Bribery may be parents' preferred tactic to get the best behavior out of their kids. But as one father learned, it can backfire spectacularly. Reddit user TheMeFund shared an inspirational story that could change how moms, dads, and grandparents entice their kids to do what they want.
In a post to the subreddit Daddit, so named because it's for dads on Reddit, the father of a five year old explained that he and his partner had instituted a policy: when their child slept through the night and used the potty without waking up a parent, she'd get a prize the next day.
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One night, he was up late because he couldn't sleep. He heard an odd sound, investigated, and discovered his young daughter going to the bathroom. She told him she wanted to be alone, so he walked away.
When she had finished up, Dad went in to use the toilet. He had left the bathroom door ajar so the light would illuminate the hallway and the little girl could find her way to bed. But the daughter requested that Dad shut the door.
As Dad left the bathroom, he caught his child heading to the linen closet for a towel. Confused, he turned on her bedroom light and realized she had had an accident in her bed.
"All 5 year old kids have accidents, no big deal, but it struck me as odd that she didn't say anything about it and was trying to clean it up on her own," the father shared in his Reddit post. "I asked her if she was embarrassed or something and she broke down crying saying that she really wanted to get a 'treat' in the morning, so she didn't want to tell me about the accident."
Please take a moment to process that.
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"Turns out she had developed a shame response to having a nighttime potty accident and has been hiding some of them from us as parents so she could get her treat," the dad went on. "I'm devastated that we'd created that sort of thing in her. I immediately gave her a huge hug, and reassured her that there was nothing to be ashamed of, and that the rule about accidents/morning treats was going to change right away."
Though the full post is filled with self-deprecation (and strong language, be warned), we think this dad is doing a great job--and is learning the hard lessons parenting gives everyone who has children.
Click through to see some other wonderful dads.
This dad worked really hard on his daughter's tiny pedicure!