Why do parents turn to bribing their kids to behave? One reason is that it often gets the desired results right away.
One mom told me about how her son was begging her to watch a Star Wars movie that they had bought the previous night. They were planning to watch it as a family the following night but that wasn’t soon enough for him! He kept on asking to watch it and proceeded to try to persuade her even when she was on the phone.
Since her phone call was for business and she really needed to complete the conversation, she took a quick break to promise her son an ice cream cone if he stopped bugging her. He immediately agreed and stopped nagging her!
While she achieved the desired behavior, he learned that nagging her may result in a treat. Do you think he’ll try nagging her again? Whatever behaviors we reward, we can expect to see more of those behaviors in the future!