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Do You Ever Bribe Your Children?

It's the oldest trick in the book —a couple of dollars for chores, a gift for good grades, or a lollipop for standing patiently in the check out line. Call it what you will — an incentive, a reward, or a bribe. Many moms and dads have no problem offering their lil darlings something in exchange for a desired behavior, action, or accomplishment.

Are you guilty of giving your kids goodies to get them to do what you want?

Join The Conversation
BlairBear BlairBear 9 years
My kids usually get quarters for doing something good; cleaning their rooms, cleaning up their toys in the living room, if they're good while I'm grocery shopping, things like that. I usually don't reward them with food unless we're out to dinner and they used their manners and were polite and quiet most of the time we're there; they'll get dessert for that. I do it for positive reinforcement, not just to shut them up if they're nagging.
roxtarchic roxtarchic 9 years
our lil one's only 9 months... so i havent had to bribe or contemplate the bribe yet... but it's so interesting to see what everyone does, and what their take is on it... i agree (of course in theory and not having been there yet) that rewarding the good behavior is what we want to do... but i dunno it's easy to say that now... hah
katedavis katedavis 9 years
My son is only 16 months old so there is definitely NO reasoning with him, but I discovered he knew the words treat and snack when he started freaking out in his stroller and I would ask him if he wanted a treat or a snack and he would quiet down right away (and then get a pretzel or a rice cake).
g1amourpuss g1amourpuss 9 years
I rarely do it with food, unless it's strawberries for her. It's mostly things like let's go play with our toys in the tub get her inside and cleaned up for the day. I work around it so it won't feel like a bribe to me and so she'll think I have good fun ideas for her. =P
Greggie Greggie 9 years
I agree with justanerd. I pick my battles.
justanerd1975 justanerd1975 9 years
Oh and video games work good too lol
justanerd1975 justanerd1975 9 years
"Come on, time to come in if you want some ice cream..." Oh yeah. Iv'e done it. I call it encouraging them or inspiring them to want to do themselves what I WANT them to do ;) Hey it avoids me having to put my foot down I like to save those times up,Lol ;)
Greggie Greggie 9 years
Oops, their food, not they're food.
Greggie Greggie 9 years
We do dessert as as part of dinner, not a reward for eating food. But if they're full before they hit the ice cream, they don't get it. Otherwise they use "I'm full!" as an excuse to skip staight to it. We don't make them finish they're food, but if they're full, they're full.
LiLRuck44 LiLRuck44 9 years
I see what you're saying Greggie, but the sticker chart is something they can do for themselves. They don't get a sticker because I want them to do something. Actually, my kids even made their own sticker charts. I think it also matters more on how it is said than anything. We don't say "if you eat your food, you may have ice cream", rather "we're having ice cream for dessert after supper, so it's your choice whether you'd like to eat your dinner or not". Basically, we're having dessert because we decided to before dinner even began, not as a reward for eating your food.
Greggie Greggie 9 years
I consider stickers as much of a bribe as a new toy. Stickers are toys to my kids. Food I generally avoid as a reward or bribe as well. But occasionally we'll say something like they can choose where to go for dinner if their rooms and the yard is clean. They get fed either way, they just get to choose where.
LiLRuck44 LiLRuck44 9 years
Never. We definitely give lots of positive reinforcement (with words), and I've done sticker charts. I know many parents do it, but it just isn't something we do. Food as a reward or a bribe, however, I just don't get.
pinkprincess1101 pinkprincess1101 9 years
I have done it
RosaDilia RosaDilia 9 years
I only do it if it reinforces positive behavior and I don't do it constantly because I don't want to my son to expect something whenever he does something good. I promised my son to buy him a new video game depending on how his grades were on the last day of school. To my surprise, my son finished the fourth grade with high honors and second place in the science fair. I bought him his game and surprised him with doubling his allowance.
Greggie Greggie 9 years
Yup. I only see it as a problem if it replaces discipline as a way of controlling unacceptable behavior. I'm not ashamed to admit either. For instance, we're already setting aside a reward (or call it a bribe) for my son if he goes to kindergarten the first day without screaming and wrapping himself around my leg. He's scared, I'm not going to punish him if he does it. I'm going to reward him if he controls it.
Rozenaut Rozenaut 9 years
I don't see anything wrong with rewarding good behavior. The problem a lot of parents fall into, however, is letting that evolve into them just giving the kids whatever they want just because they're screaming for it.
jessie jessie 9 years
yep, always. it works for our family. i'm not ashamed to admit either....:shrug:
colleenb colleenb 9 years
My parents always did stuff like this! :(
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