Tactics for Keeping Children in Bed

1. Rewarding good behaviour, e.g. “If you stay in your bed ALL NIGHT, we’ll buy you the toy of the minute, as determined by Nick Jr.”
RESULT: Fail. Children are incredibly stubborn and self-assured liars. “So are you going to buy me the toy today?” “No, you didn’t stay in your bed.” “Yes I did.” “No you didn’t, you’re in our bed right now.” “No I’m not.”

2. Threats: “If you don’t stay in your bed all night, you won’t be going to that party tomorrow.”
RESULT: Fail. Common response is, simply: “OK.” But they don’t stay. Damn.

3. Hostage-taking: “Stay in your bed or Mr Puppykins gets it .”
RESULT: Epic fail. Results in a lot of apology and begging for the child to stop screaming, and usually a trip to the shops the next day to buy the toy of the minute, as determined by Nick Jr. Bad parents.

4. Guilt Trip: “If you keep getting into our bed, Mummy will get sick because she won’t get enough sleep to stay healthy.”
RESULT: Fail. Kids really don’t care.

5. Guilt Trip Extension: “And if Mummy gets sick, she won’t be able to go out and get you the toy of the minute, as determined by Nick Jr.”
RESULT: Fail. They still don’t care.

6. Santa is watching.
RESULT: Fail. Despite pretence to the contrary, deep down, kids know where the presents really come from.

7. I’ll tell your teacher.
RESULT: Fail. What the hell are you thinking? You know this is going to come right back to you via the teacher whose authority you’re trying to hijack.

8. Strap them to the bed.
RESULT: Untested.

9. Vodka in the bedtime milk.
RESULT: Untested.

I am WIDE OPEN to suggestions people. Wide open.


Give it away now …

So I advertised a free offer, where anyone wanting a free copy of Punchline just sent an email with “Punchline” in the subject header. So far I’ve given away twenty or so copies. I hadn’t reckoned on the spam filter though. I am getting really, really tired of checking my junk box.
Here’s my solution:
I’m just going to post the link and the coupon code. Here it is:
Coupon code: HU35T
That coupon only runs to September 20th, so I’ll need to update this with a new one after that.
I’m thinking about offering an incentive of some kind for folks to (a) pick up a free copy and (b) review it. Here’s the plan: Buzzword Bingo! You know the game, you sit in a meeting and have your bingo card of popular meeting phrases, and someone always wins. Well, this would be like that, but for book reviews, except I create the bingo card, and whichever review gets first bingo they get a hundred dollar or fifty pound Amazon voucher. (Am I being a little hard on the value of the dollar there? Maybe.) I figure I’d need to line up a few ducks for that to happen:
1. Fora in which to advertise it
2. Possibly the OK from Amazon … do I need a license to hold a contest?
3. A neutral party to “hold” the bingo card, for verification
It might seem desperate, but I’m simply trying to employ my never-used marketing major. The problem as I see it is that one feels less compelled to read a book if it was free. I myself have a few ARC’s sitting in a storage container somewhere in the arse-end of London, their spines pristine. With my buzzword bingo plan, I figure it’s a win-win situation. Participants get a free book and a shot at a prize, and I get read.
‘Any thoughts?’ he asks himself. He waits for a reply, like a religious nut-job waiting for a reply from a God who is too busy watching Jersey Shores to answer.