Wife, mom to two...love chocolate, trendy cupcakes, shoes, hot deals and throwing festive bashes...usually with chocolate.

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Bribing Your Kids

Do you bribe your kids?

I bribe mine.  Not all day, every day, and not even once on some days.  But in my opinion, when parenting, there are a few occasions where you just need to dangle a little bone.  It can really take the sting out of the situation for both parties.

For example…my daughter had a nasty injury about a week ago that she now needs to take antibiotics for.  She’s three.  And she HATES taking medicine.  She’s well beyond my son’s age where you can sort of hold their head and squirt the Tylenol down their throats.  And I can attest to the fact that she feels perfectly free to spit medicine back out after you’ve squirted it into her mouth.  Short of drugging her food (which I have stooped to doing before), it’s very challenging to get her to take something.  And she needs it.  How did I get this particular medicine down her?  Well let’s just say that she’s really enjoying her new Memory game that I had stashed in the back of the gift closet.

We have expectations at our house and rules that we follow.  And there is no bribing going on for those givens.  But in this case I felt justified.  It was a nasty accident.  The medicine is for a nasty infection.  I wouldn’t want to take it either.  I don’t want to be covered in it when she spits it back out.  Watching her cry and cover her mouth before taking it made me want to sweeten the deal a little.  It was a win-win.

Do you occasionally pull out the bribery big guns?  Or are you going to call Super Nanny on me?  Click here to read The Right Way to Bribe Your Child by Parenting.com.

Photo Credit: Stock xchng-gift

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Comments (6)

  1. Nutmeg Nanny 02/28/2012 at 11:52 am

    While I understand the stance behind not bribing I think if it happens sometimes it’s not a bad thing. As a professional nanny I have to bribe…it’s happens.

  2. Carina Wytiaz 02/28/2012 at 11:22 am

    I think you’re providing incentive, a reward, rather than a bribe. I think of a bribe as something to stop a bad behavior, rather than rewarding a behavior that you are encouraging. Giving your child Skittles so they’ll stop throwing a tantrum in public is a bribe. Giving your child Skittles when they make a pee in the potty is a reward.

    • Shannon 02/28/2012 at 6:33 pm

      I love calling it an incentive! You’ve removed some guilt for me!

      • Dee 03/05/2012 at 1:48 pm

        I have to agree with Carina. I don’t see it as a bribe at all. We all need incentives to do things. My job offers me a paycheck for doing what I do. When I need to run a den meeting, I might promise myself a bubble bath later. And when I want my son to clean his room, I might offer to take him to a movie when finished. The idea that you kids or adults should always do things just because it’s the right thing to do isn’t terribly realistic. I’d hate my life to be without its perks.

  3. Rachael Herrscher 02/28/2012 at 11:19 am

    Whenever we have a dr. appt we bribe our 3yo with a scone from Great Harvest. Nothing works like those scones!

  4. Erica Fehrman 02/28/2012 at 9:01 am

    Last Sunday, my husband told our 2yo that if he would go into the church nursery without crying and screaming, we’d give him root beer at lunch. He went in without a peep. Bribe success!