3 Management Tips When Driving With My 5 y.o

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Today I would like to share with you three (3) management tips I used when driving with my 5 year old, Marisa. The tales and stories are too much so I have decided to do this post in two parts. Today I am sharing Part 1 and I am inviting you back next Friday, 22nd of November for Part 2.

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3 Management Tips When Driving With My 5 y.o

  1. 1. 3 Management Tips When Driving With My 5 Y.O Hello friends and readers thank you for reading my daily blog. While my daily blogging has given me a visible presence on the Internet especially on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Linkedin and Slideshare the reason I blog is to inspire and motivate. Yesterday I received an email from my friend Ambreen who wrote: “Mark, I just went through your blog, McKenzie’s Voice. After going through some of your blog posts I truly got engaged in your blog and decided to follow your blog McKenzie’s Voice by email. Your blog contents are truly awesome and I loved reading it. Very Best Wishes for you as a speaker and writer. Keep up all the great work.” I cannot over emphasise my sincere gratitude to Ambreen and all my enthusiastic supporters for taking the time out to read my blog. I am truly inspired by your loyalty and support. I am committed to continue daily blogging as long as I have something uplifting and positive to share with you. As the world’s renown maestro and reggae icon Bob Marley said in his song titled "Bad Card" you a-go tired fe see me face; can't get me out of the race. If you are looking for inspiration, please continue to read McKenzie’s Voice! Today I would like to share with you three (3) management tips I used when driving with my 5 year old, Marisa. The tales and stories are too much so I have decided to do this post in two parts. Today I am sharing Part 1 and I am inviting you back next Friday, 22nd of November for Part 2. Marisa is an adorable child. When Marisa was born Marchelle told Michelle and I that she was the rough draft. She also told us that Malcolm was the revised copy and Marisa was final version. Marisa is, in fact, the final copy since few days after her birth I went straight to my urologist to get a vasectomy and stock a bag of cold beans on my nuts for a couple of hours. Marisa is in a whole different world of her own especially when I am driving with her. On two recent road trips Marisa and I have had to engage in lengthy conversations that would truly embarrass Ted Cruz all-nighter marathon anti-Obamacare speech. On our drive back home from dropping Malcolm off at the University of Ottawa, Marisa and I entertain her mom and her grandfather and never once in our more than two hours show did we reap Dr. Suess’ Green Eggs and Ham. Marisa created games that she and I played while I am driving. She told me scary stories and repeated them a thousand times with tiny variations. On our recent trip back from NY we held the same show with the same script this time to entertain her mom and her grandmother. Despite her charm, I am typically forced to execute three decisive and useful strategies when driving under the influence of my 5 y.o. (DWI5). They are: 1. Reverse psychology; 2. Threats and consequences; and 3. Enthusiastic brainwashing.
  2. 2. In Ontario there are laws against driving, texting and other kinds of distraction. There are no laws against DWI5. DWI5 is a battle of survival of the fittest. Typically in this battle Marisa usually gets the better of me. From my little story above you should have determined by now that the smart guys who came up with installing DVD players in cars failed miserable. Marisa only watches one movie in the car and that is Eddie Murphy’s Daddy Daycare. She has watched so many times we both can recite scenes from the movie. My favourite lines are; “Mr. Broccoli is a no-show. He got called back on a potato chip commercial.” “Marvin! The guy who smells the mail.” “I am Miss Harridan, the headmistress of Chapman Academy. Language skills are a critical component her at Chapman. Our philosophy is that a child is like a climbing vine. With structure to cling to and the right gardener to tend to them they will grow to the sky.” The DVD in the car does not work with Marisa. When she zones out of the DVD especially on long drives I have to engage plan B. If you have ever heard the saying “as stubborn as mule” well that is Marisa once she zones out on a long ride. This typically calls for the use of my management and communication skills aptly gained from 20 years of professional experience and constantly refined at my weekly City Centre Toastmasters Club’s meetings. Reverse Psychology This strategy is mostly used after one of those McDonald’s stops to get a kid meal merely to add to Marisa’s ridiculous pile of useless McDonald's toys. The scenes are usually the same. You are accustomed to the typical question “Are we there yet?” Marisa strategy is a slightly different. She will either say she is hungry or that she urgently needs to use the bathroom. This typically comes after about two signs indicating the next rest stop ahead. As she is just learning to read I have to give credit to McDonald's for cluing her in. It seems to me that the company has found a way to place McDonald's logo somewhere in between the rest stop signs that even the visually impaired child could not miss. The truth is, it doesn't really matter whether anyone else in the car needs to use the bathroom or even cares for anything to eat from McDonald's. Once Marisa locks in we may as well as decide to stop. Reverse psychology is used on the flip side of the stop. It is used when we are back in the car and Marisa has finished eating her chicken nuggets, yogurt and chocolate milk. McDonald's stops are usually quick, in and out. The longest part of McDonald's stops involves using the bathroom. As the driver, McDonald's stops doesn't work very well for rest and recovery purposes. Once Marisa has finished eating she will hone in on her recently acquired McDonald's toy. The toy will typically captivate her attention and keep her occupied for at least 30 minutes before she decides she does not want the toy anymore. She will take the next hour or so, whining, kicking Michelle’s seat,
