Bribing Children to Behave
- Parent Category: Lower-Intermediate News Lessons
- Category: Relationships Lessons
- Written by Chris Cotter
Some parents promise a child dessert if they finish their Brussels sprouts. Some parents purchase a video game if a child does well on a test. These shouldn't be called treats or rewards. Promises of desserts, toys, or favors are bribes, especially when they are given for everyday, appropriate behavior.
Parenting experts agree that rewards are important. But some parents have gone too far. They pay their children to brush their teeth, go to sleep early, or even score a few goals at a soccer tournament! This may achieve results in the short term. But in the long term, children can become adults with an unrealistic viewpoint of the world. They think, "What are you going to give me?"
The modern world is partly to blame. There are many more material goods than before. In addition, both parents must now work and be parents full-time. It's easier to bribe a child than to have a power struggle. However, with each bribe, children demand more and more.
Of course, it's perfectly all right to reward children from time to time. The action should equal the reward, though.
Preview some of the lesson material:
Brainstorm: Brainstorm with a partner words and ideas for "bribe" for two minutes. Next, talk about the words and ideas for five minutes.
Fill in the Blanks: Fill in the blank with the correct word.
- Some parents ( ) a video game if a child does well on a test.
- Toys are bribes, especially when they are given for ( ) behavior.
- This may ( ) results in the short term.
- Children can become adults with an ( ) viewpoint of the world.
- The modern world is partly to ( ).
- However, with each bribe, children ( ) more and more.
post-Comprehension: Talk about the following questions in pairs/groups. Remember to support your answers!
- Is this a problem in your country? If yes, please explain.
- Do children behave better or worse than 10 years ago? 20 years ago? Why?
- Will children behave better or worse in 10 years? 20 years? Why?
- Were you a good or bad child? Why do you think so?
- What is the most difficult part about being a parent? Why?
Google Search: Type "bribe" into Google. Look at the websites, and/or read additional articles on this topic. Discuss or write an essay about your findings.