I was just having a natter with some of my blogging chums when one of them mentioned that their husband was a member of a popular daddy blogger network, and that a Mum had got some rough treatment when she called out some bullshit on having treats as rewards. Misogyny and bullying behaviour aside, why were they all getting their knickers in a twist about using treats as a reward for good behaviour in the first place?
I mean, seriously, my kid is 6 and you still can’t reason with him at all. Not one bit. Trying to get him to brush his teeth is a fucking nightmare – he just cannot compute rotten, grey teeth versus the minor inconvenience of spending 4 minutes out of 1,440 a day using a toothbrush. It’s a serious drag. Repeat this for getting dressed so we can go out, doing his homework, washing his hands, not tormenting the dog incase she bites his face off in a psycho-puppy rage…you must get my drift?
You know what works? Rewarding good behaviour. He tidies his room, he can have a biscuit. Helps me in the garden? Finish off those wine gums. It works. He gets something he likes, knowing it was because he was behaving well – that’s the only reasoning he understands right now.
Tell me, how is that different from adult behaviour? You behave, you don’t go to jail. You’re kind to people, you get it back (well, most of the time, but there’s no accounting for twatbadgers) You work, you get paid. All rewards. You behave like a shit head, you don’t get rewards (not legal ones anyway)
I think that the people in question might have been getting mixed up in what exactly reward/incentive is compared to what a bribe is. I’m not going to give my kid sweets to stop him being a whiny toerag (not all the time anyway, give a woman a break) but a nice treat for doing something well is a great way to help teach your child to behave. You just have to balance it properly – refusing to behave unless he gets a sweet is just going to result in him being sent to his room.
Until I can actually reason with my kid, I’m going to include using tactics like this that his kid-brain understands. Hard work and good behaviour = reward. Being a nobber = no reward. Bit like puppy training really. Neither of them listen to me, but stick a treat under their noses and suddenly they are all ears.