If I think about it, I actually have a few ways of bribing the kids to do things I want them to do without them really realising it.
I want them to read more but I want them to read because they want to read and not because I’ve told them to if you know what I mean. I’m trying to encourage them to love reading as much as I do and I don’t think this will be achieved by standing over them and telling them they have to read for twenty minutes every night like the school tell us to do. So, we make reading reward charts for them to complete. Every time they read for twenty minutes, they get a star and when their chart is full, they get a reward. That’s an OK sort of bribery isn’t it?
They have set jobs to do each day which I think is reasonable as they’re more than capable and I don’t give them too many – things like setting and clearing the table, tidying their own rooms, recycling and tidying our shoe cupboard are all simple enough and get done every afternoon. If they don’t do them then they don’t get their pocket money! But, I also have a separate list of jobs they can do if they want to which is made up of jobs I don’t really like doing, like hoovering and dusting. These jobs are extra, optional jobs so I pay 10p or 20p per job. Not much at all but enough to encourage them to do the jobs. Miss Frugal dusts three times a week for 60p and the house downstairs sparkles as she takes so much care doing it. That’s an OK bribery too right?
Then there’s the fact that I always plan ‘big’ days out in the School Holidays for the end so I have lots of bribery material for the rest of the time we have off together. I’m pretty sure that’s OK too isn’t it?
What about buying them a little treat every week when they get 100% on their spellings? I’ve always done this since they started school although the treats have got smaller and smaller as they get their spellings right most weeks these days. That’s OK too in my eyes although I know lots will disagree.
I’m pretty sure that my last one isn’t ever going to be included in the good parenting guide but still. What if you’re not feeling great and you don’t feel up to cooking the delicious meal you had planned. It’s OK to send your 11 year old to the chip shop for chip butties all round with the promise that if she goes, we’ll have ice lollies for pudding isn’t it? I hope so!
Do you bribe your children?