I bribe my kid sometimes.  Mostly when trying to teach him something new.  He’s not really old enough to understand explanations of why something should be done, but he understands treats.  Who doesn’t.  Then, once he figures out what it is that’s expected of him, the treats gradually stop.  That’s when he does stuff because it’s just what he’s supposed to do.

People get weird about bribing/rewarding kids.  Whatever.  The world revolves around cause and effect.  At the most basic level, you do things because of some anticipated reward, or some fear of repercussion.  Sometimes it’s something tangible, other times it’s more abstract.  But this is essentially what drives us.

Right now, my son is two.  He is unable to understand or appreciate the more abstract rewards for his behavior.  So I reward with something tangible.  Something good that he can understand.  I bribe him; and that’s ok.


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