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41

Bribery is a bad thing The problem with bribing them to do things is that it establishes pattern of rewarding good behaviour with money/treats/snacks. As soon as the child is old enough to realize it, they'll refuse to do anything unless it is rewarded somehow. This situation is incredibly hard to break, so it's best not to get there in the first place. ...


21

They should be rewarded for good behavior in the process of learning the good behavior. Then after a while when the child understands that the "good behavior task" is expected, you can gradually stop rewarding for that behavior. It is important that this kind of rewarding is just praising, and not giving gifts like toys or treats as rewarding. I don't ...


21

Punishment, threats, bribes, and rewards are two, err, four sides of the same coin. Our grandparents knew what to do. When a child misbehaved, you beat them. When a child made a mistake, you beat them. If you want a child to remember something important, you beat them. If you were too nice to a child, gave them praise, or gave too many gifts, you would ...


15

Transactions don't have to use real money. An alternative to real money is to use some sort of tokens (this is often called the "token system") - poker chips work well for this (they have denominations, are colourful, cheap, and look roughly like coins), but you can use anything really. Advantages over real money are that you control the price of rewards, ...


13

Bribery (incentives, payment for performance, rewards for obedience) destroys intrinsic motivation in children (and adults). It can gain temporary cooperation, but it fails in the long run as your child will ultimately expect some incentive to do anything. To become dependent on external motivations is an awful psychological result that you certainly do ...


13

The thing is, it sounds like blackmailing, but you are teaching that actions have consequences. "If you don't go to bed now you will be tired tomorrow" is a fact; however one that children won't get. Tomorrow is ages away and child cares mostly about now. But you actually know more about the child than it does when it is small, so you need to be able to ...


10

Rewarding good behavior has its place, but as I mention in this answer, I believe that children should not be generally rewarded for meeting basic expectations. We use positive feedback as a crude form of reward for my 21-month-old son; cheering and clapping when he does what we ask him to do. However, we don't bribe him with incentives (no "if you pick up ...


10

I don't think you're necessarily "backing out", or have to worry about him feeling he can just hold out until standards are lowered. You can simply say "this isn't working, since you aren't getting full weeks of 'greens'. Let's think of something else. We can still go to movies sometimes, when we all agree to go, but it won't be as often as if you were ...


10

There are those who feel that rewards are just as counter-productive as punishments. See "Punished by Rewards" by Alfie Kohn. He observes that both follow essentially the same pattern: "do this and you'll get A" is pretty much the same as "don't do this and you'll get B." He cites some research indicating that using extrinsic rewards can actually quash a ...


10

What I have done in the past with similar things is enroll the kids in developing the program. Tell them you want to reward them for good behavior. Let them know you think they are great kids and want to reward them for what they are already doing (again focus on the positive). Kids want to be good, but it is hard for them to work with their developing ...


10

Disclaimer: I'm a future parent myself; but my wife is a part-time nanny for 4 different families (like 7 or 8 kids total), and I hear about this all the time. She tends to bribe the kids with privileges (it wouldn't make sense to give them money, you know, since it is her job). Lately, she says the kids have begun turning it around on her and are now ...


9

I would have serious reservations about such a system. As TorbenGB mentioned, it might be a useful tool for you to communicate with the nanny, but young children have difficulty associating negative (or positive) reinforcement with behavior that did not immediately precede the reinforcement. Your daughter may have a great deal of difficulty connecting ...


9

It seems to me that the question you linked (I haven't read all the answers) is about things which should be considered normal (sleeping in her own bed). Maybe the main objection ("the child will become reluctant to do things if there are no rewards") can be mitigated by clearly defining what chores the child is expected to do normally (tidying her room, ...


9

TL;DR: Feel free to praise your children in front of each other. There is a lot of popular literature out there dealing with this issue. This answer is more roundabout because it relies to some degree on studies, which don't often address exactly the issue that is of concern to you. Almost 80% of children grow up with at least one brother or sister. Even ...


8

It sounds like you have set clear, realistic expectations up front, which would mean you're dealing with rewards and penalties and not bribery. However, if you're bribing her in the middle of an argument, she can easily perceive that as rewarding her bad behavior which encourages her to start the argument again night after night. Rewarding good behavior is ...


