My ten-year-old daughter has a habit of making ridiculous bribes so that her little brother will cave into her demands.
If she wants, say, the rest of his bag of chips, she'll plead, "Josh. Pleeeeeeeeze! Come on! I'll give you my Icebat Ugly Doll!''
Josh, who is six, usually falls for it. And usually, Janice hands over the toy. For about an hour. Then, we hear shrieks and sobs as they fight over the terms of the deal.
Janice's offers are always outsized, while the favors she wants are small. If he throws her napkin away, she'll swear to do anything he wants for the rest of the day, only to renege ten minutes later.
Sometimes, Josh will eye her suspiciously and refuse the offers. Sometimes, she'll promise something she wants to unload, like a duplicate fast food Pokemon toy, and there won't be a problem.
But it never lasts for long. We've tried banning the "trades,'' then, when that didn't work, letting them deal with the consequences.
We've encouraged Janice to scale back on the extravagent promises and warned Josh that if his sister offers him $100 dollars for his glow-in-the dark rubber bracelet, she's probably not going to fork it over.
I've also tried reciting scripts from parenting books..
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