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kellysensei July 18th, 2012 08:07 AM

Do you use any bribes to get your kids to do something? I don't really like using food as a bribe, BUT I've discovered that as few as five chocolate chips does wonders for getting Gabriel to behave for a diaper change. So now he always gets chocolate chips for a poopy diaper, and I refuse to feel bad about it! Whatever works, right?

who_it_is July 18th, 2012 09:44 AM

Re: Bribes
We personally don't bribe the kids with anything. I found out years ago with my older kids that what seems like an innocent bribe (I'll give you 5 chocolate chips if you will hold still while I change you) can turn into something much, much worse, like your now 5 year old demanding half the bag of chips before doing anything. It can also lead to negotiations on all kinds of things, and for me, negotiating with the kids all the time is just not going to happen. I am their parent and there are rules to follow, even at 2 years old.

There are some things in our house that are open for discussion, like 5 more minutes of reading before lights out or just one more slide down the slide. There are other things that are just not - diaper changes, buckling (and staying buckled) in the car, after that 5 extra minutes the lights are really out... What seems funny and cute when they are 2 or 3 can quickly become a hard, hard habit to break when they are older.

Edit to add: We also do things like "well timed snacks". Like at the park when she doesn't want to stop sliding, I can say "here, let's sit on this bench and have a nice snack", it gets her away from the slide, into a different activity and eases the transition to walking home. But I don't make it all about if you get off the slide you can have a snack that way... I guess it's a fine line between flat out bribe and well timed intervention. :shrug:

cfm July 18th, 2012 10:25 AM

Re: Bribes
I food bribe for potty training and that's about it. Once, shortly after Oscar was really getting into the swing of using the potty, I asked him if he wanted a cookie after dinner and he looked at me with a sad face and said "but I don't need to poop!"

Sometimes I also have a snack "bribe" on hand for leaving places or whatever to ease the transition. "Alright, let's get out of the pool, have a snack and then head home" kind of thing. I think of more as a well timed snack ;)

But you pick your battles and do what you have to do!

kimmiejo July 18th, 2012 10:29 AM

Re: Bribes
Have I ever bribed my kids?? um yes.... but I try not to make it a daily/regular habit because of the reasons Lisa pointed out which I think are valid.....one little negotiation/bribe on a regular basis can set up expectations that they will always get "x, y, z" or else they don't have to behave. "I will scream until you give me my chocolate chips, I want my chocolate chips, where are my chocolate chips!!!!!" as they get older and more vocal the negotiations can be draining enough even when bribes aren't involved haha

That being said I have, at times, bribed my children, usually in a store when I want Sam to sit in a cart and he is resisting and wanting to walk and by walk I mean push the cart and smash it into everything and anything ......."oh look I found a lollipop in my purse!, want it? well ok but you have to stay sitting in the cart" works like a charm, essentially I pick my battles, occasionally bribe but try not to make it a habit. There have been plenty of times I don't offer that lollipop and just buckle him in the cart and let him freak out until I am done doing what I am doing, sometimes kids gotta do things they don't want to like sit in the cart and get their diaper changed....heck sometimes I gotta do things I don't want to haha. Parenting is hard, kids are kids, they test boundaries and need limits, I don't know the right answer I just muddle my way thru and do the best I can on any given day. Some days include lollipop bribes but most days do not ;)

~MamaTutu~ July 18th, 2012 10:36 AM

Re: Bribes
I bribed Leah during potty training until she got the hang of it. That's pretty much it. She only gets dessert if she eats all her dinner or lunch, but I'm not sure if that is a bribe or just a general rule. We only introduced desserts when she became a picky eater around 3.5, so I guess at that point it was a bit of a bribe.

No bribes for James yet.

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