16 Parents Reveal the Craziest Bribes They've Offered Kids

Genny Glassman | Jul 21, 2017 Being a Mom
16 Parents Reveal the Craziest Bribes They've Offered Kids
Image: iStock.com/zest_marina

bribe holding up money behind back

In a perfect world, we would never raise our voices, never have to repeat an instruction, and our children would listen attentively. But what fun would that be? Call it "incentive," call it "motivation," but the truth is, there comes a time when a parent must give up the charade of perfect parenting and pull out a crisp $20 to get some yard work done. 

We asked some ultra-tricky moms and dads to share the silliest, craziest, and most totally outrageous bribes they've offered their kids. They. did. not. disappoint. 

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Here are 16 of the craftiest bribes parents had to make to get their kids to do things. Can we get a "raised hands" emoji over here?

  • Pay Per Photo

    family photo

    "Picture this: Beautiful setting, matching outfits, begging [my] 6-year-old to just smile once for the picture and she's only making faces. Finally I screamed. 'I'll pay you!' Click. It really is a great picture." -- Amy W.

  • Quitting Smoking

    Woman puts out cigarette

    "I once told my kid that I'd quit smoking if he got three home runs in one baseball season. I thought there was no way he'd ever do that -- he's on the small side. I was nervous after the second one. After the third one (he ended up with five that year), I had to admit defeat. That was five years ago, I'm still smoke free." -- Anonymous

  • A Car

    Teen in new car

    "Yeah, I'll admit it, I offered my kid a new car if he graduated with honors. He did; I had to pony up." -- Anonymous

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  • Cake for Breakfast

    Little girl eating cake with her fingers

    "We were running late for school and my kid wouldn't get dressed. His birthday was the day before, so I told him he could have leftover birthday cake for breakfast if he put his clothes on RIGHT NOW. It worked. No shame." -- Kristine R.

  • A Trip to Disney

    Disney characters

    "We [prefer to] call them 'incentives.' I give my kids money for good deeds ... but that's nothing out of the ordinary. They got to go to Disneyland when they got straight A's." -- CafeMom user 2xthejoy

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  • A Batman Costume

    girl as batman

    "When she was potty training, I asked what it would take to get her to poop on the toilet and she said a Batman shirt and cape. So, I bought it and waited for her to earn it. A month later, she did." -- Anonymous

  • Ear Piercing

    Little girl pierced ears

    "My twins were 4 and they wanted their ears pierced. I told them that if they could be out of nighttime pull-ups then they could have their ears pierced. They did it within about a month." -- Steph D.

  • Chocolate -- in the Morning

    boy eating chocolate

    "I once gave chocolate to my youngest around 9 a.m. while grocery shopping so she would stop screaming in the stroller. We don't shop that early anymore, lol." -- Cafemom user jellybeanjean

  • An iPhone

    little girl on iPhone

    "I just promised DD if she pulls all 100s on her last report card, I'd buy her an iPhone." -- CafeMom user Mary716

  • Books for Cash

    little girl with money
    Sofi photo/Shutterstock

    "I told my then fourth grader that I would pay her $20 for every book she read and reported on to me in the summer. She about cleaned me out. I do credit that for her love of reading now." -- CafeMom user LadyIQ

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  • A Trophy

    girl holding trophy

    "My daughter was having the hardest time potty training. She was 2. She also had a fascination with her brothers' sports trophies ... so you guessed it: We told her if she could prove she had mastered the toilet she would get a Potty Champion award! You should have seen the look on the guy's face at the trophy shop when we ordered it!" -- Anonymous

  • Water Park Passes

    family at water park

    "[I promised] water park passes if he has a good school year ... But we always get them. I buy them at the end of December when they're almost 50 percent off. He's going into sixth grade and hasn't realized it yet." -- Anonymous

  • A Tattoo

    girl getting tattoo

    "My middle daughter hated shots and would freak every time she was told she needed one -- but she wanted a tattoo. So I told her if she got her shots and blood draws EVERY TIME she needed them without crying or arguing from now until she turns 16, I would pay for her first tattoo. It's been three years and no problems since. She will be 16 next month and already has the tattoo picked out." -- Anonymous 

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  • A Dog

    a dog
    Joyce Marrero/Shutterstock

    "My daughter had a tumbling block when she was in all-star cheerleading. She was also pleading for a dog. I said she could have a dog when she got past her block.

    "She got past her block. We got a dog. She stopped cheering two years later. I still have the dog 12 years later. Sigh..." -- CafeMom user Romalove

  • A Dirty Deal

    kid doesn't want to do chores

    "$20 to clean a sibling's puke." -- CafeMom user Canadiana

  • Pacifier Problems

    Mom Holding Pacifier Away from Baby

    "I hate roller coasters, but I told my son who was 4 at the time that I'd go on one if he gave up his pacifier. I did, and he did." -- Julie R.

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