Friday, 7 November 2014

Cruel or Kind ? You decide!

Hello fellow parents! I had a great chat with some friends over lunch yesterday. We always have a good laugh together and share parenting tips. But yesterday they told me a story that left me speechless...!

I'd love to hear your opinions about this little story. I was horrified...

Father: "Daisy, did you know that every 7 years your parents are allowed to choose a new name for you?"

Daughter (nearly 7 years old): "No, really?"

Father: "Yes, every 7 years your parents can change your name and then when you get to 21 you can change it yourself to whatever you want."

Daughter: "Ok."

Father: "So when you turn 7, we're going to change your name to Plop-plop."

Daughter: "What?"

Father: "Do you want ice-cream for desert?"

Daughter: "Yes please."

Father: "If you want ice-cream, you have to sign this contract, agreeing to the name change."

Daughter: "I don't want to."

Father: "Well, no ice-cream for you then."

Daughter: "Er, ok, I'll sign it."

Father: "Good, thank you for signing the contract, you know this is legally binding and from next Tuesday, your Mum and I, and everyone at school will call you Plop-plop."

Daughter: "But wait... that's not fair!"

The Father in this case made a strong argument to me that it was a good life lesson. Daisy got to learn about contracts, what her signature means, commitment, trade-offs and long-term vs. short-term.

They have a good solid and frequently jokey relationship, which reduces the sinister tone that I was afraid of in this exchange. But I'm certainly not going to be using this as an go-to lesson for my kids. Predominantly because I try to never lie to my kids, not even to wind them up. I think it's important that I mean everything I say, and that I always follow through on promises.

The above exchange seems to contravene that approach, but it does get the message across in a punchy and memorable way.  It also gives the whole family a good chance to use Daisy's alternative name 'Plop-plop' for comedic effect later on!

I'm not sure who's right on this one. What do you think?


  1. Haha I don't really know what my opinion is on this, a really odd story but actually I can understand the lesson - is your friend a lawyer by any chance??

  2. My husband wouldn't do this to teach my kids a lesson. He just likes winding them up! It's the sort of thing my Dad would have done too. I think my children would have found it funny!