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Are we setting our children up by rewarding them with Stuff?

I hear mom's tell their children "If you behave, I'll buy you an ice cream, or give money, and toys."

Are we setting them up to expect it when they get older?

My sister bribed her girls. Now they are so spoiled and expect that eveyone owes them something.... What do you think?

Answer Question

Asked by Prayerpartner at 2:20 AM on Oct. 23, 2010 in General Parenting

Level 20 (10,072 Credits)
Answers (10)
  • Yes and no...Yes because maybe it is expected too often from the children, but I also think no because, they are learning that will good behavior, work ethic, whatever the situation is that there is a reward at the end. Something to look forward to. I think it is all inhow a parent uses that thecniqe.

    Answer by anikahaynes1 at 2:28 AM on Oct. 23, 2010

  • I'm with you. I don't like bribing, or giving our kids the expectation that they deserve "stuff" for being good. PrIse works well for us, and we buy him things when he needs them, and sometimes when he wants them. He behaves at the store and when we're out in public, and when he doesn't, it's usually our fault because he's overtired, so we try to remove him fromthe situation and get him to sleep. Kids are raised to expect way too much these days. We try not to overdo it on the praise, either, for the sake of him expecting THAT for every little thing he does right. But when he's been a good kid, we try to remember to say something about how proud we are him and his good behavior.

    Answer by musicpisces at 2:31 AM on Oct. 23, 2010

  • You are right. Sometimes desperation makes you do the wrong thing.

    Answer by tootoobusy at 7:17 AM on Oct. 23, 2010

  • Absolutely. Giving children the idea that they are to be "rewarded" for acceptable behavior? When really acceptable behavior should be just that - what is acceptable and expected? Yes, that is setting a child up to believe that rewards are external - not internal. They don't learn to do well because it allows them to feel good or be proud, they do it because the "get" something. And in doing this, we do more than just set them up with an entitlement-minded attitude - this actually undermines self-esteem and self identity.

    Answer by aliceinalgonac at 9:12 AM on Oct. 23, 2010

  • Yes they come to believe that they don't have to do anything they want unless it involves them getting something they want in return.

    Answer by QandA at 9:20 AM on Oct. 23, 2010

  • My son gets things when he earns them going to school is his job so while he does that and keeps his grades respectable he gets if he behaves badly he gets nothing there are no bribes to try better either he does and he gets or like work he does not get paid at all or move up .

    Answer by pinkdragon36 at 9:36 AM on Oct. 23, 2010

  • reward systems fail in the end

    Answer by chica679 at 11:41 AM on Oct. 23, 2010

  • I think a lot of parents do this.  We don't normally reward our kids for doing stuff.  We don't even offer an allowance for doing things around the house because I sure don't get paid to do dishes and laundry so why should they?  It's part of being the household to keep it clean.

    We do, occasionally, give them a treat if they've been super helpful but they are taught to NOT expect that.  It's always a surprise for helping out and is usually totally random.

    I will say I was at the store yesterday with my 4yo and she kept throwing a fit because she was lagging behind and messing with the baby.  I wanted to get a donut but felt she wasn't behaving enough to get one so I told her if she behaved the rest of the trip she could have one.  That was probably the 1st time I've ever said anything like that to my kids and my oldest is 10.


    Answer by justanotherjen at 11:56 AM on Oct. 23, 2010

  • I will not reward my son with "stuff" for good behavior. He is to assist us around the house because he is a member of our family and lives in our home. NEVER do I use food as a reward. How unhealthy. Instead I notice he cleaned his plate or did a good job eating and I say very brightly, "Let's go outside to play." Not a bribe, not a good job, not a reward for doing what we expected him to do. Yes we do treats every once in a rare while. But it is unexpected and just because. Eventually he will get an allowance for doing extra chores around the home when he is older. Not for the typical things that we expect him to do every day. An allowance will give him the opportunity to manage money and experience what it also means to miss out on a toy or opportunity due to no money.  But mostly we are so busy riding bikes, hiking, and doing family activities there is no room for more "stuff."


    Answer by frogdawg at 2:57 PM on Oct. 23, 2010

  • We do use rewards chart here becasue thats what our behavious analyst has suggeted we do. Our older 2 are on the spectrum and need constatn direction,praise,stimulation ect to be able to control impulses and learn acceptable behaviour. Thats us though, Im not sure if they were "" So called normal"" wether we would use a chart or not. We make them work hard for rewards and do not just give them random things but have designed a box of special stuff that they can work towards. We rarely use food or treats like that and even more rarely Bribe them or wahtever you want to call it to behave. They know whats expected of them and if they do not handle themselves the right way they mis sout.

    Answer by mamallamaof2 at 4:07 PM on Oct. 23, 2010

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