Child rearing tips – the chocolate frog technique

Inspired by the current Public Address topic on sharing handy hints, I thought that I might share with you one of the most effective child management techniques I know. I have already given this tip an outing, about 18 months ago, as a comment on Public Address, but that was before I had a blog of my own.

This technique is for use on long car trips, when you just know that sooner or later, the children will start squabbling and fighting (or as we say in our household, fobbling and squighting) in the back seat, driving the adult occupant(s) of the car crazy.

You can, if you apply this technique, stop the fobbling and squighting in an instant.

Before you start the car trip, buy a packet of chocolate frogs.

As you all get into the car, children in the back seat, adults in the front, the adult(s) should open the packet of chocolate frogs. The packet of chocolate frogs should be left in full view of the children.

Then, start driving.

Sooner or later, the bickering, the shoving, the kerfuffle, the noise, the complaints from the back seat will get to be too much for the grown-ups to bear.

At that stage, the adult(s) should reach for a chocolate frog. They should wind the window down, and throw the frog out.

At the end of the journey, the children may eat any frogs that are left.

This is a remarkably effective technique. Generally it results in an appalled silence from the back seat, and peace and quiet for at least 10 minutes.

There is a variant technique. Instead of throwing the frog out, you can eat it yourself. However, this variation may well end in tears.

And in reality, we have only tried this once. Alas, we couldn’t keep our faces straight, so the impact on the back seat behaviour was minimal. But the thought was fun….

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15 responses to “Child rearing tips – the chocolate frog technique

  1. That’s fantastic. I think I may try it on the next long car trip. We’re not actually taking the child, but it may work on my partner.

  2. only a former policy analyst could devise an incentive system so ingenious.

  3. Surely that is child abuse

    Our method was to stop the car and put them out

    OK this would definitly be called child abuse now but it was a country road, we only had to do it once and we did stop just around the corner
    They came around the corner holding hands

    I blame Taranaki girls for this sort of thing, its the way their minds work…I am blameless

  4. My parents did that once, rayinnz. To my brother, not me. It quelled the riot immediately.

    Which adds strength to your thesis about Taranaki girls… my mum is one.

  5. Abandonment, the cruelest cut of all.

  6. ROFL! Is this the confectionery version of that joke photo that’s been circulating forever of cute dog with a gun pointed at head with caption (some variation of) “do as I say or the dog dies”?

    Are we correct in assuming that you conducted this exercise in extreme emotional cruelty* in an air-conditioned car?

    Hehehe :P

    *Deprivation of chocolate once sited visually being the cruellest form of punishment for me personally ;)

  7. LOL Brilliant!

    We’re driving from Sydney to Brisbane with the 3 kids in one day in a couple of weeks, I’m rather tempted to add this to my arsenal :)

  8. I am teaching my partner to drive (no easy task) and this may work for him. Every time he corners like a hoon or does something stupid I’ll throw a chocloate out the window

  9. for us it might work better if we threaten to eat the frogs ourselves. Nothing makes a sweet more desirable to our kid, than the thought of it being eaten by someone else.

  10. I don’t think I could bring myself to throw the chocolate away (especially if they’re chocolate frogs from Haighs). Not that we have a child (or a car for that matter) but maybe I will start practicing for such time as ‘baby-Hassall’ needs discipline (of course baby-Hassall will be sitting in the backseat by itself so maybe will not be relevant…)

  11. Stunt-double faux choco frogs for the purpose of cognitive discipline, 2.95 for 6 from the Whare Rouge.

  12. only thing I might be worried about is that I know chocolate is toxic to dogs and may well be toxic to other animals too…
    so I’d eat them XD not that I plan on having kids but if I ever have to do this with relatives/friends kinds it sounds great.

  13. My life with twins is going to be so easy following in your footsteps…more tips please!

  14. Perhaps, along with the dispatch of a chocolate frog, the radio could be retuned for five full minutes of RadioNZ also?