Keeping kids in line through the Holiday Hustle.
I have a confession: So busy solving the world’s biggest problem (fascist, inflationary boondoggles by foolhardy governments and their broken, debt-based fiat money), I let my kids go feral.
Take your eye off the parenting ball, and it all goes to tatters in a hurry. It’s like Lord of the Flies around here, my neglected, disheveled children scouring couch cushions for Cheetos, three boys shirtless, muddy, swinging from the chandelier while my daughter shelters in place in bed.
The house looks like a Japanese tsunami of rotten chocolate milk curled up and crashed through the window of a looted, San Francisco Toys-R-Us.
Meanwhile, I’m busy tooting my horn on the Interweb like a virtual Paul Revere, calling out for small government, individual liberty, and sound money, discipline and dishes be damned.
“The globalists are coming! The globalists are coming!”
The twins nearly four, we now use the term ‘potty-trained’ loosely. Even Santa had to barricade the chimney… “Nothing in, and nothing out”, said the fat man in his red suit.
I may need to open freeze-dried buckets from the Ready Store for Christmas dinner.
Oh, come on, admit it… You know how it is, moms and dads with multiple children. The more kids you have, the less f—s are left to give. The novelty wears off after the first baby, we all know it.
By baby #2, you’re running on fumes, but at least you’re still playing man-to-man defense. Come #3, the once-happy couple is forced into zone coverage. Outnumbered, you can’t think, let alone sleep.
Poor Mom gets triple-teamed as Dad sneaks out for a gallon of milk, never to be seen again…
Make it to #4 and you just lie in the fetal position all day, waiting for bedtime. If the college board comes calling, at least their Parental Misfortune Score will get them into Harvard.
But hey, feral or not, at least I found the root of all the world’s biggest problems, right? (If you need help with this one, try our line of Better Bedtime Stories, no-risk).
And here’s a gem to keep the rug-rats in check during the Holiday Hustle…
Bad news, the stick is broken.
Despite yelling and swearing surgically for maximum shock value, my kids don’t shake in fear when I get angry. It’s like something – passed down for generations – suddenly broke.
No one turns and runs for the hills like 1993 when Dad came home to a mess.
Ahh, the Clinton administration, carefree sex in the White House, a budget surplus, and corporal punishment at home. Take away that stick though, plus add the fact that they can’t even walk to school without an N95 mask and a police escort, and damnit, we need a new strategy, folks.
You can only yell so much before becoming a laughingstock in your own castle.
The good news is kids (little, sticky humans) are all about incentives. “Show me the incentive, and I’ll show you the outcome”, so say the old, sticky humans (Charlie Munger and Warren Buffett).
The carrot is still gold.
In the incentive department, you’ve got neutered sticks (timeouts and setting boundaries can work, but each are a huge, giant, colossal pain-in-the-ass), or a universe of carrots at your disposal.
This week, I discovered a fun little carrot, a throwback to a simpler age. No hard work, no time commitment, no discipline, no tears.
This isn’t a long-term solution, just a handy trick, like Jack Nicholson in As Good as It Gets, a bag of bacon in his pocket to keep the dog in line.
For long term solutions, I’ve got two free programs, including the Point System Parenting Matrix, and our Ultimate Parent’s Guide to Money, Saving, and Investing for kids. Years of work went into these for raising kids who are well-behaved, disciplined, knowledgeable, and have real security, I promise.
This tidbit requires the foresight of a monkey sucking down Reddi Wip, it’s that easy, but the problems it solves? Those are Hefty like the Cinch Sak.
In our house they include-
- Sibling rivalry: Competing, comparing, antagonizing, blaming, and physical fighting
- Kids not picking up after themselves, leaving things in total disarray
- Getting help with favors without reflexive pushback (not chores, but simple requests to stay on schedule, i.e., ‘Can you get your brother dressed so we can get out the door on time?’)
The solution? You guessed it: Freak’n Pez. It’s that simple.
Strolling through the winter wonderland of overpriced plastic s— from China (a.k.a. Target, whose shelves will go empty when the dollar collapses), on a whim I let the kids grab Pez dispensers, many a friendly Christmas character to choose from, Rudolph, Frosty, Santa, Elf and Nutcracker.
Then, I stocked up on Pez and held it all in reserve, like an evil, middle eastern dictator with a touch of the Christmas spirit. Need something done? There’s a Pez for that.
Let’s make a deal!
So small and cheap, they almost don’t matter. A bag of 100 rolls, 12 pieces each (1,200 Pez!) is $20, just $0.20 per roll, less than two cents (1.66) per. You’d be surprised what my kids will do for a couple of Pez.
The dispenser makes it all the more fun. You know you want one.
Suddenly, the house is so clean you can eat off the floor (and we do). They’re helping each other, and everyone is getting along. A reasonable deal can be had with all ages (3-12) in my case.
He who holds the Pez…
External motivators and junk food.
No, bribing kids with sugar isn’t something to be proud of (especially from the guy who wrote Eight Kick-Ass Alternatives to Candy for Halloween, how the pompous have fallen…).
But it’s not designed to be a long-term strategy for creating well-rounded, self-disciplined, non-sticky humans who see work and accomplishment as their own reward.
It’s a lifeboat, a parlor trick, to get through the day; to get the rotten milk soaked up before guests arrive.
For real solutions, use our tried-and-true systems above, which will not disappoint.
In the meantime, this’ll buy you some peace, quiet, cleanliness, and a faithful army of loyal, happy children, ready to do your grunt work a smile. Santa’s little helpers, just when Santa needs ‘em most.
Plus, they learn a few things about negotiation, the art of the deal.
Each roll has nine grams of sugar, only 0.75 grams per Pez. It’s not without consequence, but nearly so. The world has bigger problems, my friend, as the globalists try to collapse America from the inside.
But don’t worry about that today, Champ. All in good time, we’ll fix it together.
For now, be of good cheer, pour an eggnog, and relax. We’ll give up the Pez for New Year’s, showing them how to build good habits with discipline, then go back to solving all the world’s biggest problems.
Want to raise empowered, resilient kids who can see behind the curtain, who know how the money system works, and how to use it? Kids who understand debt, the business cycle, Bitcoin, and the risk in groupthink?
Our line of Better Bedtime Stories does that. Join the Alliance and receive all of our books, three months apart, 40% off, in just the right order.
You’ll love them (so will your kids), or we’ll refund 100% of your money, and you can keep the first one anyway. No risk, and nothing to send back.
Want more like this? The On Fatherhood, Procreation, and the Lure of Great Cleavage.