STOP Rewarding Your Kids For Good Behavior! (Reward Yourself Instead)

I’m not above bribery. Have I ever been the shitty mom other moms poo-poo who gave in to the toy her kid was goodbehaviorscreaming for in the store just to shut them the hell up? Yes. Yes I am. This doesn’t mean my kids are entitled. It doesn’t mean I’m failing at parenthood. It means I had a moment, and perhaps, in that moment- the only winner was the kids. And maybe my sanity. My kids don’t go into every toy store screaming and crying for every single thing they see but absolutely don’t need nor deserve- so I’m pretty sure giving in a few times didn’t harm them for life. I’m certainly not losing any sleep over it.

Parenthood is a lot about failing, and even more about choosing your battles wisely. Oh, and about survival. I fail a lot. I don’t always choose my battles wisely, and most days, I’m seriously not sure if I’m going to survive- so OF COURSE I want to make the shit I have to get done easier for everyone.

Errands are one of those necessary evils. I hate errands. I especially hate errands when I have to drag my kids along and they complain LITERALLY THE ENTIRE TIME.
“I have to peeeeeeeeee”- this is why I told you to go before we left the house.
“My legs are tired!”- We just got here. You’re not even in the double digits. Your legs are not tired. But my brain is tired of hearing your voice so SHUT IT.
And then there’s the fighting. Ohhhhhhh, the fighting.
“He’s breathing on me!”
“He’s yelling in my ear!”
“He’s standing too close to me even though he’s seven feet away and not even looking in my direction!”
Holy. Shitballs. There’s nothing that makes me crazier, and not even bringing a tablet along for them to play with when I know it’s going to take a really long time helps. They have found a way to fight over absolutely everything, and absolutely nothing- making the process take four times as long and leaving us all angry with pounding heads by the end. It’s a wonder I ever leave the house.

Yesterday was no different. I braced myself for it. I had them full of snacks and emptied of pee before we left. I had the tablet charged. And I knew threats wouldn’t work to keep that in line when all of that inevitably failed (and it did. Apparently the tablet is plotting their demise). So I did what any mother on the brink of insanity would do- I bribed them. YES I DID, AND I’M NOT ASHAMED!

I said- LOOK. I know you hate running errands. I know you get bored. BUT, if you make this easy on me for ONCE IN YOUR LIVES- if you get along, and behave, and don’t fight or whine or complain or breathe on each other, or detail how the tablet is out to destroy your lives– after I’m done, we will get lunch out. We never get lunch out. CHEAP AND PROUD!

They agreed–I breathed a huge sigh of relief.

Did they make good on their bargain? HAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHA AHAHA HA AHAHA HA HA HAHA HA HA HA HAnoiertheroihgeoirhgeohg
If you think they actually held up to their end, I’ve got a hemorrhoid on Brad Pitt’s ass to sell you.

They didn’t do their worst, but they most certainly didn’t do well enough to be rewarded. Did I hold strong to the deal by taking their whiny-asses home and feeding them cold PB&Js? No. No I did not.
Did we eat out? Yes. Yes we did.
Why? Because if anyone deserved a reward after that disaster of a trip- it was ME.

You see, my parental friends, we spend so much time focusing on rewarding or punishing the behavior of our children, we forget about us. Just because THEY suck, doesn’t mean we should all have to suffer.
They may not have gotten through the trip without fighting/whining/bitching/moaning/complaining/sucking, but I did, and isn’t that worth something??

Maybe your answer was no, maybe you don’t think we should be rewarded for behaving like “good” parents, or not behaving like “bad” parents- but y’know what? It felt right. Not only did I not have to sit down and listen to their bitching about PB&Js, but I didn’t have to make the effort to prepare ANYTHING for them at all. I could just relax, for once. We all deserve that every now and then, if you ask me. And I don’t care if you didn’t- I’m telling you- we do.

Posted on August 3, 2016 by Holdin' Holden 0 Comment
Holdin' Holden

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