Monday, January 24, 2011

Good Mommies Don’t Bribe Their Kids

I guess I’m a bad mommy, ‘cause bribing is rampant in our home.

A recent TIME cover story Should Kids Be Bribed to Do Well in School? by Amanda Ripley shows bribing may have merits.

"Money is not enough. (It never is.) But for some kids, it may be part of the solution. In the end, we all want our children to grow into self-motivated adults. The question is, How do we help them get there? And is it possible that at least for some kids, the road is paved not with stickers but with $20 bills?"

There are plenty of things my kids have to do “because I said so” like clean their rooms, take out the garbage and kiss me good night. But, there are other things they should have a choice about. They are, after all, human beings with free will. This is where my bribing comes in.

Here's some cash I've recently paid out:
$5 – to play with younger cousin
$2 – to smile for a picture
$10 – to pick up a dead mouse (I would have paid more)
$1 – to warm up the car
$3 – to taste zucchini
$20 – to get a crew cut
$50 – for straight A’s

Most of the time, we settle on a price.  But sometimes, like when I offered $10 and a Starbuck’s Hot Coco to take a picture on Santa’s lap, they just say no.

I think, if done properly, bribing has a place in a happy home. What do you think?

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22 comments:

  1. Well I'm broke so paying my kids to do those things would kill me. I do a barter system...oh you wanna get on the internet for an hour? good ...go cut the grass. Wanna have a Coke? Play Candy Land with your sister. Want to stay up later? Help me get the housework done so I can go to bed earlier. It is a much preferred method. Cheaper!

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  2. I'm old school. No bribes. I told my daughters that I didn't care if they got A's or not; their grades weren't important to "me"; they had to find the reason why grades were important to "them". I told them I'd love them even if they were flunkies. Both found the reason and both were honor students and went to college. One is an attorney, the other is an environmental scientist. (phew, it could have backfired) And my mantra was: "You do it because I SAID SO, that's why."

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  3. @Raquel - Love the "Play Candy Land with your sister" - oh that brought back so many memories of Mom making me play with my sister who was 11 years younger than me. I would have done it for even a sip of Mom's Pepsi :-)

    @E-Musing - LOVE it. You found a way to get your kids to take responsibility and you got great results! I feel like a broken record talking to my kids about being self-responsible. I wish my son could find a reason to want to get good grades. Both my kids get all A-Bs, but my son has to be watched, 'cause if left alone, his grades would slip.

    Thanks for commenting!
    - Buffi

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  4. I wish my parents had bribed me! I lived with the fear of disappointing them. I might have eaten vegetables at a younger age if there was money involved!

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  5. Hey Hutch - I don't think I would have eaten vegetables for any amount of money. I miss the days when spinach was yucky! Thanks for reading
    - Buffi

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  6. My kids are 3 and 14 mos so I haven't had to deal with "to bribe or not to bribe" about school yet. I do occasionally "reward" and barter with my 3 yr old when he's especially nice to his sister!!!

    Thanks so much for stopping by Well to Do today!

    Cheers,
    Suz

    http://welltodoyou.blogspot.com/

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  7. But do THOSE mommies get your results? Doubt it :)

    <3, New Follower

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  8. Thanks for following. I am following back.
    http://grandmabonniescloset.blogspot.com/

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  9. I bribe my kids sometimes. But, they're still at an age when I can bribe them with chocolate chips. You'd be amazed what they'll do for just 10 little chocolate chips! Not looking forward to when they'll want money instead. :)Found you from the High Five! Looking forward to following.
    Michelle
    http://www.heartfeltbalancehandmadelife.blogspot.com

