Friday, November 9, 2012

Not too Proud to Bribe

So Preschool.


We have had some ups and downs.

Things started so well, but then he got sick.  And then he got sick again.  And during both of those illnesses he woke up, we looked at him and said "You are too sick for school" and took him to his grandparents.  And right then he realized that there was an alternative to school.  GRANDPARENTS!  From then on when we woke him up he would say he didn't want to go.  "Where is Nana?  Nanny?  I already did school.  How about you just take me to Aunt Boo."*

He started panicking whenever we mentioned school.  He lip would quiver and he would say "I want to stay together!".  We would talk him into being brave, and we would say okay.  But then the morning would come and Nick would try to take him only to have him clinging on to his body while three teachers try to pull him off.  All the while Henry is screaming "PAPA!! DON'T LEAAAAAVE MEEEEE!"

So... there have been some downs.

But there are ups too! Once we leave he really does enjoy it!  He is learning and making friends.  The other day I came in from work and he said "Mama, the letter today was J! Jack-o-Lantern starts with J!"  He is making adorable craft projects and is writing his name.  He is doing so well!  Except when he is breaking our heart at drop off.

So we brainstormed.  We talked about school.  How awesome it is! How fun it is! How lucky he is!  When that failed, we just started bribing.  "If you don't cry we will have a really special treat tonight!".  It took over a week.  He said he wouldn't cry, but then we would get to drop off and the clinging and the tears would start.  We felt like this was just NEVER GOING TO GET ANY BETTER.  EVER.  EEEEVVVVEEERRR.

Then it did.  It was the week of Halloween and he was excited to bring in his candy to share with his friends.  He held tight to his bag of fun size skittles and he walked in without crying.  Then I took him for his Halloween party the next day and stayed with him the entire time.  And then the next day, he just walked in like it was nothing.  Like "What?  I am a big boy and I CAN DO THIS!".  When we got into the car after the day was over he said " I didn't cry!!! Can I have my special treat??"

Yes.  Yes you can.

He picked Gattitown
He had so much fun. And he kept telling us how brave he was for not crying at school.  We 100% agree.
When he woke up the next morning it was Saturday. He said "Can I go to school today?" He went this week without a single tear. 

So I guess the point of this is that bribing as a parenting tool... I totally support it.  How can it go wrong?? (don't answer that)

*An actual conversation one school morning.



  1. I guess you have figured out by now that it's best to just drop him off (even if it involves peeling him from your body) and leaving because I guarantee that he will be fine as soon as you leave. I saw it hundreds of times with our kindergarten students; when the parents leave they are just fine. He will probably cry and cling as long as you stay - just leave! And he will have a great time.

  2. Thank you for the hope that the tears and screaming will eventually end.

    We have the same arrival situation & when I pick her up she's having enough fun not to want to leave. Despite the staff being completely understanding, the drama of arrival is really embarrassing on the occasions when other parents are doing drop off for the same room. Gah.

  3. I think bribery has its place in the parenting toolkit. And I'm not afraid to use it!

  4. <<<Not afraid at all to employ the bribery!

    This parenthood thing is hard enough. Do what works. :)