Do you bribe to discipline your kids?

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Parents who bribe their way through to deal with their children need to understand that it is not a form of discipline. It's important that one doesn't get the two confused.

“If you clean your room, I’ll take you out to your favourite restaurant”.

Many of us are guilty of making statements like this in an effort to get our children to comply with our requests.

But when you think about it, this amounts to bribery, plain and simple. It’s true that many parents bribe their kids in this manner out of sheer desperation.

However, what they may not know is that getting their children to do things in expectation of a reward may have emotional and developmental consequences.

Why do parents bribe their children?

Parents may bribe their children for a number of reasons, such as:

  • They have lost control of their children
  • They are trying to avoid public embarrassment
  • They use bribery as a form of discipline
  • They want to be their child’s friend/peer instead of their parent
  • They were bribed as children themselves and don’t know any other way
  • They are too lazy or scared to hold their children to a higher standard of obedience and respect

How do parents bribe their children?

Parents bribe their children using a variety of methods. Some of the more common forms of parental bribery include:

  • Material possessions: Parents will bribe their children with shoes, clothing, phones, and more.
  • Attention: Sadly, parents bribe their children with promises of time together as a way to get their children to do or say something. This is especially common in cases when parents are divorced or in the process of getting one and fighting for custody.
  • Love: Parents sometimes use their love as a bribe to get their children to act or be a certain way.

Keep reading on the next page to learn more about the dangers of bribery.