Monday, January 11, 2010

Reverse psychology....would it really work?

It never fails. As I'm placing a hot dish on the counter after taking it out of the oven, I say to the kids, "Move away, please. This dish is hot...don't touch it".

"Why?", they ask. And I respond, "Because it'll burn you and you'll end up with a big owie!"

What do you think they do at that point? I'll give you 3 choices....

a) See who can be the quickest to touch the hot dish

b) Immediately move away because Mommy always knows what she's talking about

c) Just stare at me with blank looks on their faces

If you guessed C and then A, you would be right.

If you guessed B, well, then you just happen to fall into that 1% of the human population who have perfect children that listen to every word you say. Don't worry that the other 99% of the human population either hates you or thinks you're full of shit.

So as I'm running 4 burned little fingers under cold water, I say, "Geez, guys...what am I supposed to do?! If I told you that you SHOULD touch the hot dish, you would probably run away from it as fast as you could, right?"

Again, I just got blank stares. Confusion settled onto their faces.

Of course, this made me think of all the other situations we've been in where they didn't heed my warnings. To make it worse, they did the exact opposite of what I asked them to do.

So I figure if I start using reverse psychology, perhaps I'd have a chance of keeping two or three of them alive long enough to graduate from college and make lots of money. You know, so they can buy me that beautiful house on the beach that Tim and I pretty much kissed goodbye when we maxed out our HELOC trying to conceive the little angels in the first place.

This is how I imagine reverse psychology would sound like....

1) Go ahead, stick your finger in the light socket...the jolt of electricity going through your body is something everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime. I know it's been on my bucket list for quite awhile now.

2) Please, by all means....color all over the walls. I just ask that you be sure to use permanent markers this time.

3) Always, always, always be sure to touch the hot dishes I pull out of the oven. Sure, blisters are painful but what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right?

4) It's fun to walk up to strange dogs and shove your hand directly into their face. If it bites you, I'd be happy to take you to the doctor's office for a rabies shot. I have nothing better to do this afternoon, anyway...plus, the doctor always enjoys seeing "the demon spawn", as he lovingly refers to you all.

5) Make sure you only get in the tub when the water is scalding hot. Watching your skin turn bright red as it blisters will give me something to do since after you all go to bed, I'm completely bored to tears.

6) Don't forget to pee all over the back of the toilet. I have nothing but time to kill and it pleases me more than anything to spend that spare time on my hands and knees cleaning up your pee. Plus, I wouldn't want you to get your hands dirty.

7) Sure, it's cool if you change your clothes several times throughout the day for absolutely no reason. It's my sole purpose in life to spend as much time as I can in the laundry room. It makes me feel like I'm being a good mother.

8) Don't bother blowing on your food if it's too hot. Just shovel it in as quickly as you can. I'm pretty sure your taste buds will grow back again at some point.

9) There's no need to be careful with your toys. No big deal if they break...I just happen to have a ton of money wasting away in a bank account. Why not use it to buy you more new toys to destroy? I really didn't want to replace my camera that you broke last week, anyway.

10) Crawling into the fireplace is an ingenius place to hide when you all are playing hide and seek. Or you can always try the washer or the dryer. But make sure you don't tell anyone about your secret hiding place so we can spend countless hours looking for you. The police are sitting around doing nothing but eating donuts anyway...one of their favorite things to do is look for missing kids.

11) Always tell complete strangers your name and address. Don't be shy. And it's an added bonus if you give them our burglar alarm code and let them know specifically when we'll be out running errands. Oh, and it's essential to tell them where we hide the extra key.

12) Yeah, knives are super cool to play with. It's even more fun if you run around the house with one in your hand with your eyes closed.

13) It's fine if you don't want to wear a jacket and mittens even though it's 40 degrees outside. Even better, your hands will be so frozen that it probably won't hurt when one of the other kids slams your fingers in the door of the mini-van.

14) Make sure you drink at least 5 glasses of juice before bed. I hardly ever sleep anyway so changing your bed sheets 3 times in one night is really no big deal.

15) Never brush your teeth, especially when you've eaten gummy bears before bedtime. How else is the dentist ever going to afford that Escalade she's been dying for if we're not constantly in her office getting your cavities filled?

So.....do you think reverse psychology might work?

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47 comments:

Dreamer said...

All of my children have burned their little fingers around their second birthday. Come to think of it, my littlest just turned 2 and he just burned his fingers to blisters! It's amazing after that they know exactly what you mean when you say "hot". All I have to say is HOT and he's on the other side of the room. They insist on learning for themselves, silly kids!

6p00e54ed49fcb8833 said...

When my niece was about 2 she learned to turn away from kisses, so I used to threaten her with punishment and time outs if she kissed me. Adopting a devilish expression, she'd run at me and give me tons of kisses. It worked every time for me but never seemed to work for my mother, maybe because she'd chase my niece around the house with her arms outstretched saying "Don't kiss me don't kiss me don't kiss me."

