Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Resorting to Bribery

I'm normally not one to bribe my children. I think they should just obey and that's the end of it. Jaycie has left me with my arms in the air. I'm certain that the stresses of life going on lately have added to the problem. Still, I need to figure out something to entice her to cooperate.

Recently, she has begun screaming through the entire church service in the nursery. I'm not a parent that minds my child screaming. With all the other kids in the room, however, this behavior cannot always be tolerated. Screaming and crying can work like a domino effect in the nursery. After being called out of service to get her one Sunday, I became concerned that she may think her bad behavior is being rewarded. A plan of action was necessary. I decided to attempt bribery.

A couple of weeks ago, I had a conversation with her about the nursery. She was informed that we each go to our own classes and we would see her after church. Picking out one of the most exciting pieces of candy I could find in the pantry, the bribery began. Jaycie was enticed with the offer of Air Heads following church if she remained in her "class" without screaming and crying. Holding my breath, I was able to sit through the entire service. It actually worked!

Potty training has yet to be conquered with her as well. I continue to make excuses but the bottom line is that she just doesn't seem to mind wet pants and prefers to wear pull-ups still. (That and I'm just not disciplined enough with the process.) We encourage her to use the potty chair and take her to the bathroom when she asks. If she asks for a piece of candy during the day, I instruct her that she can go on the potty chair and receive some candy. This seems to do the trick. Whenever she does her business appropriately, the reward is her choice of candy (often bubble gum). She even decided yesterday that she wants to wear big girl panties again.

All of this being said, I'm realizing that oftentimes I look down my nose at parents in situations with potty training or screaming children. I tend to make judgments and decide that they obviously just don't take the time to be a good parent. Now, sitting in the judgment seat, I realize that I need to cut people some slack. Every child is different. I can't possibly know what circumstances are occurring in their lives to add to the situation. And afterall, we certainly all have problems.

It's time to entice the training with some candy again. Otherwise, I'll be cleaning my carpet!

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