Friday, April 9, 2010

Bribery - A Wonderful Parenting Tool

I bribed my daughter this morning.

And then, because my boys felt left out, I bribed them as well.

Wow. Bribed sound awful. Let's change that to I inspired them to do the things I want them to do by providing a reward when they accomplish the desired behavior.

Yes, that's much better.

My daughter bites her nails. I hate this. Mainly because I used to bite my nails, and it was a really hard habit to break. I would love for her to break it now and not have to deal with years and years of behavioral patterns that she has to get past.

And let's just face it, nails that get bitten are ugly. And hard to paint. And make it impossible to put keys on keychains.

So I took a cue from my dear friend Jessica, who said she quit biting her nails because her boyfriend (who is my wonderful brother-in-law) told her if she could go a month, he'd take her out for a fancy dinner.

So I, being the creative, inventive person that I am, told Emma the exact. same. thing.

She's excited. She really wants her fancy dinner to be at Red Robin.

I think we need to get her out more.

Anywhoo, the twins wanted in on this, too. I guess the offer for one-on-one time is something I should exploit use more often.

So I told them that when they could wear big-boy undies every day and always go in the potty, I'd take them each out for a fancy dinner.

This is getting expensive.

However, compared to the cost of diapers, if this encourages them to potty train sooner, it might be a financially sound investment.

We will see if this works, but I am thinking, based on the fact that they have not had an accident all morning, that bribery works. Wait, I mean, inspiring them to do the things I want them to do by providing a reward when they accomplish the desired behavior works.

That really does sound much better.


TheOldestStudent said...

Bribery is FANTASTIC. I use it a lot.

DJan said...

I saw your note on FB and realized that yes, I haven't seen you in my Google reader lately. I'll sign up again and hope that fixes things!