In which I give parenting advice that I just figured out, but may not be original.


One thing I didn’t mention in my story about the swamp hike happened during the second of three geocache hikes. A couple of the younger kids were starting to complain about the hike (they wanted to go home, etc) but I didn’t want to quit.


On the way out to the second cache I happened to see a candy machine. So I said I would buy chocolate* that we could all share if (A) we found the next cache and (B) they didn’t complain while we were doing it.


They liked this idea, and not only did we find the cache (we got a deck of cards as the prize) and not only did the kids not complain, but suddenly, when they were released from the possibility of complaining, they were released TO enjoy it more. And they did. They were running, laughing and climbing. They weren’t just stifling unhappiness, they were actually no longer unhappy.


It cost me two bucks in M&M’s. Well worth it. I recommend it.



* I have no problem with kid bribery if I am trying to get them to do something that is a little above and beyond the call of duty for a child. I.e. I don’t bribe them to obey me.