Posted by: Diane | January 30, 2014

A New Parenting Strategy

I’ve heard quite the assortment of creative parental persuasions over the years but this one …well…this one was the most bizarre comeback that I’ve heard. Keep in mind that it’s the end of January – Christmas is eleven months away.

A mom and her daughter (she looked about five years old) walked into the store this afternoon and I overheard mom saying, “Now, we’re only here for felt and glitter. We’re not buying anything else today. Do you understand?

No answer.

The little girl looked at her mother for a second and then made a sharp left towards the candy shelves.

“Missie, what did I just say? No candy today.” 

“But mommy, I R-E-A-L-L-Y want a sucker.”

“Missie, you’re not getting a sucker today. Now, let’s go get some glitter for the Valentine’s craft.”

Missie must have realized that she was losing the battle so she quickly lay down on the muddy floor and began to scream, “I want a sucker!”

So, it came down to that all-important moment that every mom faces. THIS was the time when the battle needed to be won hands down, by mom. What was going to be her strategy?  I stood at the front counter, watching the action. I was a fascinated bystander, wishing for a moment that I had popcorn and a drink in my hand. The suspense was killing me.

Up to this point, I had given Mom a 8/10.

1. She was proactive in telling Missie about the goal of this particular shopping trip. Check.

2. She lovingly asked whether Missie understood and then calmly and intentionally headed down the right aisle, towards the craft section. (I took two points off at this point for not waiting for a definite answer from Missie – that just might have changed the outcome of this memorable trip to smallMart.)

3. When Missie started demanding a sucker, mom patiently reiterated that no suckers were being bought today. Check.

4.  Mom re-attempted to direct Missie towards the crafts. Check.

Drum roll……what was Mom’s response to Missie’s temper tantrum?

“Missie, Santa’s taking your presents off his sleigh as we speak. He will be taking away one present for every minute that you have a temper tantrum.” 

Wow. Christmas is eleven months away and Santa is already loading his sleigh with Missie’s 2014 presents. Who would have thought?

Well, as soon as Mom’s words came out of her mouth, Missie stopped crying, got off the floor, held her mom’s hand and proceeded quietly to the craft section.

Wow. There’s so much inherently wrong with Mom’s response – but it worked.

Well worth the price of admission.

No matter how calmly you try to referee, parenting will eventually produce bizarre behavior, and I’m not talking about the kids.  Bill Cosby

When my kids become wild and unruly, I use a nice, safe playpen.  When they’re finished, I climb out. Erma Bombeck


Responses

  1. Better than the pep talk yesterday!! (Only kidding 😉 Your parenting advice rocks! This post was so cleverly written. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Thanks Diane.

    >

  2. “Missie, Santa’s taking your presents off his sleigh as we speak. He will be taking away one present for every minute that you have a temper tantrum.”

    Wow. Christmas is eleven months away and Santa is already loading his sleigh with Missie’s 2014 presents. Who would have thought?

    A revised doctrine of Santa, to be sure. At least now we know he’s equally busy in January. If Santa Claus were a theology, this would be the view that it’s possible to lose your salvation–er, I mean presents.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: