Bribing Children to Behave
- Parent Category: Upper-Intermediate News Lessons
- Category: Relationships Lessons
- Written by Chris Cotter
Some parents call it a treat when they promise a child dessert if she finishes her Brussels sprouts. Other parents call it a reward when they purchase a video game if a child does well on a test. Although harmless terminology may be used to describe the action, promises of desserts, toys, or favors are bribes. Many parents admit to caving in to their kids. They buy what previous generations simple demanded as appropriate behavior.
Parenting experts agree that rewards have a time and a place. But some parents have gone overboard. 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 unreal viewpoint on how the world works. They think, "What are you going to give me?"
In part, it's the fault of the modern world. Past generations didn't have as many material goods to offer their kids. Parents are now busier than ever before, too, with both mom and dad juggling careers and parenting duties. Frazzled, overworked, and overtired, many parents admit that they don't want another power struggle. 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. It should also be used sparingly. Parents should instead explain that it's rewarding enough to do the thing. For example, going to bed early will ensure that you feel well rested tomorrow. If that doesn't work, there's nothing wrong with saying, "Because I said so!"
Preview some of the lesson material:
Speculate: Write in the missing words for today's article title: "Bribing ( ) to ( )." Why did you choose this word for the blank?
Fill in the Blanks: Fill in the blank with the correct word.
- Other parents call it a reward when they ( ) a video game if a child does well on a test.
- Although harmless ( ) may be used to describe the action, promises of desserts are bribes.
- Many parents admit to ( ) to their kids.
- They buy what previous generations simple demanded as ( ) behavior.
- But some parents have gone ( ).
- Children can become adults with an unreal ( ) on how the world works.
- In part, it's the ( ) of the modern world.
- ( ), overworked, and overtired, many parents admit that they don't want another power struggle.
- It should also be used ( ).
- For example, going to bed early will ( ) that you feel well rested tomorrow.
post-Comprehension: Talk about the following questions in pairs/groups. Remember to support your answers!
- Do children behave better or worse than 10 years ago? 20 years ago? 50 years ago? Why?
- Will children behave better or worse in 10 years? 20 years? 50 years? Why?
- Have you ever (Would you ever) buy your child an ice cream just to make him/her behave? Is it okay to do so?
- What would you do if your child were misbehaving in the shopping mall?
- 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.