2.04.2010

You say "bribery" like it's a bad thing



I've never understood why bribing your kids has such a bad rap.
I mean, who does things without the promise of some sort of reward?
Would you go to work every day if you weren't promised a paycheck?
Would you cook dinner if nobody was going to eat it?
There are some exceptions of course, especially in parenting, but for the most part, we do things for an expected result. So, offering your kids a result, reward, or positive consequence is not such a bad thing!
I'm a firm believer in positive reinforcement. I'd much rather discipline in a positive way wherever possible. In other words, instead of punishing the negative behavior, reward the opposite, positive behavior. Simple example: if the kids are not cleaning their room, instead of punishing them, I'll reward them for cleaning it and keeping it clean.
Now, this obvious doesn't work in every situation. I'm not going to reward my child for NOT smacking his brother, for example.
But rewards....bribery...positive reinforcement...whatever you want to call it, it works. It doesn't have to be anything big, just find your child's currency. Stickers, tattoos (I use fake ones, but it's really none of my business what you do...heh), Zhu Zhu pets......or you could do a point system for bigger rewards, especially for older kids.
It's working right now for a situation with my youngest daughter, it works frequently with my youngest son, and it worked well with my oldest two kids. They're happy, mommy's happy, and that means everyone is happy!

22 comments:

Erin said...

I'm all for bribery! I just hope it works when I need it to!

{ Persis Shah } said...

hail bribery!...great post, really enjoyed reading it. dropping by from SITS...have a lovely day!

Melissa B. said...

I used a little bribery, here and there, on my chicas when they were young. We've started a new program at my high school, though, that pretty much bribes the kiddos to be good. We'll see if positive behavior results! SITS sent me by, and I'm glad they did...

No Such Thing

Keeper of the Skies Wife said...

I bribed my girls ALL. The. Time!!!

I'm a firm believer in positive reinforcement as well.

Tammie said...

i agree.

ive always been a fan of positive reinforcement. great post.

Christine said...

I agree too. Really, why do we do anything at all if we aren't rewarded in some sense? Getting paid for work, eating after preparing a meal...etc. It's what makes the world go 'round!
I'll admit that sometimes scare tactics work too...like telling your kids that you saw a little mouse outside that was nosing around their window, because they like to live in messy rooms. And chew their faces off when they're sleeping.
LMAO, just kidding! I think I said 'nibble on their noses'.

angie said...

I completely agree. I love this chart! Love it. Did you make it or purchase it? Also, I love the part where you give a scenario where you or course wouldn't reward a child. :)

Astaryth said...

I always found positive reinforcement to be the best option whether I am dealing with children/animals/husband/other adults... sometimes the positive was as simple as an acknowledgment/Thank you, sometimes it was an actual thing. Much better to reward for good behavior than punish for bad!

I used to also have a saying (very tongue in cheek, so please, no hate mail/comments) that Children only understand 3 things -- Bribery, coercion & violence ;P

Huckdoll said...

I agree, too. But I believe that there has to be a line so that your kids do things without a promise of something, you know ... put their shoes on, stop running up and down the grocery aisles, eat their dinner, etc.

For example, dessert for eating a meal is not a right, it's a privilege. I don't believe in bribing my kids with sugar to eat vegetables, etc.

That said, they'll get something (a toy, stickers, art supplies, a treat) for a cumulative effort at being good girls and I have been known to use the bribe in the heat of the moment :)

blueviolet said...

Thank you!!! I am in complete agreement with you!!!! The only thing I never liked using was food but that comes from having eating disorders myself. I'm afraid of associating food with a reward.

♥ Becky ♥ said...

LOVE IT!!!
I miss chattin with you. Hope you are doing well.

I try these methods too, I swear though the rewards keep getting bigger. :)

Jenners said...

I like your positive spin on it ... "positive reinforcement" sounds much better than bribery. (Though I guess they are the same thing!)

This is one of my key parenting tools ... I don't know what I would do without it.

meredith* said...

I just call it "rewarding" and "consequences". Same thing just more politically correct:) love your writing style, sistsah.
check me out: http://meredithtuttle.blogspot.com
thanks!

shortmama said...

I used to do the same with my oldest and then she did really well without it....I am in the process of doing it again though because Im tired of the constant reminders!

bluecottonmemory said...

I first used bribery on my oldest son when he was playing soccer. He wouldn't score, so I told him if he scored he'd get a Happy Meal. Boom! Score! Sometimes, they need prompting to experience things because they do not know how that will change their perspective. Soon he didn't need the Happy Meal because he loved how scoring made him feel:)

Wonderfully functional post!

bluecottonmemory said...

I first used bribery on my oldest son when he was playing soccer. He wouldn't score, so I told him if he scored he'd get a Happy Meal. Boom! Score! Sometimes, they need prompting to experience things because they do not know how that will change their perspective. Soon he didn't need the Happy Meal because he loved how scoring made him feel:)

Wonderfully functional post!

marfmom said...

ITA positive reinforcement is the best way, when possible!

InspiredDreamer said...

Hey there, stopping by from SITS! Love the idea of positive reinforcement, teaches kids that they don't have to work hard to avoid trouble but rather that hard work brings its own reward. :)

Have an Extraordinary Day!

debi9kids said...

I use a reward system as well. We use marbles all week long and then the kids "cash in" their marbles for "prizes" :)

cat said...

I like to call it positive reinforcement. What about that?

pixielation said...

I use an app on my iphone which then calculates the number of stars at the end of the week, and awards them a bronze, silver or gold medal. They love it.

Although I still have to remind them all the time!

KK said...

Seems like a perfectly good system to me!