Bribing my kids works. It does. I bet bribing your kids works for you too, and I bet you do it like I do. I can get all kinds of cleaning, manual labor, good behavior, easy bedtimes and more by just promising to give my kids something that they want in order for good behavior or work. Bribing my kids works, but it feeds the beast.
What beast you ask? The beast of selfishness. When I bribe my kids for good behavior it teaches them that if they behave well they will get rewards. They are no longer being good for the sake of being good, or because I ask them to, they are good in order to serve their own interest.
I would argue that I need to train my kids to do things for the inherent value found in doing it. I want to teach them to clean their room for the sake of having a clean room and the pride found in that. I want to teach them to respect their elders because their elders are worthy of respect. I want to teach them to not pummel one another like Rocky pounded that Russian dude, not because I need to avoid blood on my carpet (and I do need to avoid blood on my carpet) but because I want them to love one another.
It may be easy to bribe my kids, but its not good training, so I’m trying to avoid it. Teaching them to do the right things for the right reasons is tough, but I’ve decided its a battle worth fighting.
How about you? Do you agree with my thoughts? Are there times that a small bribe is ok, even needed?