It’s that time again …. The annual visit to check on octogenarian Aunt and her “haunted house” as your kids call it. All you want is for them to kiss and hug her as they arrive and leave, and be friendly and polite in between, using their GA_googleFillSlot("minti_advice_island_logged_out_300x250"); best manners and pretending they are beside themselves with joy to be visiting her and sleeping in her ancient, musty, moth eaten sheets.
Your ears are ringing with complaints of “Her teeth are brown and falling out and her breath smells like a toilet” or “Last time we were there the dog doubled its’ weight in a week from all the unidentifiable meals we fed it that we couldn’t eat”, "Eeeeh-yeeew - she spits on me when she kisses me" .....
You have tried being firm, progressed to threats of confiscating electronic toys, and even threatened slow and painful death if cooperation and a forged sense of familial piety is not forthcoming. Nothing is working, so what to do?
Bribery! I know, I know "Good parents DO NOT resort to bribery under ANY circumstances". Yeah, and that must have been said by someone who has not been a parents!
In extreme situations where you, the all knowing, wise parent feel you are losing the battle and need to remain the victor - resort to bribery!! Bribery comes in many forms, so be careful to think things through before dangling the carrot or you may regret it sooner, rather than later. So long as you do it in a way that it doesn't appear to be bribery you will be fine.
Little thought will be needed to think of something that falls into the “He/She will walk on hot coals for this”. All kids have their price. Tell them they will earn a reward (within your budget of course - we aren't talking ferrari for 16th birthday here, or $500 of new clothes for the hormonal, sulky teenager) but that it will be given to them on the trip home or when you arrive home. BUT only if they adhere to the rules you ask them to follow!
Choose well and you might be able to get an extra few weeks of exemplary cooperation and text-book good behavior once you arrive home!