6p00e54ed49fcb8833 said...

When my niece was about 2 she learned to turn away from kisses, so I used to threaten her with punishment and time outs if she kissed me. Adopting a devilish expression, she'd run at me and give me tons of kisses. It worked every time for me but never seemed to work for my mother, maybe because she'd chase my niece around the house with her arms outstretched saying "Don't kiss me don't kiss me don't kiss me."

Donna said...

bwahahahahaha!!

Short answer - Heck yeah it'll work!

Now we just need to get our overly exhausted brains to THINK like THEM instead of the professionally untrained parents that we are!!

lorimcktia.blogspot.com "Cottage By The Sea" said...

Nah. Trust me on this. Reverse Psyc won't work any better than anything else. You're just sh.t up a creek until they grow up and leave home. And believe me when I tell you that anything they do that is cute when they are 2, will NOT look cute when they are still doing it at 16! Can you tell I'm havin' a bad day with my teenagers?

Flying Giggles and Lollipops said...

We have used reverse psychology a few times and it sounds exactly like your examples, ridiculous, but it is amazing it works! I think it just confuses the heck out of my daughter and she just walks away.

Lee the Hot Flash Queen said...

What's sad...is I've tried all of those and they all failed. The permanent marker, the wiener and the knife were all whipped out faster than you can say Oh Shit.

singedwingangel said...

See the whole idea behind reverse psychology is taking away the fun of being bad... soooo technically the idea is if it becomes an okay thing to do the fun is gone.. Ummm yeah sure that always works..

Buckeroomama said...

It almost always works with J & Z. "Sure, you don't have to eat your dinner. You can always go to bed hungry." This always gets my 2 wolfing down their food, although I get glares and "it's not fair!" thrown in between bites.

Mrsbear said...

You are on to something. The only thing that does work with my three year old is reverse psychology. "Don't smile at that lady, she doesn't like it when people are happy." He will immediately grin from ear to ear. I tell him to give his grandmother a kiss, and he'll scowl and run in the opposite direction. My fifteen year old actually admitted to me that she put my hand on a hot burner not once, but twice, because she wanted to prove me wrong. Ugh.

Running with knives with your eyes closed had me rolling. Goes against everything we've ever been tought.

KK said...

Don't forget, be sure to run right across the street, don't bother to look!

Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

One of the multiple choices you forgot was, "Why?" I swear if I hear another "why?" I'm going to scream.

"Why Momo? Why can't I touch the hot stove?"

I've tried the reverse psychology too and it doesn't work.

If it works for yours, I think you should write a book.

cindi said...

hahahahahahha seriously....write a book!

Kimberly@PrettyPinkMomma said...

I think everything on your list happens in my house just about daily. I hate the pee on the back of the toilet too - seriously can boys ever make it where its supposed to go? Here are a couple that I would add to my list:

Please find every single ball in the house and throw, bounce or kick it - any direction that you please. Bonus points if you knock over drinks on the table or hit one of your brothers in the face.

I encourage you to open the front door to solicitors no matter what I say. I love to say don't open door just because its fun to say. Not to mention I really love answering the door to strangers when my hair is in a rats nest, I'm not wearing one iota of makeup and nevermind the fact that I am only wearing a skimpy tank top and no bra. I missed out on topless career so I guess I should be thankful.

I love your posts! They make me laugh and cry all at the same time cause they are so true!

Merri Ann said...

I don't think I've ever been able to get hot food in front of my kids ... they would for sure burn their mouths having never experienced that ...

Instead of reverse psychology, I just give them the look that says "What is wrong with you?" ... they know what the look means because those words are probably the most used in the house (unfortunately for me, they are directed at my husband a lot). All the money we have saved for college is probably going to be needed for therapy to find out what,indeed,is wrong with them ...

The "look" also requires less thinking on my part.

I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be able to think of the reverse quickly enough to use it when I needed it ...

Shell said...

Can you imagine the looks that you would get when you're out in public, if you said those things?

It would probably be the one time that my kids would actually listen to me, if I told them something like, "go ahead and run across the street without looking. Trucks love to have to slam on their brakes. Maybe you'll only end up in the hospital with a few broken bones."

Rebecca said...

How do you think of this $hit??? If your doctor really uses the term "the demon spawn," I kind of love him!

Mighty M said...

Haha!!!!! Too funny! Although some of these I may have to try myself! ;)

Eva Gallant said...

I'm so glad my kids are grown and married and probably going through this with their kids!

Samantha said...

this made me laugh...Bree gives me the blank stare most of the time. Aggravating.

Nezzy said...

