I bribe my kids.
There. I said it.
I have never subscribed to the bribery school of thought that many parents do to shut their kids up, because I know in the long run it will come back and bite me in the ass (when they turn 16, steal my car and become strippers.)
I always thought good parenting had nothing to do with bribery.
All I can say is, WHATEVER.
Since the girls were 3 months old we have had them on a sleep schedule.
And it was amazing.
People would stare at us in amazement, asking us questions as to how we got our infants/ toddlers to sleep from 7pm to 7am.
I felt like some sort of parenting guru.
We would answer one word: consistency.
And it is so true.
Our girls would sleep through the night in their own beds. Even when they were old enough to start climbing out, they would never come to our beds. They would walk into our room, and we would escort them back to their cribs.. and that was that.
Once we moved to Israel, our girls started sneaking into our bed at night.
I read about this, and it’s totally normal. sleep patterns and routines often change if there is a new baby in the house, or a move.
Well then, there we go.
So at first, we would let them sleep in bed with us.
I should mention that they would fall asleep in their beds, and then at 3am when our defenses were down and I was dreaming of butterflies and butterscotch, they would sneak in, one by one like thieves in the night.
And we were too tired to care.
Now we have a problem.
N’s leg ends up in my face, S’s tush in my eye (yeah, I dont know how either)..
and of course N has the nerve to scream at me for stealing “her” pillow which is actually mine.
This is what I get for feeling so cocky about my parenting skills in the past.
So I started googling methods on how to break the cycle.
Luckily I came across an article that pretty much said- not in so many words mind you- That I should bribe them.
The author said that we should explain to them that if they sleep in their beds- and STAY there all night, they would be rewarded in the morning. The author then went on to say that eventually you wont need to bribe them, and that it would become habit.
So, I though about it.
What would I give them?
Toys are too expensive, and who can get their hands on 2 toys every day?
Then it hit me- GUMMY BEARS.
Or any form of Gummy candy for that matter.
They COVET anything gummy (like their mama- my downfall).
You know how everyone has a snack, an indulgence that they love?
I’m not a chocolate person (except when aunt flo visits) or a chips kind of gal. But give me a bag of gummies and I will give you a hug. Or a lap dance.
So I bought a 10 lb bag (you know, mostly for them ….ahem).
The first night I told the girls of my plan and they agreed.
Started off fine.. until S snuggled into bed next to her father. I opened my sleep filled eyes just enough to remind her that she would not be getting a surprise in the morning if she remained in our bed.
She didn’t care.
Well, let me rephrase: she didn’t care until morning time, when I handed her sister a gummy worm for sleeping in her bed through the night. S was sad, but immediately said ” tomorrow I am going to sleep in my bed all night“.. and you know what, she did.
And you know what?
They both have for a whole week!
So yeah, bribery works.
And don’t get me wrong, I don’t usually feed my kids too much junk.
I know gummy candies have zero nutritional value.. but, after all they only get 1 a day so I think that’s ok.. you know, until I get a dental bill the size of texas.
I got this parenting thing in the bag- the gummy bear bag that is.
Have you bribed your kids to do something or change a behavior? If so, spill it!