In a recent Reddit post, “ Never gamble what you aren’t willing to lose ,” parents shared the deals they’ve induced with their kids in desperate yet largely failed attempts to keep some small semblance of their sanity. Call it what you want; bargaining, negotiating, bribery or just flat out lie to yourself and call it a “reward system, ” but at the end of the working day, one fact remains. A bargain is a deal and you better deliver.
I myself have been known to offer a serving or two of rainbow sherbet ice cream (* cough *) before noon, in attempts to appease certain very difficult and disgruntled customers, ages 2 and 4.
We’re not perfect. We’re desperate, tired, and there’s an 85% chance that we are in need of a shower. We do what we gotta do. Don’t judge us. OR actually, go ahead. But perhaps a scoop of sherbet would temporarily quiet your criticisms? Hmm?
Take comfort in these bargains that parents made with their children , and know that you are not alone in your daily parenting bribery tactics nor are you the only parent who wholly sucks at the fine art of negotiation .
Just today I negotiated a deal with my four-year-old. Nothing fancy, only a good old-fashioned bribe to get him the hell out of my automobile. The terms were simple enough. If he went to preschool, then we would stop by grandma’s house afterward.
Why did I do such a thing? Well, like I said, he’s four, you assure, and his tiny knees have yet to be worn down from carrying the heavy burdens of life. When in the car, the tiny evil genius extends his legs and presses his foot against the back of my driver’s seat in protest, locking his small yet sturdy knees like the jaws of life.
After this tired, desperate, and disheveled mama had tried everything short of a public-middle-of-the-street-mother-son-wrestling-match, I caved. Of course, he insisted on a brief verbal confirmation from grandma via FaceTime before agreeing to the terms.
I wiped the sweat from my brow and my son’s tiny locked knees instantaneously released and off he went with a taunting skip in his step.
What can I say? I’m just a mommy, standing in front of a little boy, begging him to go away so she can be alone for four glorious hours. Is that too much to ask?
Apparently, I’m also a mommy who is going to have to take my son to visit grandmother every day after school for the foreseeable future.
“Never gamble what you aren’t willing to lose.”
I know it’s tempting but you shouldn’t offer your children sweet things to complete tasks . The little monster immediately cleaned his room and I had to share my cake with him .
Parents, be prepared to pay the piper.
Ya I bribed my toddler with “candy”( fruit snacks) to take her antibiotics, and for dayyyyyys after she was done with the meds, she’d come up to me and say “mecine? ”
I asked her if she had an owie and she says “no, candy” HAHA
I’m potty educate my kid with Hershey kisses. DONT JUDGE ME, he’s my fourth and he’s three and I’m done with fuc* ing diapers already .
NO judgment here. I was told you. I feel your ache. Just get through the day mama, one Hershey’s Kiss at a time.
Man, I’m using lollipops. I am just done with poop everywhere. Haha, good luck mama .
This next mama really decide herself up with this potty educate bribe…
This mom’s potty training deal with her toddler ended up having some unexpected implications …
My kid was fine with potty except for poop … so we started giving him the occasional Hot Wheel when he would poop in the toilet … Months later, we still get : Mommy, look at my poop! It’s big so I get a big car !
Potty educate my 2-year-old at the moment, thank f* ck she loves stickers .
And every once in awhile, everyone wins.
By the time we got to the last one, we videotapeed a bunch of random candy and dollar store dolls to the bathroom wall. If he pooped in the potty he had been able to opt his prize . My award was never buying or altering another diaper and I was more than willing to bribe my style from all the regions of the finish line .
I used to do the bargain thing too. Then one day my 4-year-old pulls this out :
“Well daddy, I took your deal and I altered it. I will not clean up the markers and still get a cookie. That’s the new deal.”
Ok, Darth Vader .
Moms can have their cake and clean it up, too.
My best friend’s nearly 4-year-old was feeing[ cake] and getting crumbs all over the floor which had just been cleaned.
