The Art of the Deal: Bribing Kids

Metro Parent's editor-in-chief discusses this month's feature story and makes a case for bribing kids.

OK. Listen up, kiddo. I’ve got to get through this editor’s letter, and I need you to help me. So be quiet, don’t interrupt me, no running around or screaming and no harassing the dog. OK? You can watch YouTube on the iPad or read or play. But you need to entertain yourself and not interrupt me for the next 30 minutes or so. If you do, we’ll go get an ice cream when I’m done. Deal? OK, great!

Spring is here – finally. And while that means that we can start to open our windows and let in some light, it also means that it’s the perfect time to make some changes. For parents …

Hey, kiddo. Stop running around and stop teasing Max with a toy he can’t have, OK? Sit down, be quiet and read or play for a bit. OK? Remember our deal, right? Ice cream. Thank youuuuu.

… it’s a good time to reflect on your parenting practices. What’s working? What’s not?

Stop screaming! C’mon now. We had a deal. Settle down. It’s just for 30 minutes. Go play with some toys or watch other kids play with toys on YouTube. Whatever. Ice cream, right?

One area that many parents struggle with is how to properly incentivize their kids. What’s the difference between a reward and a …

I said no interruptions, remember? OK, OK – what is it? Yes, we can get custard instead. Just give me 30 minutes to get this done. Remember our deal? Thank youuuuu.

… bribe? And what good does either do if you don’t honor the deal you struck with your child? Or your child …

Kiddo!!! Seriously? I’ve asked you to keep it down. Please, turn down the music. Put your headphones on! You want custard, right? OK then.

… doesn’t honor his or her end of the bargain? So many parents still reward their kids. What message does that send?

What is it???? Yes, fine. Let Max out if he’s asking. You don’t have to ask me. You know how to do that. I asked not to be interrupted. 30 minutes. Custard. OK? Please!

In this month’s cover story, “Bribery’s Bad Rap,” we offer some advice to get a grip on kid bribes. Find out when to use them, when not to – and how to make sure …

Good grief!! What??? Yes, sure, we can get a Slurpee instead. Fine. Just. Just. Just. Nevermind. Get your shoes on. I’ll finish this later. 7-Eleven, here we come!

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