We use prizes as part of our parental arsenal. As in if he's good then he may get a prize. If he's not, then he doesn't get it. For example, down at the coast then we bought a $20 Creator lego set (1) and declared if he was good for the three days we were away he'd get it. And he was! He's also currently a dozen numbers away from winning his big good boy prize, a kewl-as-all-fuck pirate cove play-set, a prize that's been in the potential offing now for about two months. So long has it been on display as a potential prize I think the box has started to get that sun-faded blue cast to it like the uber prizes no one ever wins at a side show alley game of "...skill...".
theBoy didn't get a prize today for being good—though presuming he is good through to bed time he will get one more number towards the pirate cove. But just before dinner—where I was on over watch and sitting next to him—he decided to award himself a prize. As he sat at his chair he wrapped his fork in a paper napkin.
'Oh!' he exclaimed in mock surprise, holding up his napkin-wrapped fork. 'What's this? A prize!'
He unwrapped it.
'A fork,' he said with apparent joy. 'Now I can stab people!'
I couldn't help it. I collapsed into long loud laughter as he sat there grinning at me. The event however was marred somewhat by his then sliding off his chair and trying to stab me with the fork.