I said I’d never do it.  Kids should just act appropriately.  This was the pre-kid me speaking of course.  My child would never throw a tantrum in a grocery store or whine or beg for candy.

And then I had a child.

I remember vividly the tantrum Coco threw in Trader Joe’s about 3 months ago.  I don’t know what set her off because she was fine moments before we entered the store.  By that time I knew not to take a tired or hungry child shopping. I learned that lesson the hard way when I took her to Safeway after picking her up from daycare one evening.  She was tired and hungry but we had nothing to eat so I figured I would stop off on the way home.  Big mistake.  Huge.

Oh, and let’s not forget the one she had in CVS.  Her piercing screams got me all kinds of evil looks.  She had only been home with me for about a month when that one happened and I remember thinking to myself,  ‘Give me a break people! I have only been parenting her a  month.  This wouldn’t be happening if I had had her since birth’.  Yeah, right!  Who did I think I was?

Coco’s been home with me now for about a year and a half.  We have rules and there are consequences for behavior.  She knows this.  But she’s three.  She gets whiny and cranky and acts up when she’s hungry and tired.  So I do what I swore I would never do.  I bribe her.  Yup, sure do.  And, yes, it goes totally against every parenting philosophy I believe in.  But you know what? Sometimes it’s just freaking easier that way!   “So”, I tell her, “if you are a good girl in the store I will buy you a cookie”.  Ugh.  I cringe when I say it, but when you need to shop with a tired or hungry child, it sure makes the experience easier.  On everyone.

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2 Responses to Bribery

  1. Heidi Faber says:

    You’re right, you need to give yourself a break! First of all, everyone I know that has children, including my own parents, (who were fairly strict), have used the reward system. Good behavior=a reward. Just as bad behavior has it’s consequences, so does good behavior. My friend that is a child psychologist recommends using a ‘currency’ that is important to the child. Whether it is playtime, favorite food, going to a favorite park or pool…good behavior is reinforced. The important thing is to keep true to your word/promise, Both in rewards and discipline. These are just my thoughts and tips…I don’t have kids, but I’ve been one. Hang in there- You’re doing a great job!

  2. Jennifer says:

    I’ve used bribery too – haven’t we all??? I’ve done quite a few things I said or thought I would never do.

Kind words only, please! :)

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