Find out your parenting style with my parent personality quiz!

Find out your parenting style with my parent personality quiz!

COURSE LOGIN

Kids & Bribery — The Dos and Don’ts of Effective Bribery

Picture of Dr. Meg Meeker

Dr. Meg Meeker

If you eat two more pieces of broccoli, you can have candy for dessert. 

If you’re nice to your little brother on this car ride, I’ll buy you a new toy at Target. 

If you get your homework done on time, we can go get ice cream. 

It’s natural to default to an award system like this when you are wanting your child to correct, change, or improve behavior. In general, there are two ways to change a child’s behavior: reward or consequence. Bribery is tapping into the reward side of behavioral change, which has been scientifically proven to be effective.


When conducting a study on 8,000 different children, researchers found that bribing them to eat healthier not only worked in the short term but in the long term
:

 “They found that giving the students a small incentive for eating healthy — in this case, a 25 cent token the kids could spend at the school store, carnival or book fair — doubled the fraction of kids eating at least one serving of fruits or vegetables… The researchers also found that the effects lingered after the experiment ended, though they did subside somewhat. Two months after the end of the experiment, kids who had been rewarded for their health behavior for a period of five weeks were still eating 44 percent more fruit and vegetables than they had before the experiment begun.”

Bribing can certainly work, but how and when you bribe your child is crucial in order for it to be effective as the study cited above.

Here are a few dos and don’ts for using bribery with your child.

Do…use bribery for mildly negative behavior such as not sleeping in their bed, being mean to a sibling, not doing homework, not eating dinner, or not doing household chores.

Don’t…use money to bribe the behaviors above. Use a reward your child will like such as watching a few minutes of his favorite show, extra video game time, ice cream, or playing in the pool.

Do…use money for incentives to change your child’s behavior when what they’re doing isn’t bad but could be improved, such as grades, exercising more outside, or using nicer words.

Don’t…use bribery for more severe behavioral problems such as drinking, doing drugs, failing or skipping school, or disrespectful behavior. These behaviors are not optional and should not be tolerated. Therefore, consequences should be used rather than bribery. If you bribe your child to attend school each day rather than skip, you are telling her that attending school is optional.

Bribery can work but not in call cases, and it shouldn’t be used in every situation. Identify what behaviors need to change or simply be improved and know what behaviors require immediate consequences rather than rewards. Then, reward, incentivize or use consequences accordingly.

Our Sponsors

Skylight-Meeker

Skylight Digital Picture Frames are the perfect bridge connecting you to the special moments of those you love! It’s private, pre-loadable, and you can personalize it! Visit SkylightFrame.com

Here’s the perfect gift to inspire and delight that young person in your life!

Sign up at Crunchlabs.com/DRMEG and get 2 boxes free!

That’s why you’ve got to check out AquaTru.

AquaTru purifiers use a 4-stage reverse osmosis purification process, and their countertop purifiers work with NO installation or plumbing.

Transform Your Tap Water

Air Doctor

Air Doctor, purification to protect your home! Head to airdoctorpro.com and use promo code DRMEG and you’ll receive UP TO $300 off air purifiers!

Cozy Earth
Our goal is to help you create a sanctuary within your home, a refuge from the demands of the outside world.

Head over to cozyearth.com and use promo code DRMEG for an exclusive 35% off.

Acorns makes it easy to start automatically saving and investing for your future. Head to acorns.com/ or download the Acorns app to start saving and investing for your future today!

Your pet can’t choose healthy, but you can! Choose Whole Life Pet for human grade, freeze-dried, nutrient-rich, all natural food and treats for your dog or cat!

Visit wholelifepet.com

Born Shoes

Step into comfort by visiting BornShoes.com and take advantage of our exclusive offer. Use promo code DRMEG to enjoy a 15% discount and receive free ground shipping on all full-price shoes.

Green-chef-Meeker
The #1 Meal Kit for Eating well. Go to greenchef.com/60drmeg and use code 60drmeg to get 60% off plus 20% off your next two months.  greenchef.com to start now! 
Masimo-stork-baby-monitor

Masimo Stork is a revolutionary new baby monitor. SET technology has been in use for 25 years in the NICU units of America’s hospitals – now that same technology is available at home. Masimo Stork tracks real time, with your baby’s pulse rate, oxygen saturation, and skin temperature. While not a medical device, it can ensure more confident and calmer parenting. To learn more, go to masimostork.com.

Sponsors

Skylight-Meeker

Skylight Digital Picture Frames are the perfect bridge connecting you to the special moments of those you love! It’s private, pre-loadable, and you can personalize it! Visit SkylightFrame.com

Crunch-Labs-Meeker

Here’s the perfect gift to inspire and delight that young person in your life! The CrunchLabs build box subscription. Crunchlabs packs the fun into science by sending kids a new toy to build each month. And everyone’s favorite youtuber Mark Rober’s teaches them how! Kids LOVE IT! Go to Crunchlabs.com/DrMeg and get yours today!

Powerful purification to protect your home

Lock this special offer by going to A-I-R-D-O-C-T-O-R-P-R-O dot com and use promo code DRMEG.

Discover luxury she deserves!

Head over to cozyearth.com and use promo code DRMEG for an exclusive 35% off.

Save, invest and learn from one easy app.

Visit acorns.com

Your pet can’t choose healthy, but you can! Choose Whole Life Pet for human grade, freeze-dried, nutrient-rich, all natural food and treats for your dog or cat!

Visit wholelifepet.com

Step into comfort by visiting BornShoes.com and take advantage of our exclusive offer. Use promo code DRMEG to enjoy a 15% discount and receive free ground shipping on all full-price shoes.

Green-chef-Meeker
The #1 Meal Kit for Eating well. Go to greenchef.com/60drmeg and use code 60drmeg to get 60% off plus 20% off your next two months.  greenchef.com to start now! 
Masimo-stork-baby-monitor

Masimo Stork is a revolutionary new baby monitor. SET technology has been in use for 25 years in the NICU units of America’s hospitals – now that same technology is available at home. Masimo Stork tracks real time, with your baby’s pulse rate, oxygen saturation, and skin temperature. While not a medical device, it can ensure more confident and calmer parenting. To learn more, go to masimostork.com.

More Posts

Sponsors

Skylight Digital Picture Frames are the perfect bridge connecting you to the special moments of those you love!

Here’s the perfect gift to inspire and delight that young person in your life! The CrunchLabs build box subscription.

Your pet can’t choose healthy, but you can! Choose Whole Life Pet for human grade, freeze-dried, nutrient-rich, all natural food and treats for your dog or cat!

Masimo Stork is a revolutionary new baby monitor. SET technology has been in use for 25 years in the NICU units of America’s hospitals.

The #1 Meal Kit for Eating well. Go to greenchef.com/60drmeg and use code 60drmeg to get 60% off plus 20% off your next two months.  

Thrive Market – the customized and economical way to shop organic, non-gmo, and healthy.

Website-Dr. Meeker (8)
Feeling a a bit uneasy about having "the talk" with your son or daughter?
Dr. Meeker is here to help! “How to Talk to Your Kids about Puberty & Sex (ages 8-18)” is her most comprehensive course ever and she’ll equip you to have that conversation with knowledge, confidence and sensitivity. Check it out!

More Tools to Simplify Fatherhood