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Terrible Twos: Over 80% of us bribe our kids!

We have all done it…usually in the middle of a shopping aisle as your kid, who has a serious case of the terrible twos syndrome, kicks off in full few of the disapprovingly lady with Manolo shoes, perfectly coiffured hair, and not a snotty kid in sight…

Now we all know, that we are NOT ALONE.

In fact, in a recent survey that we did here on KiddyCharts, a staggering 83% of parents admit to bribing their kids. That’s a hell of a lot of sweets and chocolates to go around!

We have written about this on KiddyCharts before; we are a firm believer in rewards, otherwise why would we bother with the products alongside this blog? However, rewards and bribes are very different things. Sometimes kids are just happy with a bit more of your time; they don’t need a nice shiny new toy.

Most importantly, bribery occurs in the throws of the tantrum, as a manipulation to get the screaming to stop NOW. We just want a little bit of peace from the fighting, the arguing, or whatever it is that is currently driving you up the proverbial wall.

Its this we should try and avoid if we can as kids get savvy and know if they kick up a fuss, we back down. I know that we all succumb sometimes though ;-) We are, after all, human. Remember though, over half of those we surveyed said that it only works some of the time anyway!

So, just perform this little check to yourself whenever you are faced with a childzilla moment with your toddlers…

  1. Am I calm?
  2. Is my child calm?
  3. Am I offering this as a means to placate?
  4. Am I desperate?

Answer yes to these, and you really are bribing not rewarding. Ignore the bad, and praise the good – this can be much the better way to reward good behaviour. Lets try and avoid joining the 66% of parents that bribe with sweets and chocolates if we can – though the odd choccy button so you can get that trip to the loo in – that might be worth it!

Our lovely infographic helps give you some tips as well as showing some of the results of the survey in a fun way…we hope you like it! Do share it if you do :-)

Terrible Two: temper tantrum infographic

Helen is a mum to two, social media consultant, and website editor; and this site is (we think) the only Social Enterprise parenting magazine! Since giving up being a business analyst when juggling travel, work and kids proved too complicated, she founded KiddyCharts so she could be with her kids, and use those grey cells at the same time. KiddyCharts has reach of over 1.1million across social and the site. The blog works with big family brands (including travel) to help promote their services, as well as offering free resources to parents of kids under 10. It gives 51%+ profits to Reverence for Life, who fund a number of important initiatives in Africa, including bringing running water and basic equipment to a school in Tanzania. Helen has worked as a digital marketing consultant (IDM qualified) with various organisations, including Channel Mum, Truprint, Talk to Mums, and Micro Scooters. She loves to be creative in the brand campaigns she works on. Get in touch TODAY!

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Kirsty Hornblow

Friday 27th of September 2013

I am definitely guilty of bribery but I know at some point my little one is going to have to learn that life is tough and your own satisfaction is the reward.

Mrs Fox

Thursday 26th of September 2013

I admit it I bribe. But I do also use reward charts and they seem to work for longer term goals like potty training, good behaviour over the holidays etc. But, I admit that in the supermarket I am more likely to reach for the "treats", my children consider fruit to be a treat tho so it's not too unhealthy for them.


Friday 13th of September 2013

i admit. i do bribe my 4 year old sometimes too...

Mum of One

Friday 13th of September 2013

Oh my word, that graphic of the adult marching through the door with kid over the shoulder could so be me. Good to know I am not alone.

Sonya Cisco

Thursday 12th of September 2013

I give Syd a bag of grapes on the way into the supermarket, keeps him busy while I shop, better for him than chocolate (although he still gets plenty of that too....) and also by giving it to him before he gets bored or starts tantruming it means I am not rewarding bad behaviour. Works so far, tho believe me, I am not above bribery, I have used that tactic plenty of times throughout my three kids!

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