Free Market Parenting

Ask just about any parent and you will quickly learn that there is a fair amount of give and take, an exchange if you will, in the small acts of parenting. There is an economy to it. Not the kind where we agree on a price for said service, but an on going negotiation nonetheless.

With a toddler I find my self constantly coming to the table. “If you give me a potty on the toilet I’ll let you watch an episode of Lunar Jim on my iPad.” Or another favorite “Aral, can you use your words (so I have some clue what it is you want)?” The point is that there is an inherent market which arose on its own between parent and child.

The problem is that this market lacks any real regulation. Sure, I maintain a modicum of self-control and I can impose regulatory consequences when exchanges are not honored. But a three year old is a lot like West Virginia’s Freedom Industries, if you give them an inch they’ll eat up any slack in the line. And when that’s gone they’ll simply declare bankruptcy leaving you standing knee deep in the horrible mess.

Things in my household have been very chaotic lately. WE’RE MOVING so the little guy has been acting up a bit. But it’s all good, hang in there, clean up the messes.


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