I don’t read parenting books. They simultaneously bore and annoy me, like watching the Canucks play in Boston. The last thing I want to do when I finally lasso my seven-year-old twins to their beds (besides watch Luongo let in another goal) is read Perfect Parenting for Dummies.
I already know I’m an idiot when it comes to parenting. I’m okay with that. So far, so are my kids, even though they are developing the ability to roll their eyes at a rather young age.
Whether or not I read parenting diatribes, I know my kids will end up in therapy some day. We all will. I’m just giving William and Vivian evidence.
Over the past week, I’ve used two parenting methods that are especially therapy-inducing:
1. Game Theory
Vivian: “Mom, will you play hide and seek with me?”
Me: “No thanks.”
Vivian: “Well what should I do then?”
Me: “Just play with your stuffed animals.”
Vivian, after a lengthy pause: “But I’ll know where I put them.”
She adds: “And they won’t search for me.”
Me: “Just try it, really.”
2. Bedtime Manipulation
Vivian, from bedroom: “Mom, can you come tuck us in?”
Me: “I already tucked you in.”
Vivian, plodding to see me, with William behind her: “Please, mom? We’re not tucked in now.”
Me: “That’s because you got out of bed to come tell me to tuck you in.”
William: “Come on, Mom. Please?”
Me: “I might miss the Canucks letting in another goal.”
Vivian and William roll their eyes, a skill I suspect they practiced in utero.
Me: “Wait. I have an idea.”
Me: “Why don’t you take turns tucking each other in?”
Vivian and William exchange glances, then look back at me.
Vivian: “Mom, that won’t work!”
Me: “Go on. Just try it.”
And another great pantomime begins, which leads to giggles as William and Vivian visualize the silliness of the never-ending tuck in.
I chuckle too.
You know my motto: if you can’t laugh at yourself, laugh at your kids.
What techniques have you used with children that may have them (or you) in therapy some day?
If you don’t have kids, what techniques would you suggest?