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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This post is linked to the following blogs:
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