I've come to the conclusion that- after 11 years and 3 kids- I know absolutely NOTHING about parenting.
I console myself about this sad, pathetic little fact with the knowledge- yes, KNOWLEDGE, as in, I KNOW- that no one else really knows anything either.
Sure, some people will have claimed to finally have "figured it out"- that they cracked the code at last on how to deal with Baby Betsy or Little Johnny in any given situation, but- well, lean in close, will ya?
That's close enough-
Kids are smarter. They know how to change up their game! They're continually holding onto that wild card with their grubby little hands. They hide their Ace so far up their sleeve that you couldn't find it even if you shook out their shirt; and then, they'll pull it out when you're at your wits end- when your spirit has been crushed and your will has been broken- as a final nail in the coffin of your parental control.
What it comes down to is that kids ALWAYS have a game plan and its this: practice multiple plays, never use the same play twice, show no mercy and always wear your game face.
Maybe the old bribery trick worked last time. You were able to get through the shopping trip with no issues and all you spent (besides money for groceries) was the cost of a Snickers. You might be patting yourself on the back- $1 is well worth your sanity.
Next time, you won't be so lucky. Next time, Little Johnny will have you screaming,"Fine! You can have the remote control car! I'll even throw in rechargeable batteries! Just PLEASE stop whining for ONE minute!"
Maybe blackmail is more your thing. Its an admirable route, to be sure:"Be good or no sweets after dinner." The problem is, you can only use that threat once. After that you have to get creative, and if kids know one thing, its that if they exasperate you enough, you'll break down and start bribing them instead.(see above)
Or, maybe you're the more MATURE parent. You're reading this and you're thinking,"I just put my foot down. No means no. My way or the highway. No ands, if or buts." To that, I stand in awe of your parental utopia...
Also known as 'Never, Never(gonna happen)Land'.
Nope. Just when you think you have it all figured out...
...you have kids.
Then you realize,"I know nothing."