Down for the count


Find me a parent who hasn’t counted as a motivator.

“You will come here now, 1, 2, 3.”

You know the method. And you know how your kids respond. When you’re at one, you get the are-you-serious look. At two, they know you’re serious. And by three, usually in high gear. Up until now, it’s been a staple in my parenting arsenal.

I need a new technique. Especially while driving.

“Lillian, you must share some of those Skittles with Clifford,”

“No. I won’t.”

“I told you when I bought them, they were for sharing.”

“I’m not sharing.”

“You will share. 1 ,2 …”

And she interrupted, “I will share. When YOU stop counting.” Shocked. I stopped. And she shared. But I was at a loss.

Out-of-box parenting needed.

If she pulled that at home, she’d be sent to her room. But driving in the car, I was stuck. And punishing her for it later would go right past her.

She tried something similar last week, demanding to wear plastic, three-sizes-too-small  princess shoes to the zoo. “I’m wearing these, or I’m not going.”I knew she wanted to go to the zoo, so it wasn’t a terribly hard negotiation. I called her bluff with an:. “Okay, you can stay home.” She responded with a “hmph,” marched into her room and returned with appropriate shoes.

But what happens when she pulls that on me when we’re going somewhere I want her to go, but she doesn’t?

Help. Suggestions welcomed and appreciated.