Friday, October 24, 2008

Not for Love or Money, But a Tic-Tac?

In response to a post by amodernmother, I started thinking about how we so often end up bribing our kids either to speed things along or get our own way without a fight.

Her kid ended up getting a lollipop for going to preschool to avoid a scene in front of other parents.

Oh, I know the feeling. With a 3-year-old boy and a one-year-old girl, I'll do anything sometimes to get the boy to acquiesce.

Luckily, preschool isn't such an issue so far, but he is SO enjoying the knock-down-drag-out-all-out-screaming tantrum these days. I'm all for expressing oneself, but they are so tiresome.

A friend told me that she rewards her (same age) son with a single Tic-Tac (a tiny candy, half the size of an M&M) if he is well-behaved in the store. Her son is a much more docile kid than my little bulldozer/talk-show-host, so it works for them.

Gullible me thought, "Oh! This is a great idea. He'll anticipate the reward and behave nicely."

Ha! Now, all I hear when we are in the car is, "Can I have some candy? I'm good! I behave! Can I have some candy? Can I have some candy? Mama, I want some candy!"

I chose to stick with it, only because I don't want to switch gears on him and be wishy-washy.

Every so often, when he's been unconsciously sweet and well-behaved in public, I'll present him with this tiny white or orange ellipsoidal treat and he's euphoric. "CANDY!"

He holds it reverently between his thumb and finger and gazes lovingly at it while licking it gently and talking about it. If we're walking, he either drops it, crunches it up, or swallows it by accident. But seated in the car, one Tic-Tac lasts between 5 and 10 minutes. Now that's bliss.


Susanna said...

Amazing the lure of a sweet...even a tic-tac.

I still don't know about this bribe thing. I don't remember my parents (nor does my mother)offering candy to me to behave, and I certainly didn't go to preschool, I think I was almost six when I was first sent to kindergarten.

What happened between then and now?

As you know, I am the first to succumb to bribery...

THB (Ellen) said...

Well, I can't blame any mother of a toddler for bribing their way out of one of those knock-down screaming tantrums in the middle of grocery shopping! That's so awful!

Anonymous said...

hahaha! Thats cute! =)