, and he decided that he wanted to say "faith" (or, as Allen says it, faif). We said OK, and then we didn't push it too much, because we don't want to put more pressure than necessary on him.
We got to the book study, and while he was not angelic, it was a drastic improvement from last Monday. When we got to the appropriate paragraph, I asked him if he was ready to raise his hand. He didn't really respond, but when he heard the brother read the word "faith" he whispered it (twice). So as we neared the end of the paragraph, we sat him on Daddy's lap, and told him to get ready (this also provided some distraction for him from the inappropriate behavior he was starting to display).
When "Coni" asked the question, Daddy helped him raise his hand, and Allen waved his little fingers. Right away, "Coni" said, "Allen" and Allen whispered, "faif." We whispered, "Say it out loud." So he whisper-yelled, "Faaaif." Then we told him again to say it loud, and he said (kind of yelled), "FAIF."
I have never been so proud in my entire life. It was heart-warming. He was proud of himself. The book study group was proud of him. We were proud of him. And I know Jehovah was proud of him.
I've learned a lesson in all of this, (or rather, been reminded of something). If you have faith, Jehovah can help you with anything. Allen may not have been perfect tonight, but he was much better than usual, and he answered!!!!
On that fabulous note, I bid you goodnight.