Bribery: The Classic Parental Technique

Never underestimate what a seven-year-old will do for a cookie.

I’ve been trying to figure out how to get Brayden to practise his printing. We normally read just before bedtime, which he’s really good at, so for a while I was substituting printing for reading. But he doesn’t enjoy printing, and he’s tired by then, and it just wasn’t a good situation.

I needed to have him do his printing just after supper, but that’s when he usually watches TV, so I figured it would be a tough sell. I offered to let him watch TV before bed as a reward, but he wasn’t interested. Instead, he gave me a puppy-dog look and asked if he could have a treat as a reward. Sold.

I picked out a page in one of his books that I wanted him to copy. He worked diligently at it for 30 full minutes…and earned one Oreo. I would’ve insisted on at least three cookies for that kind of effort, but he seemed pretty satisfied with the one (not least because it was a secret from his brother). I wonder how long that will last.

Justin is notoriously difficult to bribe, so it’s nice to know that a cookie makes Brayden’s world go round. Time to buy stock in Nabisco…