10 Times It’s Totally Acceptable To Bribe Your Children

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I’m as conscious as the next parent of the fact that bribing in general is not really a great parenting tactic. It should be used sparingly and only when you’re all out of other options. It’s oviously not a good idea to teach your kids that their behavior should only be good if they are getting some kind of reward in return but sometimes, it cannot be helped. Over the many years you parent young children, there will be occasions where bribing is not only easier, it may be your only choice. Heading into my eighth year of motherhood, I can recall several such occurences and bribery will always have a special place in my little quiver of parenting tactics because sometimes, a mom’s gotta do what a mom’s gotta do:

1. When You Want To Poop Alone



Or shower. Or just have 10 minutes of peace. I would never condemn a parent at the end of their ever-fraying rope for handing their kids a bunch of snacks and slinking off to take care of business in sweet, sweet silence. If anyone ever judges you for that, send them to me. I have a mean right-hook.

2. At A Doctor’s Office



Sometimes, the wait is so long and there are only so many minutes you can spend reading the tattered picture books in the waiting room and encouraging your kids not to open all the drawers in the exam room. Telling them if they behave, they can play Angry Birds on your phone for a few minutes is completely ok.

3. When You’re On An Important Call

stop talking


I work from home and when my kids have a day off from school, I’m typically still working. If I have a video conference, I tell them they will have a special reward after I’m done if they stay downstairs and leave me to it. Unless they know they’re getting something, they will absentmindedly wander back up and annoy me. IT’S FOR MY CAREER, HUSH.

4. When You Need More Sleep



Giving my kids extra video game time in the early morning hours is a gift for us all. When I have more sleep, I’m a better parent. Everyone’s happy.

5. At Church

kid church


What would Jesus do? He would bribe your kids, of course! For some of you who go every week, this might not make sense but we only make cameos for baptisms and weddings so I have no reservations about promising a bag of Skittles to my kids for staying quiet and not climbing all over the pews.

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