23 answers

Do All Parents Use Bribery?

Because if they dont, they really should try it LOL. My 2 year old daughter has just started acting out a bit - I think she senses that things are changing with her sister due any day now. She has been awesome over the last few days now but the days before that she was impossible to reason or work with. EVERYTHING was a fight. We are extremely fortunate (Knock on wood) to have an awesome sleeper and eater but she was testing us on everything so we started with the bribes. Does that work or what? Kids have the best memories too so she was always on the ball with reminding me about it. I had to bribe her with a special treat for pretty much every meal for a day or two, Ex: Eat your dinner and you can have this sucker! Bam dinner was gone faster than I could eat it or when she would fighht me for nap time I just said as soon as you get up you can have a few chocolate chips and she was asleep before I could even leave the room
I dont know if the novelty of bribes will wear off but I certainly hope not because it has made life so much more peaceful around here
What about you Mommas, Do you use bribe sto get your kids to listen?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Kristin - I totally agree with you on the positive attention as well and we praise her for her great attitude and helpfulness all the time. She has actually started to respond kindly to us just saying thank you so much for not fighting with us and just eating your dinner.
I definitely dont offer up rewards and treats for her picking up her toys or brushing her teeth or anything like that its just been the last week or so that she will fight us at pretty much every meal and I dont see an issue with offering her a special treat if it will get her to eat her healthy dinner, with a smile on her face non the less =)

Featured Answers

I would use in moderation. Upon occasion they are a useful tool...but misuse will simply lead to bigger problems!!

2 moms found this helpful

If you are only using bribery, the benefits will be short-lived. However, if you couple the bribes with lots of attention and much praise for the appropriate behavior, you can eventually drop the bribes (aka tangible rewards). Continue on with the social benefits/praise even after you drop the bribes, because this is really what they want/need.

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I used it and thought I was so clever - till the little terrorists turned the tables on me. I would say - if you eat 5 bites of this, then you can have a 3 vanilla wafers. If you pick up all the toys in your room, you can watch 30 minutes of tv. etc etc.
Then one day, I told my little girl to do something and she came back with ..."then what?" I said "what do you mean, then what?" she said "then what will you give me?" Oh, I was so mad, but had to realize, I set this little extortion plan in motion. Now, I offer rewards so much as consequences.

4 moms found this helpful

I would use in moderation. Upon occasion they are a useful tool...but misuse will simply lead to bigger problems!!

2 moms found this helpful

Its called negotiation. It'll prove useful in all areas of their lives if they master it.

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Not a fan, especially by using food. Maybe you can talk to her about her sibling anxiety?

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Short term, sure. But don't be surprised if you are still doing this in 3 months, and her demands are more adamant, and move beyond a simple sucker. I tend to think frequent bribing of a child, results in a spoiled and demanding child. So, no...I have never bribed my son. Do you want her to need something, in order to consider listening to you? I feel like that's what it accomplishes.

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nope, I'm old fashioned and mean I guess. I expect my kids to do what is asked, period, end of story. We are a family and we all of obligations to ourselves and each other, even at age 2. With 5 kids I can't play let's make a deal every time we need to eat a meal or leave the house, it wouldn't work. I do my best to treat my kids with respect because as people, they deserve that, but they learned early on (without spanking) that things go much smoother when we work as a team and all do our part.

2 moms found this helpful

Bribes when spoken thru gritted teeth are scary.
"If you really want to go get ice cream later, STOP CRYING"
"If you want to live another day, stop hitting your brother"
But of course that is when they are much older and have been acting like crazy monkeys.
Also don't expect the same bribery to work on the 2nd one. They older one schools the younger one, "watch what happens when i say this to momma: Mooooommmmm can I have a lollipop if I finish my dinner." The younger one, "I want a lollipop". Mom: after you eat. "I'm not hungry, I want a lollipop............IIIIIIIIIIIIII WAAAAAAAAAAAAAANT AAAAAAAAAAAA LOLLIPOP. Mom; why did that happen??
hehehe have fun!!!
Blessings
D.

2 moms found this helpful

Bribery = rewards = works like magic in our home.

Use as often as possible.

This morning I made steel cut oatmeal, using a leftover fruit smoothy I made that I couldn't stand, and did not want to waste, so turned it into oatmeal, with cranberries and peanut butter and brown sugar and cinnnmon....then my kids had to have 1/4 cup of my 'goop' and if they did they could have a bowl of Fruit Loops. Works every time.

2 moms found this helpful

If you are only using bribery, the benefits will be short-lived. However, if you couple the bribes with lots of attention and much praise for the appropriate behavior, you can eventually drop the bribes (aka tangible rewards). Continue on with the social benefits/praise even after you drop the bribes, because this is really what they want/need.

2 moms found this helpful

Carrot or Stick or Reasoning.

One of the 3 usually works. All have upsides and downsides. Depends on the kid!

1 mom found this helpful

Sure do. Although sometimes i feel that is the only way to get him to do what I want! either that or threaten something. But not always- just feels like it sometimes. And i also do positive reinforcement of course.

1 mom found this helpful

I definitely bribe my 21 month old to eat dinner even if I "shouldn't!"

