Don’t your DARE brush your teeth!May 24, 2011 at 7:28 pm | Posted in Daily Life | 7 Comments
Tags: reverse psychology, Super Nanny, Terrible Twos
Or get into the bath, or put your toys away, or finish your greens.
Don’t do any of those things, or else there will be trouble. With a capital T.
It’s my secret weapon you see – reverse psychology. And, and the moment it’s the only thing that works.
Take yesterday evening – my son was busy stripping the shelves in Tesco of loaves of bread. Tossing them across the aisles, causing a slalom of carbs for bemused shoppers.
I start with ‘bear please can you put all the bread back?’ in my calm, sing-songy Mary Poppins voice. This is met with a single raised strawberry-blonde eyebrow. I imagine this is the expression that Garfield gives to Odie when he’s sitting in his spot in the sun.
Next I try ‘we’re going, put the bread back – please’. A blunt ‘nope’ with much head shaking. I can actually see his feet welding themselves to the spot.
I follow this with ‘shall mummy help you?’ and ‘last chance before mummy gets cross’ and ‘that’s it I’m counting to three’. Does anyone have the Gina Giraffe app on their iPhone? If so, my son was making the same noise as she does when you offer her a carrot and she wants an ice cream (which costs 50p I might add, shocking).
I finally come to my senses and remember that I’m actually cleverer than my nearly-three going on thirteen year old and swiftly change tact – ‘Don’t you DARE put that bread back on the shelf’.
Et voila, you can stop staring at me loitering granny shoppers, I have triumphed, the bread is back on the shelf and we are departing for the quick pay lane faster than you can say ‘every little helps’.
At the end of the two’s and having avoided the terrible ones, I thought the gods of parenting were looking down on me and had blessed me with a little long haired, uber cute and show off-able son. But it appears that no parent gets off scott free and of late bear has learnt the phrase ‘I don’t have to’ and is always using ‘no’ as often as humanly possible. Trying to say the least.
This reverse approach works with most aspects of MCP (Moments of Challenging Parenting) and SIPM (Situations of Imminent Parent Meltdown) – try phrases such as do not brush your teeth, wipe your face, finish your tea, switch the TV off – give it a go – you might be pleasantly surprised.
And, if you prove me right (with adoring comments, many tweets and general spreading of the good word), then I may become the next Super Nanny and live in that big house with the picket fence and verandah that I’ve always dreamed of. Come on, it’s nice, it has window boxes too – and my husband gets the dog he’s always wanted as well. You want me to be happy, right?!