Husband doesn't think he's bribing the kids...but just gave our 9 year old a dollar to empty the dishwasher this morning...
I'll try to keep this brief. About two years ago DH thought it was time for our oldest to start getting an allowance. I've always felt it was kind of dumb to give allowances. If a kid needs money, then parents are there to give them money if they deem it appropriate. However, DH said we should pay our daughter to do chores, and if she doesn't do them or half-does them she doesn't get part or all of her allowance. We disagreed for a while before I said, okay, let's give it a try. Naturally, it went the way I thought it would. It didn't bother her to not get paid for chores, she'd flat out refuse to do them and say "Well, you'll buy me the things I need anyway." So the allowance ended and chores continued with different consequences for not doing them.
Her chores consist of feeding and watering the pets every day (we have two dogs, two cats, two birds, and a tankful of fish), she scoops the kitty litter every day (except Saturday when DH or I completely change it out), and she empties the trash as needed. That's it. Well, this morning I was getting ready for the day and DH asked our daughter to empty the dishwasher and reload it with the breakfast dishes. She started doing it and then he gave her a dollar. When I came out of my bedroom I saw what she'd done and was praising her and thanking her and she holds up the dollar and says "Daddy gave me this for doing the dishes!"
My DH and I have talked and talked about this and he doesn't think it's bribing--he thinks it's rewarding our children for their good behavior. I strongly disagree. When our daughter goes above and beyond for me, I buy her a new book, he thinks this is bribing too. And maybe it is, but when I say above and beyond I don't mean doing one household task, like putting dishes away. I mean things like, one day I was extremely sick and when she got home from school she took her three little sisters into the kitchen, got them snacks and set them up at the table with crayons and coloring books and kept them entertained for two hours while I was either vomitting or feeling like I was going to. I got her a new book for that.
I just think it's sending the wrong message to our kids to pay them to help out around the house. But he's constantly bribing them with money or promises of taking them for ice cream if they do this or that. By the way, I did not take the dollar away from our oldest. So am I wrong? Is DH? Or is there actually a middle ground to be found here?