I’m Not Above Bribing My Kid To Not Be An Asshole
To anybody out there who is parenting a strong willed child, I raise my tequila to you and clink glasses almost hard enough to break them. Parenting is hard, but it is seriously mind boggling when your child is stubborn.
I’d like to say I heard this from a friend, but alas, my Twee Destroyer is a fiery little bundle of temper tantrums and refusals until she decides that she can and will take on a task.
Potty training, for example was a complete and total nightmare that took about a year to actually complete. She just would not fucking pee in the toilet. We tried special underpants. We tried a special potty. We tried candies.We tried threats. We tried screaming matches. We gave up.
Then all of a sudden, a couple months after she turned three, she just starting using the toilet like a nice human. It was mind boggling.
As she got older, I decided it was time for her to take on a little responsibility for her own crap. I was so tired of chasing behind the kids cleaning up one mess after another. So I bought a Dora The Explorer motivational calendar and gave her five things to do each week to earn a sticker. once all the stickers were full ( a total of 35 tasks completed) she got to choose a prize.
And you know what?
I fucking worked. Instead of me threatening to ruin her life forever for not cooperating with me, she started looking for ways to earn those damn stickers. And now, she just accepts that cleaning her room is her goddamn job, and I feel like I finally won at something in life.
So the key to any successful parenting tactic is of course consistency. Which is why the sticker chart lasted for about 3 weeks and has been lost somewhere over Christmas. Seriously. It is SO HARD to keep up with shit like that. I should really get my shit together and do it again, but……
I’ve now resorted to more simple and direct forms of bribery. For example, she has refused for about 9 months to walk the beam at gymnastics without someone holding her hand. Now I know, and the coach knows that she is perfectly capable of doing so. But she is so stubborn. She decided that she needs help all the way until she goes to the fucking Olympics and that is that.
“Hey Honey……if you walk the whole beam without any help and without falling off I’ll give you a dollar.”
And you know what? That fucking worked too. She earned a couple of other dollars for other tricks she’s been too stubborn to try and spent them on a box of Timbit donuts for her and her brother on the way home.
So, it’s sorta the same as the chart, but a hell of a lot less work. More expensive, and more blatantly bribery, but everybody got what they needed.
And it gave me an excuse to grab a coffee. A much needed and deserved coffee.
Because parenting a strong willed child is hard work, expensive, and it was too early for wine.