Sunday, June 14, 2009

LET'S GO!

Recently I was at Hobby Lobby with the kids. Chickie didn't want to leave. I was frustrated and used a tactic I've seen lots of parents use. You've probably witnessed it too.

"Okay," I told Chickie when I called her and she didn't come. "'Goodbye!"

Chickie immediately burst into frightened tears.

Oops.

I had to assure her that I wouldn't leave her there. I was also in the awkward position of having to repeatedly answer her question, "Why did you say, 'Goodbye'?"

I realized right away what a silly thing I had done. If Chickie had known it was an idle threat, it wouldn't have gone very far to motivate her. When she thought it was a genuine threat, it scared her and made her feel insecure with one of the people in this world who should make her feel the most secure.

Sometimes falling flat on your figurative face can really open your eyes.

12 comments:

Mama to a diva said...

I've seen that tactic used, and I can see how it can backfire. I'm sure you did a great job of reassuring Chickie. When The Diva tries to rebel in public, I tell her "You have a choice, you can walk nicely with Mommy right now, or (insert consequence here) but either way we are leaving right now".

Call Me Cate said...

The important thing is that you did it, you saw her reaction, thought it through, and won't do it again. AND you reassured her.

So many things I witnessed with my nephew this week that I just hope and pray they knock off before he gets much older. Maybe he doesn't get it now but he soon will and they're starting habits that are going to be hard to break. Things that are going to make that kid miserable.

If my sister was online more and I didn't worry about being outed, I'd send her your blog. As a young mommy without a lot of positive role models, maybe she'd learn a thing or two.

addhumorandfaith said...

I've seen that done before too, but never saw the outcome. Oops! But, it is good that she at least cared enough to be upset. I wondered if you were going to say that she just said "good-bye" and turned around and walked down an aisle. That would be another bad outcome, so I guess you're right to cross this off your list of "parenting tools". :)

Rachel Cotterill said...

I love that you're so honest about the things that don't work out as planned. And I think it's great that you obviously don't use many empty threats, because she tok it so seriously.

Our Scoop said...

Ok! GUILTY of this. I feel even worse now reading the other comments :) This works for me occasionally although I do try to say it in a joking way trying to get out the door at our house..."ok, Drewdgy, if don't want to go to Target with Mommy -you can stay home with the pups - just make sure to play with them." Now I realize that is probably horrible! He'll probably end up in therapy!!!!! YIKES. No more of that!!

Faith said...

My now 6 yr old busted into tears when I tried this tactic around 4 as well. It's very miserable, isn't it? Sorry it went poorly for you. Now I use "I'm going. Come or don't, but I won't wait."

2cats said...

When my son was about 5 or 6 he turned the tables on me. I had never used that threat but one day he used it on me.
We were visiting friends and he decided it was time to go home. He told me that if I didn't leave right then he would go without me. I just looked at him as he walked out the door. He did say bye as he walked out.
I did not give in and leave right then, but I did cut our visit shorter than I had planned.

Sandi said...

This is so hard. If I tell Gunny that, he's like, see ya later Mom! I usually give him the option of walking out like a big boy or me packing him like a baby. This works about 50% of the time. It's so hard being a parent - especially when you have three kids with three different personalities. I'm sure you did great but it is frustrating!

Scriptor Senex said...

At least you recognised your mistake and learned from it. What more can one ask from a parent?

Eternal Lizdom said...

An important lesson learned, mama!! That was a piece of advice given to me a long time ago- back before ever considering becoming a parent, in fact. To not use that as a tactic. And for the reasons that you witnessed. Props to you, major props, for being in tune with your child and realizing that it wasn't a good choice!

Lara said...

I know I'm not a parent, but I have a brother that is 11 years my junior. I've seen this done, and done it many times. It has never backfired to my knowledge. The child in question either believes and rushes after you, or knows you're joking and continues to play/fuss/stomp around. It can work, so people shouldn't necessarily discount it completely.

One thing I always used to say to my brother when we would enter a toy shop was "now, I don't have any money, so we can't buy anything today; you can just have a look around", and it always worked. No fuss, because you've set the conditions out before even going into the shop.

Barga said...

my mother used to do this, but she stopped the day i said 'okay' and went up to a couple and asked them to adopt me