Mar 25, 2009

Kick-backs and Extortion

3/25/2009 — cori
Funny thing happened the other day...I saw a five dollar bill on Bennett's dresser. I nonchalantly asked him where he found it (because he previously informed me he was out of cash). He said, "Oh that. Gavin gave it to me." My first instincts were to dwell upon the brotherly love being bestowed between my two, fellow, male children. As I was reveling in their kind-heartedness towards one another, Gavin came into the room. I appropriately thanked him for being so sweet to his brother. How wrong I was.

All this "brotherly love" was actually a kick-back, come to find out. Gavin later explained that he wanted to play alone, but Bennett kept bugging him to play outside with him. Why Gavin would ever go outside and play sports instead of roll around the floor of his room in Gavinworld being some imaginary superhero is beyond me. So, he decided to pay him to leave him alone!!! Where in the world would my sweet, first born ever come up with such an idea?! I was so shocked with this revelation, I didn't know what to say. I was dumbfounded. So, I went and got Daddy.

It was Daddy who informed me that this type of thing has a name and that name is extortion and you are NOT allowed to use those types of "incentives" on your brother or sister - or anyone, ever, for that matter. Then we had to cover all our bases since we never traveled this road before and we never technically gave him the rules about 'paying off people to get what we want'. We decided to be very specific. The new family rule now states:

"There will never be money exchanged between siblings in this household for the following purposes: time alone, food, bribing in order to watch the movie or play the video game/board game that we want. You may also not pay your sibling to 'keep quiet' about an offense or accident that may or may not have happened. You may exchange 4 quarters for a dollar - but that is it!"

Now that the new rule is in place, Chuck further explained the whole extortion, bribery, kick-back thing and why it is wrong, bad, deceitful, harmful, ad nauseum.... I don't know why Gavin's first thought was not to just use his words to explain his desires to his sweet brother. Obviously, once you turn 10, words are scarce and saved up and used only when needed. It seemed easier to pay Bennett than talk to him. I hope this is a lesson we will never have to discuss again.

Just goes to show...whenever you think you have this parenting thing down...one of your kids throws a curve ball at you.

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