Yesterday I chose to leave difficult child in the after-school program until 5:30. easy child had a sport thing until 5:30, I have a cold, and didn't want to run back and forth all day. I hate leaving him because even though it's very well structured with-a combo of in- and outdoor play, he'd rather be with-his friends at home. He begged for me to pick him up at the normal time but I told him I was not giving a guarantee. When I picked him up, both mom-employees came up to me and told me how wonderful difficult child had been all afternoon. He picked up all the balls, behaved beautifully, was respectful and cheerful and they were very pleased with-him. Quite often, I'll see him in Time Out (last time, he decided to leave a game, and on his way off the playground, gave away some secret location to his friend, so his side could win), and he's just so strong willed ... so it was really nice that these women came forward with-praise that was at least as strong as their previous criticisms. It helps difficult child and me realize that what they are giving is feedback and that it can be given objectively, which is a great help. But was especially good was that not only did difficult child not explode when I picked him up so late, he was very well behaved, and didn't take it out on anyone else. When we got in the car, I added to the praise. I had a lot of fun with-it, saying, "Wow, those ladies think you walk on water. Whatever it is you did, keep it up!" This is what keeps a difficult child's mom going, right?