Parenting Pressure

There are some wonderful words being bandied about these days to describe modern maternity methods – positive parenting; raise your praise, not your voice; reward not reprimand. All sounds very pretty. All sounds very fluffy. But we all know what it really means. A less pretty word. The golden rule to happy parenting is – bribery.

Now I’m not dishng it. I started Daisy on sticker charts at about 18 months and was amazed how her behaviour changed (to my way of thinking!). Now I have three star charts on the go. Daisy needs 20 stars for eating her meals properly and she gets a small treat from the toy shop. Poppy is working (slooooowly) towards 10 stars for sleeping through the night – all she wants is a Jelly Baby. I can live with that – bad teeth for good sleep – sure isn’t parenting all about compromise?? And of course at the moment, we have the potty training star chart – frankly she can have the entire toy shop if we get to the end of that one.

But there are other levels too. I threaten quite a lot (sorry, positively persuade). No TV if I get to three and you are still putting the cat in the washing machine. No Peppa Pig toys for a day if I count to three and you are still biting Daisy’s arm off. We can use the right words, or we can be honest. Bribery. Threats. Extortion. I’ve decided to change my blog name from Mummy Mania. I’m now Mummy Mafia. Now I’m off to make them an offer they can’ refuse.

About Grin & Tonic by Alana Kirk

Bouncing into middle age armed with courage, ambition and a pair of tweezers (chin hairs for anyone over the age of 45 reading this) I am a writer with a mission: to redefine this midway point in my life when the last thing I want to do is hang up my high heels and become invisible. This is the end of the beginning, not the beginning of the end. A single mum to 3 fabulous girls, an author, and a fundraising consultant, both ends of my candle are on fire. As I enter this new stage of my life, I want to explore what it means for 'mid-aged' women today, who were promised they could have it all, ended up doing it all, and just do not identify with the traditional image of middle age.
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6 Responses to Parenting Pressure

  1. Foodie Mummy says:

    Ha ha ha. It is just so true. The 'offers' work also on 7 year olds. No DS if you don't do what you're told, no TV if you answer back etc.. No need for reward charts though at that age. I think parenting methods have changed quite a bit since our parents were parents, sometimes I wonder though if we are not negotiating too much with our children.


  2. Emma says:

    Lol, I was thinking the exact dame the other day! I wake in the morning and it's one bribe after another until bedtime. Reward charts are great until Nanny arrives and tips her handbag out to reveal all the hard earned rewards in one simple visit!!


  3. This was so funny!!! Yes, I think we are all part of the Mommy Mafia!!!
    Lindsey Petersen


  4. We've started sticker charts with Kai and he LOVES it. At the moment, the sticker is enough of a reward in itself (sucker!) but I am happy to bribe him as long as I need to if it encourages him to behave! I need all the help I can get!! x


  5. platespinner says:

    Hmm, not started sticker chart for monkey yet but maybe now is a good time to do so. I have been known to bribe with offers of DVDs or choc though…


  6. Kate says:

    I can only imagine how unhappy of a cat you must have had that day. I have to say that I like the technique. I have to say that you seem to be doing a good job of balancing. I find the whole thing very stressful, but I have to say that books like Break Free of Parenting Pressures, have helped me out a lot.


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