Moving to a new home can be tough on kids. We took mine from the only home they ever remembered and asked them to move 900 miles South, to a 1000-square-foot smaller house with a very small backyard. It was hard for them to see the immediate benefits of that decision (benefits like a close pool, relatives right down the road, and no snow in the winter). All they saw was an unfamiliar new space that felt different and didn’t feel like it belonged to them.
So to convince them to move, we used the oldest parenting trick in the book. We bribed them. While you’re may tsk at the idea of bribing your kid, let me expound for a minute on the benefits of bribery:
1. It works.
2. It gives kids something to look forward to.
3. It gives them some sense of negotiating power when, in all actuality, they have little to none.
Feeling like you have control in an uncontrollable situation makes you feel a little better about things.
For Little ThreeYear, we told him we’d finally get a dog. We realized that with our fenced-in back yard and both of us working from home, a dog would be a much more feasible addition to the family than it had in the past.
We told Junior ThreeYear that we’d decorate his new room however he wanted.
He wanted to paint it black.
I worked my creative wiles and convinced him that black accents would look much better than a completely black room. We looked at the myriad options online and found a couple of pictures that he liked as inspiration.
On the night before we moved into our new house, when we were doing the final walk-through, we discovered, under a rug and desk that the previous owner had left, a giant hole in the carpet. A tense negotiation commenced between our real estate agent and hers. Finally, she could no longer deny that she’d been trying to hide a huge hole in the carpet and agreed to pay to have it replaced. Continue reading “The $217.27 Bedroom Makeover”