Thursday, September 29, 2011
No You're Not
How many times a week do I hear a mom or dad issuing an empty threat? Almost daily. As I was leaving the Y the other day, I overheard a mom saying to her son who was maybe two say "Conner, it is time to go. Please follow Mommy now." Conner wasn't the slight bit interested in leaving the handrailing he was swinging on it like a monkey and it seemed he was setting up shop there for the afternoon by pretzeling his little legs and arms around the bar. After the initial direction she should have picked up that kid and carried him to her car but instead her security level rose to yellow. "Conner, Mommy really needs to be somewhere. we have to go now." Conner didn't respond. Seems to me that Conner had booked the handrailing for the rest of the afternoon. Threat level now orange...."Conner, get off that handrailing right now or there will be no treat later." Bribery. Apparently Conner had seen this all before because he didn't budge. Not even cookies is going to get me off this railing Mommy so you might as well go on without me. Threat level red, and this is my favorite one.."Conner, if you don't get off that railing right now Mommy is going to leave you here!" "Bye, Conner" and the fake walk away. No you're not. I get freaked out when I can't make visual contact with all three of my kids in a store. Don't issue empty threats. Pry that kid off the handrailing and escort him to the car. Then, tell him because of his inability to listen he loses something he cherishes. Don't offer to take away treats that you WOULD have given him if he was good. Do you want Conner to succeed in life later? Give him one warning and follow through.