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  10. My son was failing earlier in the school year and doing piss poor work. I grounded him from...oh, everything except breathing and school. He then made the mistake of telling me he wanted to attend Space Camp. After I picked myself up off the floor and wiped the tears from eyes, I managed to cut a deal. He needs an A in Science and then he has to bring everything else up to at least a B for the remainder of the school year. His teacher just emailed me yesterday to let me know he has his A in Science and his other grades are on their way to exceed the agreement. Looks like I'll be putting out a retarded amount of money soon if he keeps this up. Moral of the story: Bribing works and should be utilized by every parent. ;)
    http://www.ashafullife.blogspot.com

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  11. I didn't realize there were people who did NOT bribe their kids.... : )

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  12. I don't really bribe my son but I do reward him for the stuff he does for me, like let him go to MMA classes with his friend or play his Xbox or give him some money or buy him something for a job well done in school, sports, etc.

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  13. My parents paid me $5.00 for every "A" I got on my report card (and this was in the 70's) & it made me try harder. So I don't see anything wrong with a little bribery.

    Thanks for visiting my blog!

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  14. Sorry I just have to chime in... I think a bribe here and there is ok, but i don't think we should be rewarding our kids with money all the time. It doesn't really teach them much- especially for little things like playing with other kids, smiling, etc. To me, it doesn't really encourage good habits for their future or good money management. Instead I would try bribes of other natures that encourage positive things like going to play at your favorite park, an ice cream outing alone with mommy, picking out a treat at the store, etc. Let's face it though- bribing our kids all the time is not really promoting self-growth within themselves so in my opinion monitor it wisely!

    On another note...Just wanted to say thank you for joining our Welcome Wednesday blog hop! We hope to see you stop by weekly and even maybe enter some of our giveaways and check out our freebies & deals! We are so happy to be new followers of your blog and can't wait to come back! You are more than welcome to grab our special Welcome Wednesday button which will link you directly to our hop each week & that also helps spread the word about our great event!

    THANKS!
    Kristin & Jaime
    --
    Take It From Me

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  15. Sometimes you have to do what you have to do, hehe. Bribing is not so bad. I think as adults we do the same but it's called compromise :) So it's not too far off. They'll grow into compromising!

    xoxo
    Katie

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  16. Cute Blog! I’m a new follower Happy Wednesday!! I would love for you to stop and take a look at my blog as well! Thanks!
    http://heavenlysavings.blogspot.com

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  17. Thanks for following my blog! I'm now following you back :) Have a great week! BTW the puppy booties prob don't come in adult size...such a shame!

    Misty
    http://MistysThoughtsToo.blogspot.com

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  18. I'm your 400th follower :) Thank you so much for following my blog, Peace Love Happiness, and leaving such a sweet message.

    When I was a kid, my mom paid for me doing *extra* things that were not routine chores. At a young age, it taught me the lesson of earning money as a means of buying those things with my own money. For me it was an awesome experience!

    Hope you are having a wonderful week . . . Gina

    http://peacelovehappinesshappens.blogspot.com
    http://labelladiva.blogspot.com

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  19. Hi! Following from Surfin' Saturdays! I'd love for you to come by and visit my blog and follow me too :) I've got a few fun giveaways and LOTS more coming!

    Thanks!!

    Ashley
    thereynoldsmom.blogspot.com

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  20. Bribery is the only solution when begging no longer works *wink*

    I'm a new follower, I hope you'll stop by my blog and decide to follow me back.

    Nice to meet you!

    http://KellysLuckyYou.com

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  21. Fantastic...glad I am not alone.

    I've bribed mainly for getting them to try new foods. $1 per actual who forkful chewed, swallowed and not vomitted back up! Yes I'm pretty specific in my bribery. Might need them to sign a contract prior. ;)

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  22. My mother doesn't bribe me with money, she bribes me with things, mostly to clean... actually only to clean. She got me an iPod for cleaning, a computer for cleaning, and she might get me a bunk bed, a desk, and a flat screen TV to put in my room if I clean now. I'm going for it so I really don't know what's wrong with bribing, it can earn your kids respect. Respect doesn't work as far as just cuddling in with them in bed every now and then, try harder moms!

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