Bribing your kids

Filed under: Just For Moms, Just For Dads, Relatives, Development/Milestones: Babies, In The News, Media, Toys

Do you bribe your kids? Do you think you should? Do you think every time you do it that someone up there is keeping track of your parenting decisions but that you had no choice? If you do, I am sure you are not alone.

My son is not old enough to need to be bribed, yet. At least I don't think he is. I gave him what amounts to basically an entire English muffin on the car ride home yesterday to keep him from advising me, loudly, once again, that he does NOT prefer to be in his car seat any longer. He is one.

Parents of children of all ages seem to bribe them. Perhaps not all the time, but when the occasion calls for it. Some do it just to get the kid to do something they don't want to have to work hard to get them to do. Cash works well for that. So does candy.

When I was a kid I fondly remember being about eight years old and preparing to spend the night with my grandparents, who lived about three hours away in the country. My mom, not wanting to part with me at such a young age when it came down to it--even though she'd thought she would be fine with it and had driven me down there one Friday night to stay alone with them Saturday night--secretly offered me $25 to come home with her the next day instead of staying.

I proudly announced to my grandparents the next day that I'd thought about it and that I would take the $25. That bribery sort of backfired on my mother, but it is a funny story we tell to this day.

Some parents turn to bribery when they see no other solution. It worked for my mother--at least that one time. Some parents consider giving anything in return for good grades or doing chores bribery; others see it as a way to get good results while keeping everyone happy and teaching the kid not only about good grades and taking part in the family responsibilities, but business too.

Whether or not we bribe doesn't seem to be in question. Rather, what we bribe with and how effective it is seems to be the hot topic of late. So what do you bribe your kid with? Does it change depending on the seriousness of the situation? Does it change depending on the week or does the same thing always work? Sometimes a little creativity is called for.

Daniel Madariaga of offers a bad of goodies that parents can choose from depending on the severity of the situation. Others resort to a favorite standby: cold, hard cash. Perhaps that isn't such a creative measure but it certainly seems to work. It did for me when I was faced with the choice of spending the night or getting what, to me, at the time, amounted to millions.

Pic of cash by Tracy O.

ReaderComments (Page 1 of 1)


Flickr RSS



AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.