In almost every walk of life you will find evidence of bribery and corruption and no matter how much people try to stamp it out, it prevails. In my household i am proud to say that both bribery and corruption are rife, and I am the chief benefactor.
Before I had kids I believed that when I had a child they would do whatever I asked of them…Wrong. In fact I was so wrong there is not even a word in the English language to describe it. Kids are manipulators, kids thrive on bribes and kids will do anything to get one over on a sibling or parent. It is very easy as a non parent to stand there and say “oh no, you must not bribe your kids to do simple tasks, you should empower them to want to do it”.That’s bollocks, dreamed up by someone who has no firm grasp on the realities of parenting. I defy anyone not to reach for the sweet tin when they’ve spent the past five mornings trying to get their kids to put their shoes on, only to return 5 minutes later to find no shoes were on and in fact they had stripped down to their pants in that time too.
Some people say that they have never bribed their kids, again I say BOLLOCKS. “brush your teeth or they will fall out”, that’s bribery right there. It takes a long time for a tooth to go black and fall out and by you threatening them with this you are in fact bribing them. You will probably find that your kid is also the angel that gets unfairly picked on by the teachers, I have a blog coming up for you in the future which contains the words deluded and fool.
Anyway, moving on.
I can see no reason not to continue bribery in my house, I mean everybody wins. My kids get a little treat and I get to have reduced stress levels for a while. The bribe doesn’t always have to be a sweet treat, it can also be something like me retrieving their Lego out of the bin I threw it in earlier that day after I had asked 50 times for it to be tidied away, or even better, something that I was going to do anyway like take them swimming. TV is a bribe in our house too, “eat your tea or there is no Ninja Warrior for you” or indeed “bedtime in 20 minutes okay?” to which I normally get the response of “NO, I/WE ARE NOT READY FOR BED” to which I reply “Ok, TV off now then” and get an immediate “OK, 20 Minutes sounds good”. Bribe given = response and behaviour requirements met.
Last year however something strange happened in my household. It was one morning when i was bribing my kids to get ready for school. “Please put your pants on and i will let you have a pudding for tea” “how about 2 puddings” came the response from my eldest. Wait, what? you are negotiating with me?! You have all of a sudden grown some huge peanuts and decided that one treat isn’t enough so you are going to try and barter your way up to two? I was shocked so issued the response “one or none” to which I got the reply “No pants on then mate”, my eldest son used the word “mate” accurately and in a sarcastic way but more importantly he actually fronted me out! I was left with no other option other than to say “okay, you can have two on condition that your brush your teeth and put your shoes on without fuss”, I thought he would never be able to complete this task so went off smiling that I had won the battle. Later that night the little shite had two puddings.
Corruption is well and truly alive in our house and luckily it goes in my favour most of the time. An example of this is how my eldest son has become almost trained to go for a poo when I am in the shower, thus leaving my wife to do the wiping. A cheeky wink from me and my boy knows that he will get a little treat. My kids know that I am open to bribery so always choose to “pitch” their idea or wants to me rather than asking, an example of this is “dad, if I do my homework can i then play on the PS4 AND be quiet?” Now that “And” is essential as they are offering me a two part deal knowing that I love a bit of quiet. I am pretty sure that my kids would be right at home bartering in a desert market somewhere.
In conclusion, bribery is a solid form of parenting as long as you don’t start bribing them with hard drugs or wobbly juice. Keep your bribes small, a small treat or perhaps blowing some bubbles. Don’t over negotiate with them, you will end up stood in your pants in the middle of the street. Kids are human and by design, humans like to manipulate to win. And on that note I have to end my blog, my youngest son has just offered me up a bag of mini cheddars and a Haribo if I let him watch Street Fighting tramps on youtube, sounds like a deal I’m in for!