Ya got my sides to achin' and my nose to drippin' here! You are just hysterically funny. Serious note as a retired educator here, be very, very careful using reverse psychology because it can backfire on you faster that a tail pipe stuffed with a 'tater!

Have a great day and keep us laughing!

God bless your Helene :o)

Working Mommy said...

HAHAHA!! Not sure if it would work...but if it does, could you let us know?? You're either going to have 4 very angry wee ones...or 4 little angels!

~WM

Robin said...

...all I know is that it does work for the hubby...the kids are smarter than me so they figure it out..oh shit i just inferred that Im smarter than hubby.(not my intention)..anyhoo
..Im LMAO..you supply ample fodder for laughter...is it as funny while you in the midst of it..??

Tracy said...

Preach it sister!!!

"Don't worry that the other 99% of the human population either hates you or thinks you're full of shit."

LMAO. We ALL know these people.

Amy said...

I think this may work. I am going to see about it.

Heather Kephart said...

Hilarious, Helene! A masterpiece! Hey, it's worth a try, right? I love the one about peeing on the back of the toilet seat lol

The Girl Next Door Grows Up said...

I actually do #8 because nobody every believes me when I tell them the food is too hot - so go ahead eat it and then you'll see... and they did!

Did they learn? No. Now they always still see if it is hot. Fools.

Rocketgurl said...

HA! I always get the blank stare, but it's occasionally coupled with "WHHHYYYY??" Sometimes, I have to use my big hips to bump my DD back a step.. not hard, but enough to get her back!!

Heck, reverse psychology might not work on my lil girl! Yesterday, she was playing with packing foam and I told her repeatedly to stop putting it in her mouth.. even after she decided to take a bite out of it and said yucky.. She kept putting it in her mouth and I kept telling her to take it out. She then asked if she can eat it. I was tired and said yes! It was all slow motion and I had to yell, "NOOOOOOOO!" My hubby laughed and said, "then why did you tell her to eat it!?" LOL! I just can't win!!

HT said...

I have the same experience with ours. I don't think reverse psychology will work!

ET will just think: "YEHAAAAA Mommy is finally getting around to doing things my way!"

HT will think: "Really, that is not what you told me yesterday!"

ET has the amazing ability to repeat back what you've said word for word (she has a memory like an elephant), but still does the exact opposite of what you asked her to do.

Charlene said...

LMAO!!!

3 out of 6 kids have burned their fingers or chins by reaching or looking into a hot dish or pan at my house....I figure that's not such bad odds LOL

LOVE this post!!!

Brooke said...

i have perfect children alright - the never wake me up in the middle of the night, never need fed...they don't exist!

but then again you have much more fun blog stories than me!

Kim said...

I wish I would have tried reverse psychology yesterday. One of the twins came over to watch me paint a door, and I warned her, "DON'T step in the paint." She looked at me, looked at the paint, and then stepped in it. Aaargh!!

Jessi said...

Hilarous and so so true. Maybe it would work?

I so needed that laugh today. I've had a horrible day so thank you !

shortmama said...

Dang kids just never listen! They cant just trust that you know what the freak youre talking about!

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Jen said...

I hope that this works b/c I do the same thing when I open the oven and it never fails, someone always gets burned.

Chronicles Of A Mommy said...

I'm not sure, but I am certainly willing to test a few of these out. LOL

Cascia said...

My kids do the same thing. It seems like they just don't believe a word I say.

Tesa said...

Isn't that frustrating? My sister-in-law uses reverse psychology on her 5-year-old all the time. It sometimes sounds odd, but it works for her!

Alicia said...

Brilliant!!!

Lisa said...

That's normal for them, lol, kids are crazy so why wouldn't the run to burn themselves. However, it usually only takes just once, maybe twice.

Btw, I'm following your blog...I hope you check mine out too:)

Amy W said...

I would have to say NO. It's too bad kids don't get the irony. I wonder what age yours will be when they realize what a great sense of humor their mom has!

Just Playin' said...

I think it works more often than not.

Sara said...

I wouldn't even know where to begin.

Oh, but don't forget, "When you run with scissors, be sure to untie your shoelaces first!"

Kristin said...

Let me know how that tactic works cuzzzzzz the dude is obsessed with the stove right now. He says...hot, hot and then goes right for it. Sigh.

Cristina said...

Do it do it do it! You should post these on the fridge complete with stick figure pictures to remind them!

This was a whole lotta punny.

xx

Cristina

The Lane Family said...

I think that reverse psychology would be great if it worked..but since our children think they are MUCH smarter than us, why should they listen.

Two favorites are the one about the coloring on walls and about, drinking 5 glasses of water right before bed. I do SOOO enjoy changing wet sheets in the middle of the night or better yet when they come and climb into bed with you and they are wet..nice!!

I figure that if the children are alive when my husband gets home at the end of the day, I've done my job.

----Roseanne Barr



 
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