Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Food for thought (at the Splendid Table)

I have a clear recollection learning as a teacher not to threaten to punish kids with stuff that was actually good for them. Such as "if you don't behave I'm going to make you do 100 jumping jacks, or run 10 times around the track." Turns out that exercise is actually good for you, so threatening kids with it can set up a very bad precedent for the future.

Likewise, it's not good to use food. Such as "if you don't finish your pasta, I'm going to make you eat broccoli!" I think you are getting the picture by now.

Which leads me to the point of this blog post. Neither Susanne nor I want to be big threateners. For gosh sakes, we watch The Nanny. We know all about "redirecting" and "time outs" and what not.

So you can imagine the horror we felt the other day when Danny for the 20th time started playing with the stereo as his fun little children's songs were playing. Almost simultaneously we cried out;

"Danny, if you don't stop that you'll have to listen to NPR!"

You see, National Public Radio (which we love) is the only station we have programmed. So in effect we threatened our son with being forced to listen to thoughtful commentary and innovative programming. He's probably now afraid of Garrison Keillor and all the pretend people at Lake Wobegon. Maybe he'll have nightmares about Science Fridays! What have we done?

In our defense, it wasn't really a threat. It was just a statement of the outcome that was most likely to occur if he continued to push all the stereo buttons in such a willy nilly manner.

Parenting. Sometimes it's harder than you think ;-)

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