Friday, September 12, 2008

The Fine Art of Bribery

My boys starting learning the value of money from a very young age. We didn't grow up with a money tree in the backyard or a gold-filled underground vault in Gringotts, so my children figured out pretty quickly that money came from our wallets, and that to get that money into their grimy little palms, they had to work for it.



Maybe we should have taken more of the Capital One approach and set up a system, logical and with plenty of financial planning...but the system we settled into instead was bribery.

It started with potty training.

I set the ground rules. "If you tee tee in the potty, I'll give you a quarter. If you poopoo in the potty, I'll give you a dollar." I was desperate. A couple of weeks until pre-school started, where diapers weren't allowed, and nothing else had worked.

$20 later, we no longer needed diapers. It was worth it. For both us and them.



Elementary school honed this way of thinking into their constantly networking and newly sprouting neural pathways when we started paying them for good grades. We rewarded them a dollar an "A."

Our boys, they're so smart, they started making all A's.




Now they are eleven and six years old. Good grades still apply for earning money, as do chores and trips to the grocery store.

Here's my grocery store policy. "If you don't throw coffee beans, hit each other with the cart or hurt each other, but instead help me out and behave, then you can each have seventy-five cents to get cheap, plastic toys from the quarter machine when we're leaving."

It works.

My boys have worked hard for their money by going in the potty, making good grades and behaving in public. They have learned the value of money and the fine art of bribery.

"Mama, if we pick up the dog poop in the backyard, will you pay us $20?" Oh, yeah, baby.

Then their grandmother comes to visit from out of town and gives them each $100 bills.

Wait a second, no freebees!! This ruins everything...no, wait, I get it. She's bribing them to look forward to her visits...to ensure fun time and love. Ok, cool, I get it, no problem, bribery is still alive and well in this household.

It even works on me. I wrote this whole post in hopes of winning an iPhone from Capital One and Parent Bloggers. Go check it out and do your best to get one too. :o)



Sidenote: My boys do save up their money for those items they want and can't wait for Christmas or birthdays to get. And they are so proud of themselves for buying it on their own. A sense of pride that just handing them things doesn't bring. It's worth it.

17 comments:

scargosun said...

Whatever works. You seem to have struck a nice balance in your reward system. It's a heck of a lot better than the, "If you don't do this or that God will be mad at you" that I got as a kid.

Shannon said...

I've tried paying my kids for chores... it worked for about a week! Then they lost interest in getting money. Weird, huh?

Good luck in the contest!

Living on the Spit said...

I hope you win!!!! What a great post. I just beat my kids into subserviant behavior...it's a whole lot cheaper! LOL, I am just kidding people...calm down! I hope you get none of the big bad storm this weekend. Love ya...

Marlene

Kat said...

I am a big believer in bribery. I wish my kids would naturally cooperate. But that is not my reality. Unfortunatley, my mom has gotten into the habit of getting the girls something everytime we go out. And I don't mean little things. I mean several hundred dollars worth of clothes. Or a new DS game. Big stuff. And now they expect it of her.

And an iphone? I gotta check that out!

Insane Mama said...

Back off Rhea.... THE PHONE IS MINE. I really really need it.

Cristin said...

I'm all for bribery...

My parents paid us for good grades too... I think we got 5 bucks for an A. But we would owe THEM money for anything less than a C.

Good luck winning the iPhone.

├╝berburber said...

I tried starting my 8 year old on an allowance, but she kept leaving the money laying around and I'd put it back in my wallet and she wouldn't notice. Not ready, I decided.

Good luck w/ the iPhone!

Valarie said...

Yep bribery is the ticket. Works every time. That and a little guilt. ;)

Valarie said...

Going for more comments here. I lost my spot in the top 10. :(

Tracy P. said...

Way to go Rhea! We don't have the money thing down that well. Sounds like you are doing GREAT! (Love the photo of the money going in the toilet!)

Thanks for stopping by on my SITS day!

Krystyn said...

$20 to potty train? That's less than a pack of diapers...you might be on to something here!

I wonder if money would work with Izzy?

Jen said...

I love it. Paying kids for going potty. I am going to have to remember that one.

Good luck I hope you win. I love my iPhone.

Lula! said...

You & Kat are gonna have to duke it out for that iPhone!

i beati said...

how is school this year?/Do they like it both boys?? sandy

Karianna said...

Brilliantly illustrated!

CrystalChick said...

Bribery works well in some situations!
Our son gets an allowance each week. He has to take trash out, clean his room, you know, basic stuff. He's usually pretty helpful if we ask for something additional like taking the wash downstairs, letting the dogs out, etc.

Angie's Spot said...

You gotta do what you gotta do. I'm still trying to figure out what monetary incentives and training we should do with our kids. Keep the ideas coming!