Thursday, August 11, 2011

rewarding bad behaviour

A recent blogpost by Blackhuff reminded me of something that happened a little while ago, which is slightly related to what she was discussing...

After picking my boy up from day care I decided to take him for a walk in the area before going home. We took a walk and when we got back to the car he was really unhappy – he is such an outdoor creature, just loves being outside all the time. So when I tried to put him back into his carseat he fought back – violently I might add! Just kept pulling his little body stiff and saying “no, no, no”, making it near impossible for me to tie him in. So, because I was in no hurry, I did not force him down immediately, but rather just tried to calm him down, and even reason with him. But of course, he wanted nothing of it.... Another mom pulled up behind me, and wanted my parking spot. I told her that I was going to be a while. She got out of her car and stared at me for a while and said that her daughter did the same (Her daughter is a little younger than C). This is the first time he has protested getting into his carseat, and I knew it was just because he wanted to be outside, so I told her this. She then asks why I don’t give him “something” – meaning a “treat” or bottle of sorts. To which I answered that I do not see the point as it is not that he wants (or needs for that matter) anything, he just does not want to get back in as he wants to be outside. She then adds that she “bribes” her daughter with “Flings” when he daughter does not want to get into the carseat.

Now first off – I do not have crisps or anything of the sort with me at all times to use for bribing. I discussed this later with my husband and a friend. I could not believe that people actually do this, actually I can, and she probably judged me quite a bit on my parenting “skills”. I will NEVER give him a treat in order for him to do something like get into his carseat. What is the point?? – so he will then get into his carseat and eat his snack. Then, next time he will use that behaviour to get a treat, right? I believe that doing so could teach him that behaving in a certain way will get him “rewarded”. And “rewarding” bad behaviour is not exactly something I would want to encourage, and I see this as doing exactly that.

I am pretty sure that at some point I will be faced with a situation where I will be doing exactly what I say I would never do, but I would not want this to become the norm. And I am glad that up to know I can confidently say that I have not yet “rewarded” bad behaviour.


Dawn said... Best Blogger Tips

While I know the perils of saying, I'm never going to do that" I do think that you should have a best case plan that you are going to try to stick to so that any lapses are not the norm. I can totally see how giving C the flings would result in him learning that fighting against the car seat gets him treats which only encourage more fighting in the future.