Search This Blog

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Tough Love

Emma does the least amount she can get away with.  I talked to her teacher about it, and she reassured me that every kid in her class shares that same trait.  That doesn’t mean I’m not trying to get her out of the habit of doing the least she can get away with, but at least I don’t feel like she’s “lazy”.  She’s just being a kid.

One morning she finished her breakfast and my wife told her she needed to put her shoes on.  Emma being Emma she’ll find whatever shoes are handy and put them on without regard for whether they match or fit the situation.  If shoes are near. . . THOSE shoes are the shoes her energy level dictates “match”.  We’ve learned to adjust our requests to limit the wiggle room.  For example, my wife’s actual words were not “put your shoes on,” they were, “Emma, you can either wear your black shoes or your black boots.  Neither of them are downstairs, so go get them on, please.”

“I don’t WANT to go upstairs.”

This is where I entered the fray with my unique and masterful parenting skills.

“Emma, what if this is all an elaborate ruse to get you to go upstairs to your closet because inside the closet is a NEW PUPPY!!!?  If you don’t go upstairs to get the boots, you’ll never find out about the new puppy we got for you.  Now, if that was the case, wouldn’t you want to go upstairs and find your new puppy?”

“YEAH!” she said excitedly.

“Well there’s no puppy, but you still need your black boots, so go get ‘em.”

Her mother said it was mean, but I laughed, and so did Emma.  She’s got a good sense of humor.


  1. I took my daughter to school yesterday in flop flops. It's November, and it was in the 30s that morning, but we were running late, and had no idea where the real shoes were. Some battles are not worth fighting.

  2. yeah, the older kids get the more optional coats seem too.

  3. I honestly wish I could give her a puppy. But . . . they make me sneeze.

  4. Kind of related and equally "mean," my husband has a hard time getting our toddler twins out of the tub without a fight. So now all he says is, "Who wants a cookie?" and everyone jumps out of the tub.

    We've never actually had cookies in the house when the question was asked.

  5. Yeah, see, that's good solid parenting!

  6. oh my GOD! best ever. Not mean. Hilarious. Signs that you guys are awesome parents.

  7. I would have said it was mean, too. Right after I laughed.