What's so wrong with bribing my kids?

Ok, I'm sure those against it can come up with a million reasons why it's bad parenting to resort to bribery to get your kids to listen to you and do what you want them to do. I guess, then, you must be much better parents than I am because bribing my kids has gotten me through so many situations that could have turned into real disasters. And so, I have absolutely no shame admitting that I bribe my kids and it works wonders.

Then again, they're also only 3 and 6 years old, so the stuff I bribe them with is pretty simple. A lollipop for my stubborn 3-year-old if he gets in his car seat quickly and let's me buckle him in without acting as if I'm trying to tie him down to execute him or something. Five minutes on the iPad for my 6-year-old if she lets me talk on the phone without interrupting every second. Stuff like that...


Sure, I'm probably raising little monsters, but it's what works for me and that's the only thing that matters right now. 

I will say, though, that one thing I don't see myself doing is bribing my children with some kind of monetary reward in order to get them to do something I need them to do when I need them to do it. I don't care if other parents do it and it works for them, but I could just see how my kids would eventually figure out that to get some money from me all they have to do is refuse to do something and wait for me to bribe them.

I might be sending a similar message to my kids with the bribing I do right now, but the way I see it is: why try to reason with a hard-headed 3-year-old who refuses to get in his car seat while it's 5 degrees outside and I feel like my hands are going to fall off, when promising a lollipop will get him to do it immediately?

But if anybody has a better way of getting him to do what I want, I accept any and all REAL suggestions that you know will work for sure!

Image via Brit./flickr

Do you bribe your kids?

Topics: on parenting  parental control  parents and children


Do you bribe your kids?

on Jan 17, 2013 at 2:51 PM
That doesn't sound like bribing. You offer rewards for getting in the car seat, and time to be on the i pad. I do similar. When we go to the bank, she gets a lollipop they offer her. When I'm on my phone she can play PBS kids on the computer.
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on Jan 17, 2013 at 7:53 PM

don't  feel guilty, I do the same with my 8 years old. I did promise a popsicle if he took a shower without complains.

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on Jan 18, 2013 at 3:55 PM

I sure do brive my 24 month old twins::)) same as you it has gotten me out of many situations that could of turned ugly!!:) I have a 10 year old and I used to brive him as well, but have no need to do it anymore, he knows better and he does it. I do reward him for good things though, but not for everything because he knows things are expected for him to do them and he does them. but I do brive my twins even to eat sometimes because they dont want to::))

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on Feb 1, 2013 at 5:59 PM

I think all parents bribe their kids at some point. I don't do it often because I don't want my kids to expect some sort of treat for something they should be doing anyways. But I use the bribe in emergencies.

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on Feb 1, 2013 at 10:08 PM

I do bribe my kids.  I'll give them something in return if they do what I say. Like let her watch cartoons or have a candy.

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on Feb 3, 2013 at 12:50 PM

Well, some people would say there is a fine line between bribing and rewarding, I think that if it's done in moderation, no money but privileges then it is all good and fair. I have done this when my son was younger, now my kid is 9 years old and he understands what he needs to do and when no is no.

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on Feb 5, 2013 at 2:20 AM

Yep, I don't give allowances, but sometimes if they get all their chores done they can pick something out at the store or they can have extra time on the computer or playing Xbox.

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