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The Treat Pantry: A Parenting Bargaining Chip

March 10, 2014

Our little ones, they sure are a handful at times. At the end of the day, of course, you love them, but sometimes you wonder what gets into them. The home can be quiet and calm, and all of a sudden your child is having a tantrum because they don’t want to do their chores. Here comes the dilemma; we were all like that when we were asked to do chores. No matter the situation, there were times when you didn’t want to clean your room or take a bath. You just wanted to keep playing outside and not worry about helping out around the house. But now, you’re the parent. Inadvertently you have to play the bad guy, and inevitably you’ll end up using diplomacy. One way or another, getting your children to do as they’re told will make life a whole lot smoother. Pretty soon you’ll start to hear the word ‘no’ a lot, and then it’ll be ‘what’s in it for me?’ coming from their small mouths. At this point, a bargaining chip is needed to get things done.

Hide away the toys

A surefire way to get the attention of your child when they’re not doing as they’re told is to threaten a seizure of belongings. They love to play and run around in their own imaginative world. Toys are a gateway to that world, and so, they’re up for grabs. Make room in your pantry, for a box which can be filled with all the best toys. When your son or daughter doesn’t finish their homework, even if you ask nicely, it’s time to get tough. Take their favourite toy away, put it in the box and scoop it into the pantry. Of course, you’ll need a padlock to stop them from getting in once the door is shut. Only give the toys back when your commands have been obeyed.

Ace in the hole

One of the best things about growing up is the sugar. It almost doesn’t matter where it comes from you just want it. Our loves for chocolate, lollipops, chewy sweets and the like begins when we’re young. Biting into a chunky chocolate bar is a mandatory activity for you as a child, at least once a day. Keep calm and offer some retro sweets if they can stay on the straight and narrow. These kinds of sweets last longer as they’re denser and generally made to suck on. You have various pencil candy sticks, the classic dip dab lollipop, giant fruit fizzers, the famous gobstoppers, hearts, and foam bananas to name a few. Because they’re more likely to last longer, they can be used as a treat for when the kids manage to do all their chores in a timely manner. Give them the incentive and hammer routine and responsibility that provides rewards into their minds early.

Every parent needs to have a go-to card when there’s misbehaviour in the house. It goes without saying, you love your children, but there are scenarios that require tough love. When you need to get dinner made but also make sure the kids take a bath, the last thing you want is a temper tantrum. The treat pantry can be your ace in the hole.

*This is a contributed post

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