Of Bribes and Boondocks

19 Nov

Bribes. Most people would consider them morally objectionable. In some third-world countries, they are simply the norm in the business world. And this weekend, such was the case at my home. Of course, we prefer to use the euphamisms “incentives” or “rewards,” but the result is the same — an attempt to get compliance from the kids.

After their regular chores on Saturday, I bribed the kids with a trip to Boondock’s Fun Center if they would do some extra work in the yard. So we took the kids there after lots of leaf raking and putting up the Christmas lights (yes, it’s early, but we wanted to take advantage of the good weather — just know that while the lights are on the house, they won’t be actually turned on until after Thanksgiving!)

We enjoyed the go-carts as you can see from the little video below, and then we all participated in 18 holes of mini-golf (the kids are getting better and more coordinated, but it’s still a bit aggravating to play with them because they’re so slow.) Overall, we had a great time together.

So how do you motivate your children? How do you develop a sense of fun without giving them a sense of entitlement, like they deserve to be rewarded for everything they do? Don’t some tasks need to be done without rewards (apart from the satisfaction that comes from the sense of accomplishment they get)? What’s the right balance?

1 Comment

Posted by on November 19, 2007 in Uncategorized


One response to “Of Bribes and Boondocks

  1. Vicki

    November 22, 2007 at 5:54 am

    The video of the kids at Boondocks was really fun. That track seemed more fun than the car rides you kids had at Lagoon years ago. Be persistent at helping your kids learn to work–it will help their self-esteem and confidence. It’s one of the best things you can do for your children.


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