Miller Time: “After a long hard day's work you come home, grab a Miller Lite out of the fridge and enjoy a few cold ones.”
That’s what the Urban Dictionary defines as “Miller Time.”
If you are old enough to remember the Miller beer ad campaign, you know that the slogan reminds us that you earned the right to enjoy a cold brew. You could put your feet up and relax knowing that you earned it.
So, how does that apply to children?
From where I sit, modern kids often don’t get the Miller Time formula – earn the reward. Nope, to many kids, “Miller Time” is an all day long reward.
Take George, a young man who I saw the other day. Here’s a dialogue I had with him as his mom listened in on the conversation:
“OK, George, track me through your day. What time do you get out of school?
“2:15!!!,” I say. “Wow. I want your life. What do you do next?”
“I don’t know – go home.”
“Yeah, and do what?”
“Not much…have snacks, take a nap. Wake up and have dinner then go on X-Box 360 Live.”
“I really want your life!” “How long are you on X-Box?”
“I don’t know. Most of the night, I guess.”
“What about homework?”
"I don’t know…I don’t get much. Did a little at school.”
At this point the mom who has been listening to all of this without commenting is turning nine different colors and is ready to jump out of her skin. She can’t contain herself. She blurts out, “You owe homework in every class!!!! You are getting D’s & F’s for homework!!!”
The kid just shrugs back. He has no defense and doesn’t know why she’s so worked up all of a sudden.
“Well,” I say to the mom. “He hasn’t earned his X-Box time, has he? Has he really earned his Miller Time?”
Of course, the kid has no idea what I’m talking about so I lay it out for him. “You know. If you sweat a little, put in a bit of work, get your homework done you get to put your feet up and relax. You go play X-Box – It’s kind of like your Miller Time.”
Modern kids frequently have a one way street mentality. If that’s the case then it’s Miller Time without being earned – time to change the direction of the street a bit. Link up the "give and you get" message.
Let them earn the “cold one.”