Thursday, December 2, 2010

Sweet, sweet bribery...

High up in the long list of "things I would never do when I was a parent" was bribing a child with food. As has happened with most other items on this list, I have had to cross it off this week!

After a significant period of bath refusal, I finally caved and told Leo he could have an icy-pole (or in his words 'a big one') if he would get in the bath. On the first evening it worked and I rejoiced in my cunning succcess. On the second evening it failed and resulted in an almighty tantrum "I want a big one...I want a big one".

Admittedly the only reason I caved on the bribery issue was that I recently read Joshua Gans' "Parentonomics" in which he has moderate success using what he describes as incentives: jellybeans helped the kids get toilet trained and the promise of dessert helped kids get through their vegies. Clearly Joshua's children are more receptive to the food rewards or the tasks are not so terrifying as Leo finds the bath.

In good news, Mr Williams managed to talk Leo into having a shower tonight with no icypoles involved at all. Phew!


  1. Actually, there is as much failure with incentives in that book as there is success.

    Ever tried putting a child who wouldn't get undressed in a bath with their clothes on? That worked for us and we only had to do it once (and only their socks got wet).

  2. Hi Eleanor,
    Just letting you know you are our winner of the Chloe Portia Bracelet! If you could email me your postal address l'll pop it in the post. Thanks again - Hey Bambini -