Saturday, 6 August 2011

My Confession

My name is The Working Parent and I bribe my children.

There I said it, I bribe my children.  Bribery was never an intentional method of discipline it just kind of happened.

It all started with treats after dinner.  Usually these treats were healthy ones like yoghurts or grapes but nowadays they seem to be more along the chocolate theme.  My children will always behave if chocolate is offered.  I feel bad about this.  Not least because of the amount of goodies they eat but also because I don't want them to grow into adults thinking that you only do things when you get something in return.

Life just doesn't work that way!

As they are only five and three I figure they are still young enough to be re-trained (if that is the right way of putting it!) but how on earth do I go about it?

I am sure there is many a domestic goddess tutting and thinking that I am a dreadful mother but I am reliably informed that the majority of parents use bribery at some point and probably more often than they care to admit.  In the run up to Christmas how many times have you said "If you don't behave Father Christmas (or Santa - whatever your preference is) will not come"?

Ha!  I knew I was not alone!

If you have any suggestions as to how I can get myself out of this rut or any confessions you would like to make let me know.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Gender Roles

When I had my son five years ago I decided there and then that he would not be brought up with the traditional stereotyped gender roles.  I wanted him to realise that keeping a house and looking after children is a joint effort that both parents have equal responsibility for.

I was determined he would learn to clear up after himself (as opposed to me doing it) and how to operate household appliances such as the dishwasher and the washing machine.  His dirty laundry would be in the laundry basket (where it should be) and he would be quite capable of cooking his own dinner.  I did not expect all this straight away you understand but it would all be in place by the time he left home.

What an idealistic idiot I was!  Here I am five years later now also with a daughter aged three and things have not turned out how I planned.  Not how I planned at all!

I am now fairly convinced that the gender roles are not just a creation of society but are an inbuilt part of the female/male makeup.   While some men seem to be able to overcome this and realise that it is just as much their job to keep the house tidy and ensure the children are well cared for as it is their partners, some do not.

I wanted my son to be ones of those that do overcome it!  I also wanted my daughter to feel that her role in life was not simply to cook, clean and look after any children she may have but so far life seems to have overridden my desires!

My daughter spends her days looking after her dolls and tidying up while my son spends his wrestling imaginary opponents and making as much mess as possible.

Oh well, that’s another parenting ideal I don’t seem to have achieved.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Funny Conversation

I have some very interesting conversations with my children!  Some leave me dumbfounded and some have me in fits of laughter.  Below are a few of the most recent ones.

The day after my 3 year old daughter’s birthday:

D - Where’s my present?

Me - You haven't got a present today because your birthday was yesterday.

D - Oh, I want my birthday today.

Me - You will have to wait until next year.

D - But I want it today though

Me - Well you can't have two birthdays, only the queen has two birthdays.

D - When I am bigger I am going to be the queen.

And with that she flounced off! 

I have no idea how this conversation came about with my 5 year old son:

S - Fingers are silly

Me - Are they?  Why is that?

S - Because they get in the way

Me - But how would you eat without fingers?

S - Like this (demonstrates using his thumb and hand)

S - I am going to chop them off

Me - That might hurt

S - Oh. Ok I'll keep my fingers then

I have also come to realise that conversations with my children tend to have a habit of getting out of control.  We never had the why phase but my son continually asks "what does that word mean?" and very often I have no answer for him as I can't explain what a specific word means without saying it.

On another note I am entirely fed up with the word actually.  Both children seem to like the phrase "actually mummy" or "It’s not actually mummy".  At first it was funny but now I have had enough.

Please let me know about some of the funny conversations you have had, I would love to hear them!