” Kathryn, please help mommy clean up all these crumbs .” “No.” ” Ok, Kathryn, you can either help mommy or going to see time out .”
Wheels patently turning in Kathryn’s head.” Ok, I’ll going to see time out !”
She happily skipped over to the time out area and my BFF cleaned up crumbs…at least she didn’t have to share cake !
This kid is likely to be the next host of” Let’s Make a Deal .”
Kids learn so fast, in some cases … too quickly.
I used to always say,” I’ll build you a deal ,” to my son and then go on to say if you do this, you can have this.
Then my son started saying that to me when I would ask him to do something.” Buddy please clean up your room .”
” Okay, mama, I’ll make you a bargain …” I had to clear up who is the dealmaker real quick….and I also stopped doing that.
Made this error recently. We were thinking about get a new kitten. Found one about 45 minutes away. Told my 11 yr old daughter that if she cleaned her room in 30 minutes, we’d go look at and maybe get the kitten . She had to fold all of her clothes and put them away, as well, because she’d merely rearranged her furniture. I supposed she’d never be able to do it . Well, she did. Room seemed great. Went to look at the kitten. Adopted him. He had an upper respiratory infection that we didn’t know about until a few days after when it started presenting symptoms . We stimulated the mistake of introducing him to our other cats a couple of days after adopting. $500 in vet bills later, her room is messy again .
We wonder who in the world alterations the litter box every time? Actually no. We don’t. It’s mom. Apparently, some mothers must learn the hard way.
My nephew, when he was in daycare would make another child at cleanup day so he would go on timeout and not have to clean .
Clever girl. Violent … but clever , nonetheless.
My own kid would do the same when she didn’t want to be at school that day. She knew that if she reached person they would call for us to come to get her . We had to sit down with the staff and explain that they were rewarding her for her behavior. After they stopped sending her home, she stopped making .
Mine did this, except stimulating himself throw up, rather than hitting.
Once I made a rule that if he was too sick to be at school, he was too sick for Xbox, tablet, or computer, he stopped .
This next mom didn’t have to work quite so hard to get her kid to behave…
So the other day my child was playing with the tablet and begged me to let him continue playing when I went to take it away . I said ” Ok, you can play, but no ice cream later” knowing full well he wouldn’t give up ice cream . ” OK, penalty .” ” Well, shit .” I thought to myself” there is no way when we go to get ice cream later that he isn’t going to go into full meltdown because he can’t have any. I really bolt myself here .” So we get ice cream later and, lo and behold , not only does he not have a melt-down, he doesn’t even ask for any. He only sits there content, wholly happy with the deal we stimulated .
Yeah, I can imagine that once kids are smart-alecky enough to do some cost-benefit analysis, the “deals” start to backfire .
I’ve heard similar tales when parents try to set a dollar or reward value on individual chores.
It will sometimes evolve into an anarcho-capitalist free market in their home, where the kids ensure everything as an opportunity to haggle or reject chores because they don’t need any money right now .
Bargain all you want but there ain’t no way around it.
Also never promise children stuff to get them to go to sleep because they’ll wake up extra early and call in that debt of yours .
When I was just about to turn 11 my friend’s cat was pregnant with kittens. I ask my dad if I can have a kitten and he says, full of sarcasm and smug skepticism that it’d actually happen “Yeah, if they’re born on your birthday.”
Birthday arrives and my friend calls hollering “They’re being born! It’s your birthday! Omg! ”
My father didn’t believe me until he called the parents to confirm they were indeed born that day. I got a kitten .
Whether it’s a Hershey’s kiss or an expensive cat, one fact remains; ultimately, we will pay. We will always pay. We’re mothers. It’s a part of the deal. Also, never, I recur, never resort to pet bribery. Ever. Not even highly unlikely, hypothetical negotiations.
Have you ever made a deal with the devil, ahem, excuse me , I mean, your child? How’d that work out for ya ?!
Share this with person you know who’s paid the price of negotiating with their kiddo!