I'm not sure if this is the forum for this, but what is it with bribes? On second thought, this is MY blog, so it IS the forum for it.
OK, back to bribes. I am not talking about bribing a policeman to not give you a ticket, or bribing someone to value your house at more than market value. I am talking about kids. Why do grown ups feel it is necessary to bribe kids? Specifically with candy.
I've seen teachers do it and I see, now that I have a daughter of my own, nearly every person and their dog wants to give my kid a damned lollipop! I guess my problem with this stems from a variety of things. One, I don't particularly care for lollipops (too much work, not enough gain). Two, these people are trying to bribe her to do something she's going to do anyway, whether she likes it or not. And, three, she's NOT EVEN TWO!!! Not to mention other reasons like not taking candy from strangers and knowing where what you eat comes from and that kind of crazy stuff.
I have never really cared for lollipops, and never saw the value of them except that when I was in school I noticed that girls my age always seemed to have one in their mouths. Which was annoying when they tried to say something, because you know they didn't bother taking the lollipop out to talk. I wonder if I would have gotten more dates if I had walked around with Blowpops hanging out of my pockets...probably not.
As for people bribing her to do something, is that the right way to introduce a kid to growing up? Is that the reason we have a society that thinks they should always get something? For instance, yesterday, I took Chloe in to have her arm looked at. The ladies there noticed she was a little bit NURSE SHY, especially after her recent trauma of getting poked and prodded at her check up. What do they do to comfort her? Not talk in reassuring voices, well they did that, but only after producing a lollipop, candy, and a tooth brush. Chloe was not particularly consoled by someone sticking a paper-wrapped ball on a stick in her face. I can't imagine why...maybe because SHE'S NOT EVEN TWO!!!! Shit people! Just because Joe Blow and his 16 year old wife let their kid have suckers at the age of two does not mean that everyone does. Seriously, let's be age appropriate.
Do I get a sucker if I go to work? NO. I get a paycheck. Do I get a sucker for going in and getting my shots? NO. I get to not be sick. Yea me. Can I get a sucker for paying my bills on time? NO! I don't get taken to collection, that's nice. Can I get a sucker if I get pulled over by a cop and I play nice? No. That's just dumb. Why should you be rewarded for doing what you are supposed to do? Why should I be rewarded for following the law? I am NOT getting punished, isn't that reward enough?
There also comes the part of parenting. I may not be the perfect parent, but I believe that there are things that my child should do without having to be begged and bribed. If I tell her to pick up after herself when she is older, I am NOT going to give her a lollipop. She made the mess, she better damn well clean it. When she is in school and gets homework, she better damn well do it. That is her job. She needs to learn to become a productive member of society and jumping through the hoops of public education is part of that. I firmly believe that the really useful stuff we learn does not come until you are in college, but that public education thing allows you to learn to learn. But, I digress.
How about standing in line? I was at the pharmacy a few months ago with the kid. She was being good. Sitting in my arms, watching strangers go about their business with her dark eyes and on the whole being her awesome self. It gets to be our turn. What should the people behind the counter produce? But a lollipop and some chocolates...did I mention she is NOT EVEN TWO??? You want to stop this generation from becoming rotund? STOP HANDING OUT CANDY to stranger's kids!!!!
Oh, I guess I should be getting the idea that this is how our country works, but I don't think I should have to sink to that. I am a parent. I guess I never understood why parents I saw declined to accept gifts such as these before I was a parent myself, but I never knew the extent of strangers' need to give candy.
Every Tom, Chris, and Susanne seems to feel the need to come over and give my kid candy. Is it because she is cute? Because, I KNOW she's adorable. She's beautiful. I don't have to have other people tell me. Do ugly kids get that much candy offered to them? And seriously, who's going to say, my kid's ugly and she gets a ton of candy...well, no one's going to say their kid is ugly.
So what is this telling our kids about strangers? Is it OK now for your child to take candy from strangers? What if you accept the lollipops? Kids learn a lot through observation, and I know that for a fact. Chloe is SMART! I don't want her to assume it is ok to accept candy from strangers simply because I do...and I don't.
But, I guess you could argue that Halloween is just that, taking candy from strangers...I don't know. I'll cross that bridge when I get there. For now, though, I would appreciate it if you stop offering my child lollipops for being herself. One of these days that's going to backfire on you.
OK, I'm done. I'm off my soap box. Let me know what you think.
Now, yesterday, after work, I decided to take a few pictures of a local barn. I was busily snapping pictures when I felt I was being watched...something was observing me...then I saw what it was.