Saturday, August 22, 2009
Miracles DO Happen (or Bribery Works)!
Yes, I bribed them with the promise of a treat at Dairy Queen. Yes, I continue to bribe them with promises of "Fifteen kisses each!" from Daddy when he gets home tonight. Yes, there are parenting "experts" around the world who shudder in revulsion at using bribery to control your child's behavior. And, yes, to these experts I say: "Screw it! It worked today, and that's all that matters right now!" I have spent the last 12 1/2 hours alone with my two little boys, which is, unfortunately, the norm around here thanks to hubby's truly sucky schedule. (I know "sucky" isn't a real word, but it's another one of those that really should be, eh?) Anyway, today my boys and I have had two sword fights, multiple tickle fights, two games of "Mommy, you're a bear. Come and chase us!", a trip to the playground for a picnic and general frolicking, a trip to Fred Meyer for groceries and other stuff, one Disney movie, some coloring, some story reading, and a (highly successful, for once) spaghetti dinner ALL WITHOUT ONE SINGLE TIME-OUT! For anyone reading this who isn't a close friend or family member and, therefore, hasn't witnessed the constant chaos that is life in our little home, this is truly a miraculous occurrence. It means there was no hitting (!), only minimal name-calling (immediately followed by an apology), and very little competition over toys, my attention, or anything else in the house. Nobody burst into tears today. Nobody threw a hissy fit today. (Not even me!) Nobody ended up bleeding or bruised or with a stick in his eye today. And what, you may ask, brought about this miracle? Bribery. The image of a Dairy Queen treat floating around their little minds all day. And, what is keeping the miracle going, now that we are back from DQ and starting the bedtime routine? More bribery. Tons of extra kisses from Daddy when he gets home from work and hears the good news! (Daddy just might be getting something else tonight too, because Mommy's feeling GREAT after this unusually calm day...) So, to all those Moms who somehow manage to have wonderfully well-behaved little kids without ever resorting to the use of bribery -- I salute you. You are no doubt much better mothers than I will ever be, and I wish I knew all of your mysterious parenting secrets. But, to the rest of us, who use bribery from time-to-time to save our sanity -- Cheers!
Posted by Beth