Be quiet, Stevie, and you'll get a big lollipop!
If you're not careful, you're liable to teach your children the wrong lessons.
Say you've worked hard all week and you're trying to take a nap on the couch on Saturday afternoon, but the kids are making a racket and you can't sleep.
Or maybe you're on the phone talking to a friend you haven't heard from in a long time and you can't make out a word being said because the kids are squabbling in the background, or you're trying to do your taxes with forms and receipts spread out all over the kitchen table and you can't concentrate for all the commotion.
You're being interrupted, and you need a little peace and quiet, and you're frantic enough to offer just about anything for it, so you promise your unruly offspring some special treat for some cooperation: ice cream, a new video game, permission to attend a death metal rock concert, whatever it takes.
Now you've got your peace and quiet, but at what price?
Think about it. Will your kids be quieter in the future, or noisier? After all, they've got a brain, and you've just taught them that bad behavior is rewarded.
Next time they want an ice cream or a game or access to a headbangers ball, they'll know what to do: pitch a fit and put a price on it.
We wonder if this is where the Tillerys went wrong.
Did Mom and Pop Tillery, desperate to restore tranquility to their humble home, on some fateful occasion make the mistake of bribing sonny boy into submission?
Did Little Stevie, putting two and two together, learn to monetize his mayhem?
Is the rest, as they say, history?
(Stephen Tillery currently is looking forward to his share of more than $30 million in fees scheduled to be paid by the Syngenta corporation as part of a $105 million settlement of a class action pollution suit).