7

I have struggled with this question, too, and have tried to balance the immediate effectiveness of "bribing" my children with the long-term lessons they're learning from my own behavior. Currently, what seems to work best for me, is to identify real, tangible costs that are associated with whatever behavior I'm trying to guide. For instance, our boys (8 and ...


7

Hear this amusing podcast from Planet Money: Joshua Gans, an economist from Australia who wrote a book called Parentonomics, tried to create a toilet-training economy for his young children. He rewarded them with candy for sitting on the toilet — and the older ones got candy if they helped the younger ones. However, the kids quickly learned how to ...


6

We have done this with all three kids. They needed 26 stickers for a prize (yes even my 3 year old could wait that long). After 26 stickers the behavior was a habit. I told them we don't have to work on this behavior any longer that they were amazing at it now and it worked!


6

David Murdoch brings up a good point about the kids starting to flip it around to make everything a negotiation. I can't cite a source on the exact technique we've adopted to avoid this (probably because the wife is the one to read most of the books on these topics), but I can share the general idea: Don't make the bribery a regular thing. And don't ever ...


6

A problem with having an all-or-nothing reward (5/5 required) is that once he fails on one day there is no longer any incentive for the whole week. You want to be able to play the "you can still turn it around" card. One way to get around it is to have a medium level reward and a high level reward for the week. As others have mentioned it can be helpful ...


6

While I personally have a number of issues with Kohn's book, I do agree that "do-this-and-you-get-that" is a poor system, fraught with problems. The stance that we are taking with my son (who is still only two, but its never too early to start expecting participation) is that chores are things that just need to get done, and that we expect him to do those ...


5

First off, rewards do not have to be financial. They can be encouragement, praise, getting to stay up a little later...anything Secondly, as adults we do chores not because we want to but because we know the consequences will be more work later in tidying up - children can be taught this from quite an early age. When they are very young they don't have ...


5

My favorite incentive is a good story or riddle. My children happen to love riddles and real historical stories, so if I need to encourage some behavior I will start with a teaser and let them know that the rest of the story is coming at bedtime if they do as I request. This has the advantage of encouraging listening and paying attention, as well. When the ...


4

I agree with other people that bribery is bad, but you have to know when it's bribery and when it isn't. Picking up the Lego mess isn't a bribe, because its not her mess. You're paying her to perform a service. It's an even exchange of labor for compensation. This can be a good opportunity to teach a child about money and finances if played right. If she had ...


4

I think that what your sister is getting at is the distinction between several kinds of discipline. Let's say that I want my child (let's call him Tommy) to eat a healthy dinner. How can I do that? "Tommy, if you eat (all of) your spinach, I'll let you have a cookie." "Tommy, if you don't eat your spinach, you can't have a cookie." These are inverses ...


4

My principle is to try to stick to "natural consequences". That is, I do not punish my children in a way that makes me seem to be peeved, and therefore I punish them. Rather than that, I focus on why I want to correct my children's behavior, and try to let them feel what the consequences are if they behave incorrect. Mostly that's just not shielding the ...


3

It's important to distinguish between Intrinsic (natural) consequences and extrinsic (artificial) reward/punishment. And it's important to understand why they aren't complying. Imagine if you said "OK fly!" and they didn't so you said "here's a bunch of candy, OK? Now ...Fly!". It's often more productive to figure out why they aren't complying and address ...


3

In my opinion it varies with age. We provide punishment and reward, and money comes into that along with treats. Here's what we have done with our three: They all get pocket money of £1 per week from granny as standard If my eldest two help me wash the car they get an extra pound. If they are really naughty they may get no pocket money in a particular ...


3

I say good. Many children grow up taking money for granted, and associating money with effort is a good lesson to teach when your kids are young. I would add that you should also take the opportunity to help your daughter put a portion of her money aside to save, and maybe a portion to give to charity.


3

I took a roll of pennies and spray painted them gold so they couldn't get mixed up/mistaken for normal money. These were "pirate coins" or "treasure". I used them to reward extra good behavior and routine tasks that they needed some motivation for (1 penny for doing a good job brushing teeth, 1 penny for sorting laundry, etc). There were several benefits ...



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