Mum says that this one sentence will get any kid to behave
As a journalist, I have a love-affair with words.
As a mum, I am constantly being reminded how words also form a large part of how we parent. Just think about it; what words you use and how you use them really has a huge impact and can make or break both how you handle any situation with your children – and what they then take from it.
Interestingly, the New York Times ran a competition to find the best parenting advice in six words. Needless to say some of the entries were nothing short of hilarious:
Jessica: "We do not negotiate with terrorists."
Judy: "Pay attention, but not too much."
Jen: "Today’s crisis is tomorrow’s funny story."
Here are the winners of the Best Advice in Six Words:
“Never, ever refuse a breath mint.” – Lemony Snicket
“You learn more from your failures.” – Piper Kerman
“Does it need to be said?” – Julianne Moore
“Be a doer, not a dreamer” – Shonda Rimes
“Sometimes on low, sometimes on high.” – Mario Batali
"Can't say something nice? Try fiction." – David Baldacci
However, one mum has just topped them all with her brilliant (although controversial) response.
Columnist Lorraine Candy admits in an article in the Daily Mail that her advice is controversial, and definitely a last resort, but we've all been here (or at least, somewhere pretty darn close ... ).
Writing in the paper, Candy talks about the experience of walking into a parents evening and forgetting the name of her 11-year-old's form teacher. She writes:
"I am not making excuses here, but when you have four children at school and you're catching up on a decade of sleepless nights you tend to forget a lot of things: your keys, PIN number and the reason you've walked into a particular room."
So, in a panic, she calls her 13-year-old daughter, and this is how the conversation goes:
Me: 'Quick, Sky, you have to tell me Gracie's teacher's name now.'
Me: 'What? Come on, what's her name? I am running out of time.'
Sky: 'This really is the sort of thing you should know, Mum.'
Me: 'I will give you one pound.'
Sky: 'Miss Knowles.'
So these are the six magic words, says Candy, that will always get your child to behave: "I will give you one pound".
There are some catches, of course, the mum-of-four admits: "This will work between the ages of three and 13. Before that age, just offer chocolate, and if they're older, it may have to be a fiver."
Candy admits this is naturally a last-minute resort trick, reminding readers: "Keep this dodgy mum tip in your back pocket for when the clock is ticking and you've tried everything else."