Mom Confessions: I Bribe My Children


mom confessions briberyIt's time for a Mom Confession -- because, let's face it, we're real mothers and sometimes it doesn't work the way the parenting books say it should.

This Week's Confession:

-- I bribe my toddlers. I don't care what anybody says, it works.

Except I see as more as a reward system. Little kids need physical or material incentive sometimes. Plus, this is the real world. We nail the deal, we get a raise. We make the best cake, we win a prize.

My kids get money for doing well in preschool, something special for picking up their toys, and chocolate for going potty. It's working out great.

My parents did the same thing for me when I was little, and I turned out fine. I still know how to do good things as an adult without expecting something in return. -- anonymous



Is a reward system (call it bribery if you want) an effective way to teach toddlers how to do good?

Only CafeMom members can vote on polls.
Sign up for an account or Click here to log in.

Total Votes: 50

View Results


Do you bribe or reward your toddlers? Is there a difference? Why shouldn't toddlers be taught to operate the same way that we grownups do in the professional world?

We all have secrets and opinions -- so thanks to this brave mom for sharing her honest thoughts, and thank you for keeping this conversation non-judgemental!

Past Confessions:

I Hate Reading Children's Books

I Sleep Naked With My Toddler

I Hate My Neighbor's Kid

I Don't Like to Play

I Sleep While My Kid Is Up

My Kid Watches TV Up Close

I Let My Toddler Play Outside Alone

I Turn My Kids Over to A Mom I Just Met

My Toddler Wears Crude T-Shirts

I Let My Toddlers Climb Play Equipment Unassisted

My Kids Go to Sleep After Midnight

I Let My Toddlers Go Naked in Public

I Throw Away My Kid's Artwork

I Paid $22 for My Son's Haircut

My Toddlers Eat Pizza for Breakfast

I'm Dying My Toddler's Hair

I Leave My Toddler Alone in the Bath

Our Children Aren't Invited to Our Wedding

I Scold Other People's Kids

I'm on Vacation, But My Kid Is Still Going to Day Care

I Favor My Older Child

I Let My Toddler Eat Food Before Paying for It

I Find Excuses to Send My Kids to Bed Early

confessions, discipline, learning


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

mmmom... mmmommy0207

I totally bribe my kids. Well, I bribe the big one (she's almost 7) but the little one doesn't get it yet. I say " If you *insert task here* then we will *insert reward here*" all he hears is the reward part!

BaisMom BaisMom

I do that but I do it in reverse.

I rarely ever say anything like "If you clean up your toys you can have ice cream". But I WILL say "Clean up your toys or I will take them away". I don't think kids should get material rewards for good behavior, I think it teaches them to expect those kinds of things. I think it's important that doing good things and what you're supposed to do IS the reward, but that there are negative consequences for not listening and doing what you're supposed to do.

tyrel... tyrelsmom

I do!!! I find that rewards for good behavior work much better than punishment for bad behavior.  Small children don't understand the natural good consequences of good behavior so much, so you've got to give them a little extra incentive.

toria... toriandgrace

Of course I do! I think the key is to not reward for EVERY good behavior. Sometimes my daughter just gets verbal praise, but sometimes we give a few M&Ms for good behavior. Often I'll buy a small bag of candy (50 cents) at the end of grocery shopping if she was very good. We have a sticker chart with a present at the end for potty training. I was paid for good grades in high school, and I think it's the real reason I got straight As one quarter. In college, I graduated with a 4.96, even though no one was paying me, but I think that incentive helped me learn study habits when I was an irresponsible teen and paid off in college. I'm all about bribery. So is my mom, and I'm comfortable with it.

joulieen joulieen

I bribe my son all the time - i have a big elmo tub from halloween and its full of candy. That's what he dips into when he's a good boy. big smile mini

 I bribe him to go to bed and stay in bed, go potty, and get dressed when i ask him(sometimes). If he stays in bed and sleeps all night, which was a big one for me, he gets to pick one piece of candy in the morning.  If he doesn't, he won't get it. I don't think so much candy is the best reward, but it really worked for me!   I'm surprised he's not permanently hyper! lol

Now he's got the message, he doesn't eat as much, but still gets his reward each morning for staying in bed and sleeping all night

ari_baby ari_baby

Yes i think there are more advangtages to this system then not.. just as long as you make sure it is always you calling the shots and not the kids saying well i will do this if you give me that...that is when a problem is stating.. as long as the child knows that they will not always be rewarded for something that they have to do any ways... the main time we use(d) this was with potty training and we used stickers... other than that pretty much only if we go to a nicer resturant we tell her she can have extra chocolate on her dessert or she can to the explorer room which is an indoor play room that is huge...for a while we used this too much and she started taking advantage of we had to put our foot down which i think did more harm then good..she didn't understand why all these things were being taken away from her when she was being good...we eventually found a common ground with it and are doing much better!

1-6 of 6 comments