Tuesday, September 21, 2010
The question was "Do you bribe your child to do things?"
My first thought was not just no, but HELL NO! Then I Googled the definition:
1. Something, such as money or a favor, offered or given to a person in a position of trust to influence that person's views or conduct.
2. Something serving to influence or persuade.
Usually when I think of bribing a child I think of something along the lines of "If you don't throw a fit I'll give you a cookie. Please, pretty please don't throw a fit." To me that means the kid is the puppet master and the parent is the puppet.
Then I read the second definition, something serving to influence or persuade, and I had to re-think my initial reaction. I realized that I do things that are intended to influence or persuade.
"What? You don't want to eat the dinner Mommy made? That's ok. There's always breakfast tomorrow. You won't starve, well not to death."
"You got up too late to catch the bus for school? Guess you better get walking. Oh, and take an umbrella it's pouring out there."
"You're kidding me? You want an allowance? Let me get this right. You want me to pay you to be a part of the family and help out? Think again. You want money? Do something outside of your normal responsibilities."
"Before you throw that fit you better realize that I brought you into this world and I can take you out of it!"
"Really? You're gonna run away because I won't let you have a TV in your room? Here's $25, catch a bus."
Kids need boundaries, absolutes, to feel safe. They need to know there's someone in control. They need to learn that they aren't the Sun and we aren't the planets. They need to learn to respect themselves and those around them. They need unconditional love and unconditional consequences. They need to know that their parents are parents and not puppets. But mostly my kids need to understand that I'm the mom, I pull the strings. I don't understand how a loving parent can send their kids into the world and not teach them the rules the world plays by.
So bribery, yes, I use bribery. I teach them the rules, I expect them to follow the rules. If they choose not to I have all sorts of ways I will influence them. This mama don't play no games.
On another note I'm leaving bright and (ugh) early tomorrow morning on a week long motorcycle trip. I think I may try to vlog some of it, should be fun!
Love you guys!