By D. Essemfour
September 2010, DweebMD, Internet Medical News. A landmark study published last week in the esteemed science journal Family Hell confirms that bribery works better than physical force “to get the little tyrant to do what you want,” said I. M. Trapt, M.D., primary researcher and parent.
According to Dr. Trapt, this is the first population-based study to examine the effectiveness of parental persuasion techniques in child-centric households. In such households, parental authority generally goes out the window with the bath water.
What happens to such parents when baby (repeatedly) spits out prescription antibiotic? "The chumps suffer the anguish of the damned," states Dr. Trapt, "because of a deep-seated need to please."
The action takes place on several fronts. Trying to force a spoonful of medicine down the brat’s throat yields screeches of “I hate you!” causing the parent to cease and desist, which leads to guilt, and in turn, the negative parental cognition: “I am a bad parent.” Should baby die from untreated bacterial infection, judge and jury will validate this cognition as fact.
However, while possible, such a scenario is improbable. More likely, the little stinker will just stay sick. The social humiliation following a full confession to the pediatrician that junior won the Battle of the Potion, for such parents are too straight to bend the truth (“The dog ate the entire prescription, Doc, nothing I could do.”), may unleash the super-ego restrained beast in even the nicest.
“It’s not that far to go, bullying the little monster,” Dr. Trapt says, “And once you’re there, very gratifying too, given that you’re older, smarter and bigger.”
However, she reports, domination produces nuclear waste that can be stolen and used to make bombs. “One day, in the distant future my son will not only have the desire, but the means, to beat me up. That’s what sparked off the idea for this study.”
- Dr. Trapt’s 18 month old was tightly strapped into his high chair. A bib embroidered with “My Mommy loves me!” was bow-tied around his neck.
- The goal of the study was to assess which of two parental techniques was more effective in getting the kid to swallow a yucky tasting antibiotic.
- 1. Coercion. Technique: The child’s jaws were prised open with hands and spoon, a dose shoved in, jaws clamped shut with one hand, and throat massaged with the other to force swallowing.
- 2. Bribery. Technique: A large piece of chocolate was held just out of the child’s reach. The kid was promised he could have it once he voluntarily swallowed a dose of medicine.
- The coercion method failed abysmally (Hazard Ratio for parent: 100%).
- The bribery method succeeded spectacularly (Parental Confidence Interval: 100%).
Dr. Trapt was unimpressed by the failure of the coercion method. “What else would you expect in a house where the chick rules the roost? Duh.” She speculates the success of the bribery method may have been due to it answering “the kid’s question: What’s in it for me?” Encouraged by these results, she already has preliminary plans in place to expand this research to adults, using her husband as the first test subject.
Parents who have ceded authority to their genetically mutant offspring should consider using bribery to get their way, Dr. Trapt suggests. “Remember that the kid is getting smarter as he or she ages, while you are getting dumber. The window of opportunity closes quickly. Get the upper hand early.”
PHOTO CREDIT: ss_02_camaro