  3. 3. annoying and antagonizing whoever is sitting beside her. This is done while constantly expressing her disgust with the ridiculous McDonald’s toy. As the driver, I typically have final say in the car on long trips. I am fully responsible for the well-being of all the passengers and their safety. In order to ensure our safety and to keep our sanity, I will engage in reverse psychology. My normal approach is to call out to Marisa in a very calm and friendly tone of voice. Once I have her attention I will say to Marisa “If you don’t like the toy anymore, why don’t you turn the window down and throw it outside.” Reverse psychology doesn’t work with Marisa. I think a part of why I fail miserable is that I usually add “if you throw your toy outside a kid from Africa will get it!” Talk about as smart as a five year and as dumb as dad! Marisa typically pause and then ask rhetorically “Daddy, how is the child in Africa going to get my toy when I throw it outside?” and after a deafening pause she would say in very nonchalant voice “Daddy, that is ridiculous, I am not throwing my toy outside. You are silly, Daddy!” I have to tell you sometimes I find it difficult to come back from Marisa’s blows. Threats and Consequences With Marisa, reverse psychology works to the extent that it allows Marisa and I to engage in one of our lengthy conversations. Our conversation will continue until she remembers her annoyance with the toy and that she doesn't want the toy anymore and starts whining again. The second phase is usually surgical and methodical. It is usually much more intense than the first phase and therefore usually calls for a more authoritative response. In the second phase I have to admit, and do take pity on Michelle. Typically in second phase, Michelle gets the blunt and full wrath of Marisa derived from her fierce frustration with the McDonald’s toy. As I am writing this I cannot help but admire Marisa’s cunning strategy. As I think about it, Michelle may even have an excellent case to file against McDonald's as the primary source of her abuse. In the first phase Marisa winds everyone up except me or until I intervene with my attempt at the use of reverse psychology. In the second phase she seeks out an individual to either brainwash into supporting her cause or convert into a bitter enemy fit to destroy or annihilate. Michelle sits in front passenger seat directly in front of Marisa and appears to be the perfect candidate for Marisa’s strategy. Marisa is smart, witty and sly. In the second phase she starts out with Michelle in a conversational style by saying “Mommy, you are the best mommy in the world, only you can make this toy work. Daddy is useless!” Well ….let me tell you….. there is not a wife in the world who would not agree with her a 5 y.o after such as wonderful commendation of her worth and condemnation of her husband. Marisa’s statement is profound. It includes praises, creates alliance and support and creates a common adversary. A wrong move from me will put me in direct conflict with Michelle, my front seat passenger, and clearly will not win me any friendship from Marisa. Marisa is skillful and in one shot she sucks Michelle right in and alienates me entirely. For a brief moment Michelle and Marisa are best of friends. It is dream of dreams, mother-daughter affair as they are both fully engaged back and forth with the toy. At this point I am cautiously happy and can drive in peace a little longer. However, I am always on alert for Marisa’s killer instinct. Make no two bones about
  4. 4. it at some point within the next 30 to 45 minutes Marisa will get back to why she doesn’t want the toy anymore. She has a clear vision, mission and decisive strategy. The strategy is usually executed at the point where Michelle thinks that Marisa is comfortable enough and she turns the volume up on the radio. So now we can finally listen to the sweet sounds of Adel or Beyonce. Marisa loves Adel and Beyonce but not when she is moving for the kill to vigorously vent her frustration with the McDonald’s toy. TO BE CONTINUED! Next Friday, 22nd of November I will finish this blog with Part 2: Are We Dead Yet? Have a great week end! Mark McKenzie is a leading Subject Matter Expert in financial services regulation and supervision as well as a professional motivational speaker, corporate trainer and youth mentor. He can be contacted by email mastbmckenzie@gmail.com or by telephone 647-406-4622. Read my blog http://mastbmckenzie.blogspot.ca/ and always write me a comment and share. Follow me on Twitter @mackynacky. Connect with me on www.youtube.com, Google+, Facebook and Linkedin.

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