Tuesday, January 31st 2006
How to Both Scare and Surprise Your Kids Simultaneously. (And why.)

The post that could also be called "Why You Never Come Here For Parenting Tips"

Do your kids ever do the Whiny Game? Oh my gosh I hate the Whiney Game. "Can I have the Rescue Hero with the greeeeen backpack? Because I only have the ones with (insert the name of every other convceivable color)!"

We have a rule in our house. If you whine, the answer is no. Even if the answer woulda been yes if you’d been nice, if you whine it’s an automatic no. That way there is no reinforcing of the Whiney Game no matter what. This works fairly well, but every once in awhile someone will test it out just to see if the rule still holds true.

I have a new secret weapon, and I launch into it ruthlessly whenever the Whiney Game hits. Ready? It’s En Vogue’s "Never Gonna Get It." Can’t remember it? Think 90s.  "No, you’re never gonna get it, never ever gonna get it, my lovin’ No, you’re never gonna get it, never ever gonna get it, my lovin’"

Helpful Tips for Use of Secret Weapon:

Leave out the ‘my lovin’ part. Repeat, DO NOT sing to your kids they’re never gonna get your lovin.’ That’s BAD, y’all, and I don’t advocate that.

Do it like me and make sure you’re waaaay off key.

Bug out your eyes, don’t be afraid to move your neck a little, and wag a finger in their faces while you sing.

Use attitude and pronounce never as ‘nevah.’

I like to lead into it with a little context. "That rescue hero with the greeeeen backpack? You whined. You know the rule, and now….[bug eyes here, assume finger wagging position] You’re never gonna get it…"

Reactions are priceless. My kids bug out their eyes, take a step back, and totally forget to whine, and to even care about the greeeeeen backpack. The immediate reaction is to Get Away From the Singing Mommy and whining is suddenly so not important. Isn’t this beautiful?

And a bonus? Kids are so literal. If you sing they’re ‘nevah’ gonna get something, they probably will believe you. Which should completely make this approach that more effective, no? Or does it sound harsh? Nah. I’m the Mommy and i can change my mind on the green backpack thing later at a non-whiny time if i choose.

Maybe I need a song for granting the desires of their heart. Know any, guys?

Update on father in law: doing better! He’s in ICU still, on a ventilator, but it will probably be removed tomorrow! Thanks for all prayers!


7 Comments on “How to Both Scare and Surprise Your Kids Simultaneously. (And why.)”

January 31st, 2006
11:58 pm

I just found your site and I’m rolling in the floor(might as well, I can’t sleep). I am a NEW blogger. still tweaking my site(not as computer savvy as I thought. :D

February 1st, 2006
12:16 am

Welcome, Faith! I’m brand new at this, myself. (Note the lack of archives!) I’m off to your site now!

At A Hen's Pace
February 1st, 2006
12:16 am


You’re so funny! Yes, the Singing Mommy act is guaranteed to clear the room at my house too.

Except for my 3 y.o dtr, who loves to sing and strut her stuff along with me.

February 1st, 2006
8:20 am

Cute— I’m gonna try this, but I wish I knew the tune. Can you hum a few bars for me?

February 1st, 2006
8:21 am

Maybe I’ll try it to the tune of ‘the bear went over the mountain’….

February 1st, 2006
12:59 pm

Mary, I keep cracking up at the very thought of that particular song being sung to the tune of The Bear Went Over the Mountain. Oh, funny!

Anne Glamore
February 2nd, 2006
6:40 pm

Now THAT is a helpful tip and the kind that I will use daily.

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