• Carolyn

About negotiations and secret weapons

I thought I had this parenting gig sorted. It sure felt like that when the kids were younger and ever willing to please. Now a days, however it feels like there is a battle of wills being fought at the Pereira residence, and them little terrorists (oops sorry. Kids I meant) are desperate to win.

Take for example the other day. It is summer vacation time and we now have the whole morning to pass. So, this particular morning they decide to play with the Lego. 2 boxes were emptied on their bedroom floor and the building followed. Once they were done (a mere 30 min later mind you) they were ready to move on to the next game. So i said, sure. Put the Lego away first. I was greeted with stares like I had just spoken a foreign language! “But mama, Asha will come and clear it away later”

In an attempt to try and teach them the right thing, I (very nicely) asked them to put it away themselves, and I left them to it, expecting them to listen and have it done in a few minutes. Half an hour later the mess was still there.

I tried everything: coaxing, explaining, threatening, yelling…but the grumbles and “but why’s” could probably be heard from here till Timbuktu.

So, frazzled as I was, I resorted to the naughty corner. It was either that, or put the Legos away immediately. The 2 of them marched to the naughty corner! I was about ready to pull my hair out! This was turning out to be war and somehow or the other mama had to turn out victorious.

The corner obviously wasn’t doing anything to make them understand they were being punished, if the giggles were anything to go by. Sooooo I took out my secret weapon ( all mum’s have a secret weapon). I waved the ipad in front of their faces and said (in my most threatening voice)” no ipad for a week. For one week, you will clean that room and the mess you both make. Then I shall decide. For now, the ipad shall be hidden someplace you will never find it”

You could have cut the air with a knife. SILENCE. 2 pairs of eyes staring up at me like I had just given them a one week jail sentence.

I don’t need to say that the Legos were cleared away in 10 minutes flat. But they still didn’t get the ipad for a few days until they proved to me that they would clear up after themselves.

What I am trying to say guess is, tough love works. As sad as it is, being nice doesn’t. I’m always nice the first 5 times I ask them to take a shower or brush their teeth. The 6th time I used to yell. Now all I have to say is “remember the time you lost your ipad privileges?” Works like a charm.


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