Parenting: Flat out parental bribery

June 25, 2012 5:29:40 AM PDT
Some parents do it with without apprehension: they pay off their children to ensure good behavior, to encourage good grades or to make sure they get their chores done.

In many of those situations, you could call it a bribe. In others, there is a different, less glaring term: allowance.

So when is it okay to pay off your children in these situations?

A blog on suggests it is okay to bribe a child to stop misbehaving, but only to a certain extent.

Robin McClure, the author, warns that over time a child becomes smart enough to turn the tables and control the parent. At times it gets to the point where the child expects a reward for just about everything - or else, here comes that temper tantrum.

McClure suggests only using rewards that cannot be quantified monetarily. Rather than dangling candy or a new toy, how about rewarding your child with a trip to the park, or the right to stay up a little bit later before bed?

How about cold, hard cash for good grades? Some would say it is better to give children money for such an accomplishment, rather than just forking over money for nothing.

Another blog by Apryl Duncan, goes further with that suggestion. Duncan says it would be a great teaching moment to use the money a child earns for a stellar report card to open up a savings account.

She also makes a series of other suggestions when it comes to rewards and grades.