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Is it wrong to pay your child to lose weight?

My SIL is doing this. Not paying exactly, but she told her 13 year old daughter that she would take her on a cruise if she lost 20lbs. To give you some background the daughter is overweight, and is not very active. She really doesn't like to exercise or play sports. My SIL cooks healthy meals for the family, but her daughter still eats a lot of junk outside of the house. My SIL thinks that it is just giving her incentive to do something that she finds difficult to do on her own.

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Asked by Anonymous at 3:45 PM on Jul. 17, 2010 in General Parenting

Answers (10)
  • I don't think that's wrong. I had a friend growing up whose parents paid her for letting her finger nails grow. She was an avid nail biter and they had tried everything they could to get her to stop. Money seemed to do the trick!

    I think as long as they promote HEALTHY ways to lose weight and help her adjust to good eating and exercising habits, it's a good idea. Obviously a child might resort to negative means to win a prize and supervision is necessary.

    Answer by mickstinator at 3:48 PM on Jul. 17, 2010


    Answer by lightbulbe at 3:48 PM on Jul. 17, 2010

  • not necessarily wrong but I don't think it will work. If she loses the weight, she'll just go back to the same old habits after the cruise and gain it all back. She needs a life style change, not to be bribed. How many activities has she tried? There has to be something active she would enjoy, she just needs to figure out what.

    Answer by DarkFaery131 at 3:48 PM on Jul. 17, 2010

  • It's wrong if she is saying if she loses the weight, but not if she says it is to just get her healthy. There is a difference in telling your kid that they are fat and need to lose weight, and telling them that you want them to be more active to be healthy...

    Answer by HuskerMommy08 at 3:50 PM on Jul. 17, 2010

  • It is wrong. She's basically telling her daughter that she's not acceptable as she is & is bribing her to change. My mom has obsessed about my weight ever since I was about 2 yrs old & has done nothing but set me up for a lifetime of emotional issues which has manifested in weight problems. It's one thing for a parent to teach their children about healthy bodies & healthy choices & keep junk food out of the house, encourage lots of activity, & make their home an atmosphere of health & wellness, but an entirely different thing for them to bribe their children & make them feel like they aren't lovable or acceptable unless they measure up to a certain standard.

    Answer by ghostwriter777 at 4:15 PM on Jul. 17, 2010

  • No, that's not paying ... that's BRIBING. and yes, it's absolutely wrong.

    Answer by aliceinalgonac at 4:16 PM on Jul. 17, 2010

  • i dont see that as wrong you using a persuasive method to do whats good for your chil its just like when there little and there good in the store they get candy :D

    Answer by megan1089 at 4:21 PM on Jul. 17, 2010

  • If it works then that is great. She needs to be taught healthy eating and exercising. They need to be active as a family. Were does she get the junk from? Hope something works for her.

    Answer by QandA at 4:37 PM on Jul. 17, 2010

  • I think giving her an incentive to encourage her to lose weight is fine, but the problem with that is, after she gets the reward, bribe, whatever you want to call it, she'll go back to the same habits and put the weight back on. Is your SIL willing to keep forking out money to keep her from gaining the weight back? A better incentive would be joining a gym together or taking walks, swimming, biking, whatever, in order to encourage her to have healthy habits.

    Answer by Bethsunshine at 9:11 PM on Jul. 17, 2010

  • If she has to be bribed to lose weight, how is she ever going to learn to self motivate? Or will the mother continue to bribe her all her life to do the right thing? Here honey, I'll buy you a new car if you get a job ... I'll pay for the honeymoon if you marry the man that I want you to marry ... and on and on ...

    Answer by justnancyb at 9:20 PM on Jul. 17, 2010

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