Thursday, November 06, 2008

Parenting 101

Parenting is learned, but it isn't taught.


That's right you have to learn the hard way. The school of "experience".

Is it fun?

Ill be honest, not usually.

I am I fast learner?

Let's just say I have some bruises. Does the term the school of hard knocks mean anything to you?

Kamden also likes to run head on into my legs when I am sitting on the couch. My physical bruises stem directly from those incidents. The other bruises are earned through blood, sweat and tears in this "job" called parenting.

Like many women, I had ideals before I became a parent. I never thought I would yell at my children. Or get frustrated and loose my patience. Or nag. No especially not that. I mean, my kids will listen the first time I ask them to do something.

*stops to shine halo and halos of future children*

I'll be honest. I do all of those things. Daily. Daily might be an exaggeration but I am being real here.

A guy I worked with once told me he had NEVER yelled at his kids. He also told me he made all his baby food from scratch. He also told me that once I had kids I would no longer recycle since it is so much work. Hmmm, I am I the only one who sees the irony there?

Well I do yell at my kids. I did not make all my baby food from scratch (I did make some, Jack spit it out and Kamden loved it - you win some, you lose some). And I do recycle.

*tries unsuccessfully to unbend and polish tarnished halo*

I have reached another milestone on this journey called parenting. Bribery.

That's right. One of the oldest tricks in the books. And one that I am certain very few parenting professionals would advocate.

But I did it. And guess what? It worked.

You see my Jack has an issue with pants. Well the issue is actually his lack of waist. The pants, well some them don't really stay up. To alleviate this problem in the past, I would roll the waist band up.

It had become a habit. He was rolling ALL of his pants even those that fit him properly. He had come to determine that his "waist" was somewhere near his armpits, so not only would he roll them but he would pull them up to kingdom come.

This resulted in it looking like he regulary walked around in flooded basements or he was channelling Steve Urkel.

Either way, it was more than this Type A could bear.

So after much haggling and *gasp* nagging (did I just type that?) with zero success, I struck a deal. If he could get through one day without rolling his pants he earned a whole full size chocolate bar that he could consume in one sitting (almost unheard of around here if Mom is around, Dad, well that's another story). If he could do it for a week? A whole $20 to spend on whatever he wanted.

After one week and two days I am happy to report that one seven year old has $20 to his name.

Habit broken = success!

Now if I could just "fix" this damn halo.

Oh hell what's the use, I'll just get a new one.



teeni said...

You can recycle the halo - maybe use it as a hoop for quilting in your spare time! ;) Did this comment work?

Kimber said...

Hey bribery is a wonderful tool sometimes.

Ed (zoesdad) said...

Holy cow! $20. Those rolled up pants must have really been bothering you.

Tracey said...

Hey, if it works? Who cares? Isn't bribery just a different way to pay someone? Kids don't have "jobs" where they have to do things they don't like, other than growing up. So, his job this week was to stop it with the pants. He succeeded and got paid. (in chocolate and cash. My kind of salary!)

Anonymous said...

I love it Kami. We can have matching Halos remember my bribery with kindersurprises?


KarenK said...

I don't consider this bribery - think of it as positive reinforcement. You can make anything sound better depending on how you word it :)

Lori said...

who says parents have to be perfect? the big thing I try to do when I do get upset with my kids is step back later and talk to them about it... turn it into a learning experience

Stacie said...

ha, my philosophy on parenting is....

do what works. :D

mamatucci said...

I think we all bribe alittle or alot. And I definately nag,no matter how hard i try. And my mom is such a nag and I am never gonna be like her.wink wink.

Glad it worked for you and i missed you lately.Funny how you can miss someone you never met eh. I am just a sappy girl I guess

Elaine A. said...

One of my mottos, especially with kids is "Whatever works!" I've used bribery in the past to get Ben to eat his veggies and I don't feel bad about because now he eats them on his own!

Angella said...

I am ALL ABOUT the bribery. Go you!!

Kellan said...

This was a great post, Kami - great!! I yell too and I bribe. I'm all for not yelling and not bribing - just never learned how to not do it - HA!

Have a good weekend - Kellan

KATE said...

Great post! And, if you ever do figure out how to fix your halo~ let me know! Oh just kidding I never had one to begin with!!!

Hannah said...

Bribery works. It's that simple!
Parenting would be a heck of a lot harder if we couldn't resort to bribing our kids. Seriously.

P.S. I yell, too. I always said I wouldn't.

Karen MEG said...

I roll the waist for the girlie too LOL!

So let's hear it for bribery! The kids convinced me to bring them to Toys R Us yesterday as reward for going to childminding while I was at the gym. Of course, I had to buy them each something. And I had to preface the purchase with ..."Okay, and this is for all the good behaviour that is coming up, OK?"

"Okay mommy!"

Yeah, right? I think I need to work on my technique.

Great post!

Kristin said...

I think this should be refered to as "incentivizing" I mean really don't we all have to have a good reason to do something? Great post, very funny!

BeachMama said...

Kudos to you for trying the bribery! I have been doing it since J was two and a half. I wanted him Potty trained and bribed him with Veggie Tale movies. Since then, we have used it a few other times for important things like no longer sucking fingers, ditching the blanket, stuff like that. It works. And don't let anyone tell you differently :).

Natalie said...

are you saying i'm not supposed to use bribery? hummmm.... too late. it is my current favorite method.