Bribery. We all do it. . . At least, I think we all do. . . OK, I do.
Call it survival, bribery, rewarding good behavior, gently influencing, whatever you want to call it. I try not to abuse it. But it’s freakin’ great. It’s brilliant. Works like a charm.
But seriously, I do not abuse it. I promise. . . I can’t believe how much weight and significance two little words can have. Ice Cream. BAM. They listen. They stop crying. Instantly. They actually stop and listen. It’s like they are in a hypnotic trance and I could ask them to do . . . anything. But seriously, I don’t abuse it.
I will pull out the ice cream card only in emergency situations. Like when we’re at the dentist for a teeth cleaning and she is not cooperating and making the dentist, his assistant and all of the other patients wait. Which clearly negates the entire visit but somehow I have managed to make sense of this. . in my head. Parenting does this to you. Like when we’re at karate class for the first time and she won’t even go inside. The karate class that she begged and begged us to sign her up for because her friend was taking karate and she wanted to learn how to kick and say “Hi-ya!”.
We are no where remotely close to actually knowing what we are doing as parents. We take it day by day. And try to learn something everyday. And pray and hope we are doing something right. And we have learned when to pull out those magical words. . Ice Cream. . and now we know that if we give them ice cream all the time, they aren’t going to learn a darn thing. We have learned to reserve this special treat for those special occasions like . . . the first day of school, dinner at a friend’s house or when family is in town visiting. And we have happily introduced fruit as dessert. I know. This is still a relatively new concept at the Choi household but it seems to be working. .
So, for now, I’ll stick with this . . . and will save the real bribery for later. When they are older and bigger than me.