The Writing Mamas Daily BlogEach day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.
If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.
And for that, you are a goddess.
Friday, July 11, 2008
Bribes are the Junk Food of Honesty
My four-year old refuses to put on his pants.
If not for the the flu he is having or the slime building in his sinuses turning his eyes into puffy, narrow slits -- dressing him would not become a major goal of my life.
I need to keep him warm even if it means putting certain pants on without his consent.
He wiggles out of my arms and the pants. I’m beyond frustrated. I’m now waking up several times nightly to check on his temperature, give him medicine, rub vapors on his chest, and generally checking that he is still alive and breathing.
Exhausted, I’m reduced to the tactics I’ve sworn never to do: bribes and threats.
“You can have a cookie only if you put these on,” I say. I do not expect any outcome. Recently he has had three Oreos for dessert, lunch and dinner.
“Okay,” he says.
Uh, did I really hear that? Not wasting a minute, I pull his pants up. I’m thinking, how else can I can bank on this little cookie bribe? What if I risk rejection? I could lose the new found power of the cookie bribe forever if I push too hard.
I take my chance.
“You have to put your warm sleepers on, too. “
I give him another cookie and he is happily hopping away without asking for more. Probably he doesn’t want to be asked for a favor again.
Perhaps I should reconsider my treating your kids as you would like to be treated philosophy. After all, they are children, not adults. Maybe I should diversify my parenting techniques and include some bribes along with the innocent lies.
Like the time my mom insisted on telling my six-year old that the natural history museum was closed for renovation instead of “we are late and the museum is closed.” That lie went so smoothly that it left me wondering how many tantrums could have been avoided by being less truthful here and there.
I think I may be on to something.
Here's to Oreos and innocent lies!
By Dilyara Breyer
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