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Mom Mondays: Hockey Bribes and Ultimatums


According to parenting experts, you’re not supposed to bribe your children to get them to do things. It makes them believe there’s no value in doing anything unless they’re rewarded for it. According to parenting experts, you’re not supposed to issue your children ultimatums because there’s never a win-win in that and they will grow up to do things out of fear and not through self-control.
According to this parenting expert*, I don’t think there are many parenting experts who are also hockey moms.
Bribes and ultimatums are what get me through the hockey season almost as much my fellow hockey moms and a bottle of Fireball whiskey! Being a better parent, however, may also make me a better hockey mom so in the interests of being a mom all around, I realize there are a few things I might have reconsidered in my hockey parenting. For example,
Maybe Fruit Loops breakfast cereal isn’t the breakfast of champions, but it sure gets a five year old boy in the van in forty-five seconds flat.
It’s true that a quarter doesn’t buy much anymore, but it sure keeps a younger sibling occupied at an arena learning how to operate an arena candy dispenser. If I jack that up to fifty cents and I can keep my child contemplating a hockey card dispenser for at least fifteen minutes.
It’s possible that a Slushie is not exactly a power lunch but I’ve learned that the promise of one has a negative correlation to the time it takes to change out of one’s hockey gear after a game.
There was one season I promised my dawdling and chatty goalie son five dollars if he could please just be in the first five kids out of the dressing room after a game or practice. “That never happened!” he protested, when I told him about this article. He’s right. It never happened. Not once that season did he score a five dollar bill. 
If you’ve never taken your child’s phone away for something as mundane as not airing out their hockey equipment after a game, are you even really a parent?
One season, my husband promised my daughter a new pair of shoes for each goal she scored. There ensued a judicious scolding from the coach – and a Shoe Company loyalty card for my daughter to go with her season scoring record.
Oh sure, grounding a teenage boy from the use of the family car is a nasty ultimatum but you try getting a midget-aged boy to comb his hair on picture day (let alone even get out of bed for picture day).
Do we even need to talk about the promise of a visit from Santa or the menace of Elf on the Shelf during the holiday season?
I’m not sure about those parenting experts. Bribes and ultimatums have served me well over my many seasons as a hockey mom. I think it might be too late for me to change my scheming parenting ways. We’ll just have to hope my hockey kids turn out okay!
Three cheers for bribes and ultimatums – and getting things done.
*Disclaimer:  I am not a parenting expert (but I pretend to be one all the time).

Tags: minor hockey

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