Monday, 14 April 2014

When to Bribe Your Kids

I've thought a lot about this and have decided there are two situations in which I am TOTALLY fine with bribing my children with treats. Yes, I did read that French book that was all the rage awhile ago that talked about not using food as a tool to get your kid to do what you want, amongst other things, and, for the most part, we do agree with that.

I've made a point of not giving in to Freddie's whining and, instead, have taught him to wait patiently as much as possible. It can be tough for him, especially when he's hungry right before meals or if he had a short nap and is just tired, but let's face it- as much as we'd all love to get whatever we want, whenever we want it, this sadly isn't real life.

But, that being said, there are still two areas where I am ready and willing to bribe Freddie with a little treat.

1. On an Airplane

Traveling with little kids, in a car, plane, train, boat, or whatever, can be the pits. They don't understand the concept of time and because of that feeling of endlessness, and the fact that it takes FOREVER to get to Seattle from Edinburgh, can make it a rough ride for everyone.

So, when we are on an airplane, Freddie can have pretty much whatever he wants. Snacks, juice, the in-flight magazine, headphones, the barf bag, whatever. And please- watch as much TV as you want! Glue your head to the screen, I don't care!

It's a time to do whatever it takes to get everyone to the final destination in one piece, with as few meltdowns as possible.

 2. Potty Training

The second situation where I am A-OK with bribing is potty training. About 6 weeks ago, I finally decided it was getting a little weird that Freddie was trying on William and my underwear whenever we would hang up laundry. He also went for our shirts, his own socks, dish rags, etc. but it was the undies he was particularly interested in.

So, I bought him some his own size. He was so excited - especially with the blue ones. We weren't planning on trying to potty train him until this summer, after the excitement of the new baby dies down, but he was just so into them that I decided to test the waters.

After a week or so of Fred just wearing the undies around the house at random times (and sometimes peeing in them), I ordered a little toilet ladder/seat contraption from Amazon (pretty much the only place I shop now) and the three of us set it up together one night. He was immediately taken by it, as climbing up on anything is quite a thrill, and after a couple tries, he had his first success!

We played it cool, gave him one cheerio (ha!) as a treat and decided to play each day by ear. For another week or so, he'd go once or twice a day until one day when he went seven times! It was then that I decided we can't turn back now, we have to go for it! So, we upped the treat to half a fruit snack ("root nack") for pee and two halves for poop.

It worked like a charm! 3 weeks later and he's pretty much completely got it. He only wears a diaper during naps (but I think we could cut this soon) and at night and is totally fine going on toilets when we are out and about. I am still in shock with how well it went, and so proud of Freddie for catching on so quick.

I am an honest enough person to admit that I even teared up a little when he first pooped on the toilet! Pregnancy hormones can get the blame for that one. :)

It's true! Everyone does.
Mom! Stop taking pics of me!

I can't wait for him to see this when he's older!


  1. You cried when he pooped in the toilet! BAHAHAHAHHAHA. I am crying picturing that. It's so sweet/disgusting/funny at the same time!

    1. Haaaa I KNOW, isn't it! What's happened to me!!


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