I am often surprised at just how difficult it really is raising a child. We try to teach them the best that we know how. We want them to learn about responsibility, respect & manners. We try to set boundaries and offer consequences. What we often forget are that those little buggers are smarter than we realize & sometime our methods backfire on us.
Ante Up: We have all done it. It is something that we know we shouldn’t do, but in a desperate situation many of us have given in to bribery to get desired behavior from our child. I have used the reward system in the past to reward her for doing things that we deem as good, such as cleaning up her toys or finishing her supper and most recently for using the potty. We are on the verge of having a breakthrough with potty training. We have been putting her in her big girl pants more & more. As a prize for successfully peeing in the potty we will give her a few M&Ms or a chocolate chip. This has become something that is expected. Today was a good morning without the diaper. We had a victorious trip to the toilet and then gave her a bite sized Kit Kat. Five minutes passed & she ran to me and said
“Mama, I have to go potty.”
“Again?” I thought. I did not question it. We rushed to the bathroom & she sat down to do her business again. With a devilish look in her eye, she began to make a hissing sound with her mouth
“Pssssssssssss”. “I finish peeing, Mama. Now I have a chocolate.”
Calling Your Bluff: Our daughter has become quite the little actress these days. One of her newest acts is trying to get out of doing things that she does not want to by feigning sickness.
“Mai, pick up your toys.”
“Cough, Cough Cough, I too sick..cough.”
“If you’re sick, we better go to the doctor.”
“Yeah, I need to go to doctor.” she said while grabbing her boots & putting them on her feet. “Let’s go.”
Turning The Tables: Mai has selective hearing.
“Mai, pick up your toys.”
“What” is her new favorite word. I will ask her calmly and politely again. When she does not respond, I usually practice the time old mommy trick of counting to 3 before either sending her to timeout or taking away one of her toys.
The other day I knocked over a bucket of craft supplies while cooking. I had my hands full so I was unable to pick it up right away.
“Mama, you made a mess. Oonnee, twoooo, three…You in timeout.”
I could only be so lucky. Where do I sign up for timeout?
But I Said Please…: We have taught our daughter the importance of manners from as early as she could speak. She knows to say please & thank you. I have been trying to teach her that she does not need to cry or whine when she wants something. Instead, she should ask politely and always say please.
“Mama, can I please have an ice cream cone for breakfast.”
“Ice cream is not for breakfast. Mommy is making pancakes.”
“But I said please.”
Unfortunately, I have a very well-mannered child that now thinks that if she says please this should get her anything that she wants. Unfortunately my dear it is just like the Rolling Stones say “You can’t always get what you want.”
Where is my mommy manual?