Threats and Bribes

Threats and Bribes

Disciplining your kids is hard.

It requires nuance. You can’t yell all the time, because it loses its effectiveness after a while. You can’t spank ever because you were spanked by your parents when it was acceptable and are now you are totally insane and probably in jail. You need to develop tricks. Time-outs, good cop/bad cop, the Parent Voice, etc.

Most of the time, getting your kids to behave boils down to two strategies: threats and bribes.

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Expert Tips For Tantrums Are Great (In Theory)

Expert Tips For Tantrums Are Great (In Theory)

I have a 7-year-old and an almost 2-year-old. Which means my oldest is mostly past tantrums (one would hope!), and my youngest is just about to make them his primary means of communication. Can’t wait!

Tantrums are tough. You can’t really blame the kid, especially not the young ones who are still learning how to express themselves while also grappling with those pesky emotions. But that doesn’t mean you can’t try to figure out how to better handle them, to calm your kid down and keep yourself from losing your shit and/or mind.

Unfortunately, many of the proposed tactics aren’t always possible in the heat of the moment.

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I Want To Lose My Temper

I Want To Lose My Temper

My wife and I have an ongoing disagreement. (Well, we have several, one of which is about whether Moulin Rouge is a good movie (it is not), but this one is about parenting.)

She thinks I yell too much. And I know I said this was a disagreement, but I don’t deny that she’s right. I do yell too much, especially lately.

Instead of losing my temper, I need to actually lose my temper.

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Parental Guidance is Annoying

Parental Guidance is Annoying

Parents and children have different perspectives.

This is obvious when you’re a kid, particularly a teenager, because parents just don’t understand. But it becomes even more obvious, blindingly obvious, when you become a parent. Suddenly, parental guidance isn’t just a hassle, it’s your daily responsibility!

We usually don’t want the same things that our kids do. There is some overlap: we want them to be happy, to have fun, to be healthy, and they, presumably, want those things too. But we have different definitions of those things, and different methods for achieving them.

Which means that some of the things that make us good parents also make us bad ones, in our kids’ eyes.

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