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Is it OK to 'bribe' your kids? Expert gives advice on the right way to incentivize kids: Mom Squad

Every parent finds themselves bartering with their kids for good behavior or help around the house. But is it healthy? An adolescent psychologist weighs in.

CLEVELAND — We all do it as parents: We bribe our kids. 

Whether it's M&M's for potty training or buying them something in return for good behavior, it always leaves parents asking, ‘Should I be doing this?’ 

In today's Mom Squad Pod podcast, 3News' Maureen Kyle talks to University Hospitals psychologist Dr. Filipe Amunategui about the right way to incentivize your kids.

“The principle here, we want to promote self-management in little people and as they get older, right? And we understand that whether we put thought of it or not, things happen on day-to-day basis that motivate us all to do stuff.”

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Dr. Amunategui recommends setting up a daily expectation of chores and responsibilities for your child. Before anything else, it’s important that they know what is expected of them. This will allow a healthy balance of reward and punishment, without having to bribe all the time.

“Also, not all incentives are created equal,” Amunategui says. “For example, let's say you want to incentivize academic effort achievement because a kid doesn't like it, doesn't come naturally. And you do like a lot of parents and say: ‘Look I'm going to give you x amount of money for y grade.’ Generally, what I've seen is that that does not motivate the child because it's too remote.”

To listen to the entire interview, you can download The Mom Squad Pod anywhere you get your podcasts.


Editor's note: Video in the player above was originally published in an unrelated Mom Squad article on Jan. 11, 2022.