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Promise of rewards not followed through with-

Something I've witnessed a lot-
We'll be at a store and I'll hear a parent tell the kid that if they 'behave' or are 'really good' then they'll be rewarded with a particular toy. Often I'm not talking about something small or inexpensive, I'm talking about rewards that would be extravagant.
In one case the kid was told he could have a new bike!

Then the same kid is leaving very upset, and mom or dad tells them that they weren't 'good enough' for the reward. The kid will want to know what did they do wrong, or what they could have done to get the toy and no answer is offered.

It seems to be that it's a set up to keep the kid behaved, seems like the parent never intended to get the reward for the child.

can anyone else shed some light onto this?

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 1:45 PM on Apr. 5, 2010 in General Parenting

Answers (8)
  • yeah, it's a bad process. I always try to make good on promises.

    Answer by jeanclaudia at 1:47 PM on Apr. 5, 2010

  • I don't think that is the best way to go about it. That will just teach the kid not to behave because they are never going to get the thing anyways. When my oldest was younger I promised him apples for being good in the store. It worked too. I did give them to him though.


    Answer by JAIRATRACI at 1:54 PM on Apr. 5, 2010

  • I never did that. We had a talk act right in the store and you won't be getting a spanking/lose a privilege/etc. Never the other way around. He was expected to be good, not bribed to be.

    Answer by BradenIsMySon at 2:02 PM on Apr. 5, 2010

  • I have done this with my kids, When I tell them that they need to behave, I also give them specifics. No fighting, no screaming, no touching things on the shelf.

    They are 3, and we almost never get through the store without at least one of them throwing a fit. I do follow through though. Many times one earns the reward and the other child doesn't.

    I don't think that welshing on an agreement is ever okay. Parents that do this regularly are shitty.

    Answer by twin_mommy at 3:08 PM on Apr. 5, 2010

  • A child needs specifics in that situation. Telling a kid to "be good" isn't specific enough. Parents often set their children up for failure (without realizing they are doing it) or expect them to be perfect before rewarding them.
    I went through a worshop on how to help childrens behavior issues. Best money I've ever spent. It was based off of the book "The Incredible Years". I was amazed at all the things I did "wrong" that effected my relationship with my kids.

    Answer by nwdeserangel at 3:33 PM on Apr. 5, 2010

  • I never did that. We had a talk act right in the store and you won't be getting a spanking/lose a privilege/etc. Never the other way around. He was expected to be good, not bribed to be.

    Answer by brookebella at 3:42 PM on Apr. 5, 2010

  • why would you reward your children for behaving as they should? children shouldn't throw fits and act out so i don't understand rewarding them for behaving in an acceptable manor like they should be anyhow. they should be good because they are good kids. it does no one any good to bride children to listen to you and be good.


    Answer by KristaRene at 4:10 PM on Apr. 5, 2010

  • Bribing and rewarding are 2 different things.

    And the reward doesn't have to be big. It could be something as small as a sticker.

     Bribing is giving a child something and then telling them to be good, Doesn't work!

    Rewarding is giving them something after they have been good. When you reward a child, you are setting them up for good behavior and you only reward behaviors you want to be better, then wean them off of getting physical rewards and just give praise. Kids don't instinctively know what we consider good. That's why we need to be specific in describing to them our expectations of them.They aren't mind readers.


    Answer by nwdeserangel at 4:23 PM on Apr. 5, 2010

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