An Easier Way

September 3rd, 2015

Do you ever get the feeling that we parents sometimes make life a lot harder for ourselves than it needs to be?

Recent case in point. About a month ago, our dentist gently suggested that perhaps it was time for Birdie to give up her beloved binkie. I was terrified. Of all our children, our youngest was by far the most attached to her pacifier. She’d been down to “nights only” for over a year, but getting her binkie at bedtime was clearly the highlight of her day.

Birdie with Binkie

Thus I spent the day after the appointment reading up on possible strategies for the “debinkification.” Perhaps we could tie her pacifies onto helium balloons and symbolically release them into the air? ┬áMaybe the Pacifier Fairy should come and leave a toy in its place? Some parents had good luck cutting the tips off the binkies and making them less appealing. One friend had held a Goodbye Paci ceremony during which her daughter took one last hit off of each pacifier before placing them in a decorated box.

I had to work late, but came home ready to discuss the pros and cons of all these approaches with my husband, who had been on bedtime duty that evening.

He heard me out, then patiently announced – “She’s sleeping without it right now, honey. I just told her she couldn’t have it anymore, and she went to bed.”

That was it. No elaborate schemes. No charades or bribes. Just a firm, but loving announcement of the new rule.

Huh. That was disconcertingly easy.

2 responses to “An Easier Way”

  1. Emily says:

    Way to go, Birdie! I was going to do that with Madeline and teeth brushing, but she had an easier time rolling not into her morning routine than I thought. She whines for a second but she does it. As a parent, I really struggle with rewarding things that are part of the daily routine and expected of her for the rest of her life. Hurray for the things that are easier done than thought.

    • Kate says:

      Yes I feel the same way! I hate to consider bribing my kids to put their shoes on or pick up their toys. But it’s so tempting, since they are easily bribed at this age!

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