So, here’s one for the parent’s. Not sure if this falls into the category of proper parenting, advice, or just a really funny thing to do to your kids. But, a few years back, when our kids were under the age of 10, we all went on a Saturday (Sunday) shopping trip to the mall (Lowe’s).
All comments in quotes are what my wife thinks or has said… and I might be embellishing just a bit, but it’s just a bit.
Our children were fighting with each other (as they normally do) and whining and complaining at us about how they wanted stuff (they’re kids, they do that) and me (being the dad), exasperated my children (meaning he made things worse), while my wife (being the mom), tried to soothe them (meaning I made things better).
Well, during the trip, after saying ‘no’ countless times to whatever it is they wanted, my wife and I ended up buying our items. As we continued to walk around the mall (Lowe’s), they walked behind us by about five or so feet (we kept an eye on them), and we noticed they stopped complaining.
But, something more entertaining than it should have been, occurred. We listened as our son talked to our daughter, and our daughter responded in agreement. These two kids, who were more comfortable fighting with each other than they were breathing, were getting along.
My wife and I were astonished and as we listened closer to their conversation, it dawned on us as to what they had bonded over. I grinned so hard, trying not to laugh as I whispered to my wife asking her if she could hear what they were talking about. Her smile and restrained laugh were enough to tell me she had.
They were bonding over the fact that mom and dad had gotten something and how unfair it was that they didn’t. Not just that, but the selfish little brats (no they weren’t, they are precious little gems) that they were, were actually colluding together. Our son telling our daughter about how unfair it is that she didn’t get what she wanted, and our daughter doing the same to him.
At this point, relishing in the moment of parenting (meaning he took more joy from this then he should), I did what any good (bad) father would do. I antagonized the situation by asking my wife if she wanted to go get something at Lowe’s (see, I knew Lowe’s was in this story).
Yes, Lowe’s. That most dreaded of stores for children, because there is nothing… NOTHING… in that store that they find remotely fun. The collusion continued. They got quiet and it is possible that at some point they may have actually planned our demise using Play-doh® and Legos®, but we were too giddy in our new-found power (ok, I’ll give you that).
We had figured out how to get our kids to get along. Right, wrong, or indifferent (mostly wrong), we now had a secret weapon that we could use anytime we needed too in order to force them to get along.
All we had to do was jilt them, equally. That, or take a trip to Lowe’s.
So, if you are wanting to have fun at the expense of your kids (…), feel free to use this particular tactic.
Because in parenthood, we need all the allies and weapons we can get if we want to stand a chance getting out of it alive.