Monday, March 29, 2010

Parental Bribery!! (The Back Pocket Plan)

Kids are supposed to just LISTEN, right? I say it, and so it shall be done!! Umm...not really always the way it goes. I would say I am moderately firm with my kids. We don't spank in our household. Ok...a little pat on the bottom here and there which is NEVER effective, because there's never enough impact (from me) to intimidate. My kids actually chuckle after, which usually results in, "Oh! You think that's funny? Go to your room! In the old days, kids had to pick their own twigs for their spanking, you know!!" And they run to their rooms, covering their chuckling mouths. I am just not made to be a spanker! That's probably because I never got spanked (yup, I said never) growing up. So I had to have a plan B. My usual punishments involve taking away the things they value most (ie., Nintendo DS, Television privileges, playground privileges) and when I really want to stick it to them, I make them read books, and if I feel really froggy, throw in a book summary! Yeah, I know, I know...not that scary, but it works for the most part, in our home.
~PARENTAL BRIBERY~ This is usually a tactic that I keep in my back pocket for emergencies! I am sure some people think it's not a good idea, think that kids should just do what they are told to do. I know that personally, knowing you can earn something is a great motivator! I am participating in a 12 hour dance a thon because I know I will be earning donations from sponsors that will go towards a Children's Hospital. It doesn't have to be a tangible thing that you "earn". And the key word here IS earn. So how does Parental Bribery work in my house? I'll tell you. Today's example: My weather anxious child refused to go to school because of pouring rain, thunder & flood advisory. (serious weather anxiety!) So I let him stay home and explained to the teacher, who knows how weather conditions trigger him. The teacher explains that he's missing a test and major review. I don't mess around when it comes to education, but I am a compassionate mother; in this case, I had to get him to go. So I tried a stern go. I needed a back pocket back up! Aha! LARGE Milkshake if he gets the courage to overcome and go to school. DING DING DING! It was a winner! What harm am I really doing? In my book, he's earned it. Scenario two: "Kids, if you all clean your rooms, we'll have pizza & sundaes for dinner!" Earning Reward is the key here. They are learning to work to earn things. The fine line...getting them to do things from the heart, being self motivated. So there's a balance. Now, I don't offer a reward for everything they do. But every now and then, I reach into the back pocket!

~La Poetic Seamstress~