Guilty as charged, and you know what, it is really hard to break this habit because what the author doesn’t get at is that not only is there a short term reward for the child, but for us parents as well. Look, I appreciate not having to wait two hours for Singing Biscuit to finish his chores and holding us hostage from getting on with our day when I promise him a $5 bill for his efforts. That said, I also cringe when he asks if he will get his “allowance” for doing some other task in the middle of the week. Those cringes are far and few in between these days because I’ve disassociated his allowance from completing his chores, but I still haven’t given up on the bribing habit.
I find the issue of bribing children — or to be more precise, the giving of blunt, uncreative rewards for desired behavior “If you just stop kicking that seat in front of you on the plane, I’ll give you 10 minutes of iPad time”; “Clean your room this weekend, I’ll give you 10 bucks”; “If you use good manners at Grandma’s house, I’ll let you have an extra brownie” — to be one of the more nagging challenges of being a parent.