November 24, 2018

It is Friday evening, my son just finished diner, he waited and asked me to leave the table, he even brought his own plate to the kitchen! What is happening here? Are my parenting efforts finally paying off? 

It looks like I begin to master my bribe-and-threat-free parenting style. However for the next weeks it is going to be useless.

Sinterklaas is taking over, whether I like it or not! 

This Holy man is the master of the carrot and the stick. Parents don’t matter anymore. Well behaved children are rewarded with presents and candy. Often delivered overnight, through the chimney, in a child’s shoe — instant satisfaction. The naughty ones will be punished. 

It is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Sinterklaas will get under the skin of my children. 

My son is especially conscious to act well mannered when I’am around. While he gets more easily frustrated when things don’t seem to go his way. 

I don’t want my children to keep their ugly emotions inside for the sake of obedience and presents. The only thing I can do, is managing expectations. No, he will not take you to Spain or you will not be beaten with that bundle of twigs (de roe). 

For the first time in my parent-life I will try NOT to benefit from Sinterklaas. So I will not abuse his presence to enforce good behavior. A challenging job for a Dutch father. 

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