I tried something different the other day.
Usually, when it’s time to do chores around the house, I turn on Netflix, plop my son in front of the TV, and let Disney babysit for me. He is, after all, four years old, and four-year-olds are not particularly famous for their floor-scrubbing abilities.
I didn’t realize how much this was affecting him until we passed by a toy ship from his favorite show, Jake and The Neverland Pirates.
“It’s The Mighty Colossus,” my son told me, not so much speaking as shrieking. “I need it!”
I said no. He erupted.
He couldn’t understand why we couldn’t afford to buy every toy we saw. Soon he was in tears, thrashing wildly. My wife and I were, for the first time in our lives, one of those parents. We had that naughty, uncontrollable child in the store that made people tsk and think, at least that’s not my child.
The next day, we tried to do things differently. We planned to clean the whole house, and our son was going to help the entire time. It was supposed to be a punishment – but he loved it. It ended up being one of the best days of his life.