I always knew I would never bribe my kids. Especially with food. How lame. How lazy. How damaging. How negligent.
And then I actually had kids.
All bets are off. Whatever works. The end.
I love bribery. I prefer to call it ‘incentivising’ and my children have always responded to it very well indeed. Sometimes we
bribe incentivise with food.
For example, when my first child was transitioning from the potty to the toilet, we hit a bit of a wall and he basically refused. Flat out refused to go on the toilet. He was incredibly stubborn (I’ve never met anyone like that *cough*).
So someone suggested we try
bribing incentivising him with a treat. That’s how we ended up with a large jar of Fredo frogs in the bathroom, in front of the loo. Visual inspiration, if you like.
All good until we noticed that even though he was making no progress with using the toilet, the frogs were disappearing. Soon, the jar was less than half-full even though he had never completed the requisite task.
Out-smarted again. By a 3 year old.
I’m proud to tell you we’ve refined our bribery methods over the years since then. The infiltration of technology has brought with it a world of potential new bribes for parents: apps, TV shows, movies, access to the iPad…..all used to great effect to reward good behaviour and facilitate compliance [ie: STOP PLAYING WITH THOSE SKYLANDERS AND PUT ON YOUR UNIFORM BECAUSE WE HAVE TO LEAVE IN 3 MINUTES TO GO TO SCHOOL OR YOU WILL NOT HAVE ANY SCREEN TIME THIS ARVO]
ARE WE FEELING INCENTIVISED YET, KIDS?
I’ve always found all my kids respond really well to star charts. They like the positive reinforcement for doing things and they like working towards a goal (eg: 10 stars = 1 Skylander).
And I like the reverse bribery aspect of witholding good stuff as a consequence of bad behaviour (hit your sister = no screen time today).