Tuesday, April 28, 2015

DAY TWO: The Good, The Bad & The Bribe

Connor sleeping in a shopping cart
I had the supreme delight of running errands this morning without any kids. Yes, you read that correctly—no kids!

And yes, it was just as glorious as it sounds—I hit six stores in less than two hours, I forgot that was even possible, it was like seeing a unicorn right there at the mall.

And all this unbridled joy was after yesterday when I took Connor grocery shopping and he fell asleep in the cart, see the pic and love it because it was just too cute. I thought I hit the jackpot then, so today was just unreal.

OK onto the point of today's blog...

Whenever I reached a new place, I happened to park next to a mom with one or two little kids. And each time I heard the same speech that I give my own boys when we pull up to a store, “hold my hand, this is a parking lot, yes, if you are good in the store you can get a ____.” We usually offer an extra 10 minutes of TV or iPad play or even a sweet, like a cookie or a couple of M&MS. Today there was some of that, but there was also some “bigger prizes” being offered and you knew that mom was at the end of her rope.

I smiled at one woman and her daughter after she delivered “the speech” to her little lady and she said, “it’s awful what we have to do.”

I couldn’t shake that comment, especially after I saw MANY moms doing the same thing—bribing their kids to be good. And yes, I know that kids “should” be well behaved in public—and at home—and there shouldn’t be the need for the bribe at all. But let’s be real, they need a little incentive at times—just like adults.

So, you know what? No, I don’t think a little bit of bribery is all that bad. I wonder if it can actually be a way to teach our children that in order to get “rewarded” we must present ourselves in a certain manner, while also illustrating to them that sometimes it takes “work” to get the prize. It's lesson for life, not a way to get through the store faster. You can’t be loud and crazy or throw a temper tantrum when your computer crashes in the office, you need to work hard, help your team and be respectful of your boss in order to earn a promotion at your job.

So to that woman in the parking lot: Don’t feel bad about offering your daughter a treat in exchange for good behavior—feeling good knowing you are teaching her that to get a reward, she has to earn it.

With that, I am going to reward myself for this fabulous post with an ice coffee.

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