I swore I’d never result to bribery to get my child to behave. After years listening to parents threaten everything from the menial ‘just wait til your father gets home,’ to extreme forms of capital punishment, I had heard enough threats to believe that I, in my infinite wisdom, was above such forms of behaviour management. How wrong I was.
As we approach the eve of one of children’s favourite holidays, it seems that even I am not immune to the greatest forms of bribery. That is the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus bribe. It is with much finger wagging and foot stamping protest that I have to admit to pulling out the odd, ‘The Easter Bunny is watching you,’ or ‘You won’t be getting any chocolate eggs from the Easter Bunny if you keep doing that.’ How wonderful it is to have something in your arsenal of behaviour strategies that actually gets results, and immediate results.
The only downside to using these forms of bribery are the fact that it takes the Easter Bunny and Santa a long time to deliver on the goods. For some parents, the bribes start the moment that the first egg is spotted in the Supermarket checkout, which I think this time was on about Boxing Day. The longer the bribe drags on, the less effective a strategy it becomes.
My darling two year old is one such child who has resorted to an almost eye rolling response now when I use any bribe starting with ‘The Easter Bunny….’ How can I blame her, the bribe is even wearing thin on me.
The other downside of such a bribe is the fact that come Sunday morning, you’ve got no bribes left until November, when the Christmas trees start appearing (who am I kidding, they start in about June now.) On top of that, the fact your children have spent all morning gorging themselves on chocolate means you will inevitably have the most irritable and unreasonable child on your hands for the rest of the day. Plus, child care is closed until Tuesday so there is no where you can send these little monsters, and no bribe big enough to snap them out of their sugar high slump.
Anyway, Happy Easter everyone. Enjoy your long weekend ….. xx Tegan