1 mom found this helpful

I don't use bribery with my son (6). I also don't use praise, punishment, rewards or consequences (beyond natural ones - not 'logical' ones). There is pretty good research evidence that bribing kids to eat healthy foods results in a longer term decrease in liking for the food and increased liking for the reward. There is also some good evidence that praise is harmful as well.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1122...

I am not sure what a child will learn from being bribed but I suspect it will not be internal motivation, healthy eating habits or a sense of right and wrong.

1 mom found this helpful

Nope, no bribes here. I have taught my daughter, as I will all of my children, to do as I ask and follow the rules or there are consequences. Rarely, as in potty-training, are rewards contingent on behavior and even then, never in the form of food. Using food as a reward, especially junk food, only places an even higher value on it than it already has and can lead to unhealthy eating habits later in life. If my child asks for a sucker, I will tell her she needs to eat all of her meal first, but never "do this and you can have that". I've never promised toys or treats for good behavior in public or in stores, but simply offer things to her, if she has been behaving, without connecting the two. Bribes only work in the short-term and really only teach a child to do what you ask to get their way. You may feel like you've found peace right now, but when the new baby comes, I'm guessing the behavior issues will resurface and the bribes will increase.

1 mom found this helpful

I think in some capacity we have all used incentives to motivate our children. Whether it be for potty training or eating dinner. I am careful with it. I tried to learn from my friends too. Like Tracy K mentioned, it does become a slippery slope where the child expects to get something any time they are asked to do something. We are not ones to use food. There are so many issues that come up with food and I want to steer clear, We also try not to do it just to get our kids to cooperate with every day things (et your dinner to get x, clean up your room and get y, etc.), if we ask you to do it, you should do it. I did do it with our kids for potty training. They got pennies for going potty. And now that I think my daughter has the hang of it we are working on a sticker chart. Every day she goes accident free she gets a sticker. After 30 stickers, she'll get the bathroom for her doll house. We had behavior issues with my son around age 3 and he worked on a sticker reward chart to learn to cope. So yes, I have done it. But I am cautious with it and I try not to use it simply to get compliant kids.

1 mom found this helpful

We do not use bribes. Eventually you will find that you will need to up the bribe to keep them working, this will create a kid that only will do something if they get something they want instead of you teaching your child we do this because that is what we do (go to bed because it is bed time).

You eat dinner and you can have a small dessert. We use that eat healthy all day and at the end of the day can have a little dessert (cookie, little bowl of ice cream). We do not use as a bribe (thought it is similar) we use it as reality to being healthy then teach what is the apporiate amount of a dessert/junk food is.

1 mom found this helpful

My son loves dessert, but he knows he doesn't get it if he doesn't eat his dinner. He's 3, I just want him to at least take a few bites of veggies, fruit and main course before getting something sugary.

I've also done stickers for potty training. It worked and then for months, he would not poop in the potty...so I bribed him with chocolate chips and he instantly started going, now he's completely potty trained and just stopped expecting the treat all the time, although I still give him one sometimes, why not.

For the most part, I do feel like he follows my directions because he wants to please me. But, I see nothing wrong with occasional bribes, it's like positive reinforcement.

1 mom found this helpful

Yes...especially when my sanity is getting tested.

1 mom found this helpful

Yes. I love bribery.

1 mom found this helpful

I don't bribe DD. I might say something like "if you don't eat a good dinner, you do not get the treat you asked for" but I think long-term, she needs to just eat a good dinner because she should eat a good dinner. I dole out fruit because she'll eat just fruit and nothing else, so meat or pasta or whatever FIRST. I think that while it might work in the short term, do you want her to only do things for a bribe or do things because she's told to do it and should? Bribing with food can also create food-related problems later. You don't want her to comfort herself with sweets. Your DD is likely feeling the stress in the home and, well, she's 2. I'd find a better long-term solution.

1 mom found this helpful

Fine line between bribes and rewards - try to stick to the rewards bribes will bite you in the bum when everyone is older, and I do not think you want to give a toddler a sucker multiple times a day do you? Yes, she will take advantage and manipulate the situation - even at 2!

1 mom found this helpful

I try not to. I will occasionally use bribes to get them to cooperate when they are being very, very difficult and I need to distract them. So, for instance, I will say to my 2 year old son when he starts fussing at a store, "just a few more minutes buddy, and then when we get to the car, you can have a sucker. But I need you to cooperate till then."

I will say things like "if you expect to have dessert, you best eat your dinner." But I am not bribing, I am reminding them of the consequence of them not eating. If they don't eat their dinner, there is no desert. If they hit, push, shove, there are no sweets. If they don't want their dinner, oh well, I guess you will go hungry.

As to nap time or bed time fighting, just tell her "OK you don't have to sleep, but lay down for me for a moment while I go do something. I''ll be back." Then don't go back. They usually fall asleep.

I've been know to use longer term bribes with my 5 year old! "If you do better about not asking why when you already know the question, we can go get you a toy at the end of the week." He liked to ask why every time he was reminded to wash his hands. "If you listen to your teachers and don't get in trouble, we will go to the park." He was pushing his boundaries and making it difficult on his teachers at day care. Things I already planned on giving him, but wouldn't mind taking away if necessary.

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