Do you resort to bribery?
Some days, with my 5 kids wreaking havoc in my 3 bedroom townhouse, it’s all I can do to stay calm and collected. I love my kids, and I love being their mom. It’s what I always wanted to do with my life. But regardless of how much I adore my kids, sometimes it’s so difficult to get them to behave how I want them to behave. Yes, I have (shall we say often?) resorted to bribery.
I know that bribery is not a very effective parenting tool. (And yet I still resort to it out of desperation…) That’s why Penelope’s post on our sister site, 5 Minutes for Parenting, resonated so much with me. Penelope is a mom, freelance writer, and editor of Penelope’s Oasis. I think she speaks for all of us.
You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. I always felt it was a strange expression (because really, can you catch any flies with vinegar?). Then one day I got it. We all prefer sweetness over bitterness, and in our relationships we prefer to be around someone who builds us up and makes us feel good about ourselves, rather than someone who criticizes us or makes us feel bad. Criticism or punishment makes us feel misunderstood, unappreciated, and may even make us want to totally avoid that person if possible. We surely don’t feel inspired to make them proud of us or to impress them.
So how does this translate into parenting?