Child bribery costs parents almost R15 000 a year

18 July 2014

We’ve all done it (whether we want to admit it or not). In a moment of weakness or hysteria we’ve all bribed our children. Some of us call it rewarding not bribery but most of us will agree that whatever you call it R15 000 a year is an astronomical amount to spend on trying to make your kids behave a certain way.

We’ve all done it (whether we want to admit it or not). In a moment of weakness or hysteria we’ve all bribed our children. Some of us call it rewarding not bribery but most of us will agree that whatever you call it R15 000 a year is an astronomical amount to spend on trying to make your kids behave a certain way.

American news website Time.com recently reported children in the US “earn” roughly about R1 200 in bribes, rewards, gifts and allowances. And this all before they even turn 10. These figures are reportedly the result of a poll of more than 2 000 American parents done by coupon site Vouchercloud.net. Of those polled, more than half said they give their children money so they’ll behave better.

Surely this isn’t the ideal solution to bad behaviour or to motivate your children. A SuperMom in our Facebook community also recently asked: “How can I reward my five-year-old daughter for the stars she gets on her performance chart every week. I don’t want her to always expect a toy.”

Clinical psychologist and children’s book author Jenny Perkel says on her website the reward for points earned with a behaviour chart should ideally be smallish and involve quality time with a parent. She suggests an outing to your child’s favourite place.

Here are some other ideas for rewarding your child without breaking the bank and at the same time teaching them a positive experience is much more valuable than a material possession or even money.

  • Give them your undivided attention Set aside an hour over a weekend to give your undivided attention to your child (no phones!) Do your daughter’s nails, let her style your hair or try on silly outfits from your closet. If you have a son, do an activity he’ll enjoy such as going for a walk in a muddy field, playing in the garden or building a blanket fort.
  • Get crafty Let your child choose a craft they enjoy such as painting with glitter, baking muffins or hammering together a few planks, and do it with them.
  • Make a date Get a movie you’ll both enjoy – a classic from your childhood or the latest release – and curl up on the couch with your favourite snacks.
  • Talk about it Ask your child what they consider to be a good reward. You might just be pleasantly surprised at what they value in life.

Sources: time.com, jennyperkel.com

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