Saturday, May 15, 2010

Can I at Least Get a Belly Rub?

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away ago, SeattleDad was just a single dude looking for good advice anywhere he could find it.

Way back then before I, was married, there sat on my bookshelf - amongst a sea of self help books - a book called The Aladdin Factor. Perhaps you have heard of it. It's from those Chicken Soup dudes.


Well the premise of The Aladdin Factor boiled down to the simple notion that in order to get things in life, you have to ask. You want a late payment fee waived? Ask for it. You want a lower bid on an item or project? It doesn't hurt to ask. You want an opportunity to advance at work? You NEED to ask. These things are not going to happen on their own and in truth most people have a difficult time saying no. It's not in their makeup.

It's actually not a bad concept. That is if you can get over feeling like an asshat for asking for freebies or handouts. In truth I have never been too good at that.

Kids, however, are masters at this game. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if I looked under Lukas' crib mattress and found a tattered and dog eared version of The Aladdin Factor. He seems to have the finer points of this 'Factor' down to a science.

"Mommy, can I watch a video?" "Not right now son." "Daddy, can I watch a video?" "Not right now. Maybe later." "Mommy, I've been so good today, can I watch a video?" "Ah Honey you have been good today, but we need to eat first." "Daddy, I've had dry underwear all day. Can I watch a video?" "Oh, alright then (getting nod from Mrs. LIAYF). But just one." "Oh, thank you. Thank you!!"

"Daddy, can I have ice cream?"....Well, you get the point.

My little guy doesn't seem to be discouraged by the word NO. He just steps back, regroups, and tries asking for it from a different angle. Let me tell you, it takes a whole lot of parental fortitude to hold your line against such a barrage of requests. Especially when a whole lot of cuteness is bundled up along with them.

I wonder if the authors of The Aladdin Factor would mind if I created my own spin on their self help book. I could call it The Toddler Factor.

Well, I suppose it wouldn't hurt to ask.


BloggerFather said...

Wait, you mean when you say No, your son actually gets cuter? A parental No is not always followed by hellish screams? (We're going through some stuff here, you see... But we'll be fine. And it's worth it... It's worth it... It's worth it...)

Anonymous said...

I love the word "asshat"... i need to use it more often

Dan said...

It's a skill alright.

I find it's easier if you just cave ate the first ask. Or even before that if you can manage it.

Ron said...

I'm laughing because my kids do the same thing even being older. Kids learn pretty quick the rewards-based system.

Juli said...

I'm with handstowar, I think "asshat" is my new favorite word. And, I thought all babies were given a copy of that book as they left the hospital, luckily, I asked for it back before they got a chance to read it.

Anonymous said...

Just be thankful he doesn't have Jedi mind control:

"Father, I would like some ice cream", as he waves his hand in front of your face.

"Yes, some ice cream, I will get it for you now son"

Ed said...

Try saying no five times over! I don't stand a chance.

Captain Dumbass said...

Just as I clicked on comments I heard my 5 year old ask for a snack for the 100th time this afternoon even though he's been denied 99 times because we know he just wants a fudgsicle.

Creative-Type Dad said...

My daughter negotiates.

"Can I have an ice cream"

"No, you had some earlier"

"How about if I have two scoops and then we'll both be happy"

kingstongirl said...

Love your blog. Love your post. It is wonderful and your writing is fun and full of wit. Plus who wouldn't love a girl that is in love with Starwars!

I am doing link Love all week and I would love for you to check my blog. :)

kingstongirl said...

I ment guy! not girl! Woops! :)

SciFi Dad said...

Yeah, it's tough saying no.

My wife's of the opinion that once you ask one parent, you forfeit the right to ask the other (unified front and all), so they get chastised if they ask the other after the first declined.

Slamdunk said...

Good stuff. Our little ones are not discouraged either by no--regardless of the tone I use.

WILLIAM said...

great post. Toddlers know how to ask alright.

Homemaker Man said...

We're great at saying no around here. The kids say it to us all the time.

Cheryl said...

My two-year-old will ask in her normal voice and then try other funnier voices out the next 50,000 times she asks... She knows it gets a laugh.

Dad is in the House said...

Asshat is truly a wonder.

Also, take a look at "How to Negotiate Like a Child." Dead on.

Colin Hughes said...

Children are the best sales reps in the world, not because they can articulate the specifics of what they want but because they can keep asking without pause or remorse. As a salesman, I believe my best sales were all made before I was 12 years old.

James (SeattleDad) said...

@BloggerFather - Oh, not all the time, but often he just asks in a cuter way,

@handstowar - It has a ring to it.

@CK - Amazing how quickly they catch on isn't it.

@Julianna - Yes, that and a few other volumes must be given when they take them away for a while. Thanks for stopping by.

@PJ - I think he is in Jedi training. Coming along nicely.

@Ed - You're right. You don't stand a chance.

@Captain - So, it doesn't drop off as they get older?

@Creative type Dad - Sounds like you have a creative type daughter. I like her angle.

@Kingston Girl - Thanks for the kind words. I will try to get over there soon.

@Scifi - That should put them into line fairly quickly, right?

@Slamdunk - They wear us down!

@William - Yup, they do.

@Homemaker Man - Lol.

@Cheyrl - That sounds a lot like Lukas. They are both a couple of budding comedians.

@Dad is in the House - Hey thanks for the link. I had no idea that that book existed. Kinda sounds funny.

@SeaEych - Thanks for stopping by. Yes, we are gromming him for a potentially lucrative career in sales!

@squirtsdad said...

I like this post, I go through this everyday with my boy. He will not give up until he gets a popsicle.

Andrea said...

Umm, can I ask you to read my blog when you get a chance and leave me a comment? I hate to ask, but then again it's kind of your fault because you inspired me to ask you. I'll give you until 2011.

Otter Thomas said...

Ours, at 18 months, doesn't ask again he just throws himself on the floor and starts screaming. Good times.