Empty Parenting Threats

Empty Parenting Threats

When it comes to getting your kids to do something they don’t want to do, there are basically three tactics you can employ: bribery, threats, and just giving up and doing it for them.

Doing it for them is obviously not the way to go. Detective Munch is lazy enough as it is; if I were to start waiting on him hand and foot (or waiting on him even more, which I guess would make it waiting on him hands and feet? COMEDY GOLD!), he’d probably end up with bed sores.

As most parents already know, bribery is a double-edged sword. It works, but you’re gonna pay for it down the line when the kid refuses to get out of bed without the promise of a new toy or some TV time, and eventually you’re buying him a new car just to get him to go to college.

Which leaves us with threats.

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In Defense of “Because I Said So”

In Defense of “Because I Said So”

Last week, a friend of mine wrote a nice little post about a subject that’s dear to my heart. The bulk of the post was about the nonsense of “phases,” which I’ve discussed myself, but Dave (check out his blog: Amateur Idiot/Professional Dad) had me at the title: It’s Not Just a Phase. Kids are Assholes. They sure are!

Unfortunately, despite our affinity for insulting our children, I have to take issue with one thing he said in his piece. I quote: “‘Because I said so’ is the phrase of a lazy parent…”

Ahem. I know lazy parents. Lazy parents are friends of mine (not you, Brendan!). I am a lazy parent.

“Because I said so” is not lazy parenting. Not all the time.

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Fun with Discipline

Fun with Discipline

Disciplining your children can be hard. But with the right attitude, disciplining your children can be a laugh riot!

I love putting my son in time-out, not letting him stay up any later, taking things away from him. Not food or shelter or love (I’m an asshole, not a psychopath!), but toys, and TV, and the other little perks of childhood. I don’t do it to instill values or help make him appreciate what he already has. I don’t even do it because he’s so spoiled already that it serves as a nice change of pace.

While those benefits are all well and good, I like depriving my son of the things he wants because it’s funny and it makes me feel better.

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Parents are Overrated

Parents are Overrated

I’m kind of a big deal. But you already knew that. I mean, I’m regularly featured on Scary Mommy.

Of course, even if I weren’t a world-renowned blogger whose diatribes about how living with children is like being in prison have been translated into multiple languages and who has subsequently been hated-on by people on multiple continents, I’d still be pretty damn important. Because I’m a parent.

And if kids are our most valuable resource, then parents are priceless.

Except we’re not. Because parents are overrated.

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Parenting Reward Chart

Parenting Reward Chart

A few days ago, we procured a reward chart for our son.

The hope is that by incentivizing his behavior we can train Detective Munch into a decent, reasonable person instead of the feral four-year-old he currently is. Our typical repertoire of threats is neither working nor healthy (nor really stopping because I’m terrible at this new “reward” method!)

So far, it’s been going okay. If he brushes his teeth (without a fight), or goes to bed (without a fight), or eats his dinner (without a fight), or gets dressed for school (without a fight), he can earn rewards like dessert, and TV, and not getting yelled at by a dad who is at the end of his rope.

It got me thinking about what a chart for parents would look like. So I made one.

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