The other day my son was standing on our kitchen table. Super dangerous. I calmly told him to get down and he totally ignored me. I said it again in a calm tone and I got the same response. I then demanded that he get down with a more firm tone and at the top of his lungs he screamed…
“GET ME AN ICE POP!”
“What the hell?” I thought.
I was dumbfounded because I was telling him to stop doing something he knew was wrong and he was demanding a treat in return. I told him that we do not reward bad choices and the argument continued. Eventually I took him off of the table. He yelled some more, threw a tantrum, dropped it and we hugged it out.
That night I thought about what had transpired. I then had an “Ah Ha” moment. It was clearly my fault.
Up until recently, when I wanted him to do something I would offer him something. At the time he was young and it was easier than actually dealing with the bad behavior. Now, he’s older and much wiser.
I used to say things like “if you get off of the table then I will give you a ______”. You can fill in the blank with a toy, ice pop, band aid (he loves wearing band aids) or a TV show.
HUGE MISTAKE MAN!
This was a terrible mistake and it clearly blew up in my face.
Fortunately, I have seen the error of my ways and I have made adjustments. It has not been easy for my toddler because it is what he expects, but I have to stick to it. I do not want to sound like I am preaching, but don’t make the same mistake I did. I definitely took the easy way out at first and now that he is older it is much more difficult. Kids need boundaries and parents are tired, weak and at times impatient, but taking that extra step earlier on will pay dividends.
Please share your parenting advice. I am far from perfect and I continue to find better ways to be a dad every day. I’m not always successful, but hey, I’m only human and kids don’t come with instructions.