I'm going to let you in on a little secret. I'm a total bribing mom.
There I said it.
And you know what? It works.
When Jasper was 2, I bribed him with M&M's to use the portable potty chair instead of his diaper. Totally worked. So what if he needed a little extra encouragement? So what if he demanded 'poop chocolate' for a good 3 months after he had mastered the toilet. I promise you that 7 year old Jasper isn't shouting from the bathroom that he needs chocolate because he successful used the toilet. Was the 200ish M&M's worth it to stop having to A. buy diapers and B. stop wiping his butt? Totally. No regrets.
Tindra I didn't really have to bribe to use the toilet. She decided a few months before her 2nd birthday that she was over diapers and wanted 'big girl underwear' and that was that. No bribing necessary.
But I had to revisit my bribing stance in October/November when she decided to become a super picky eater. She wanted crackers and Mac n cheese and that was it. Oh and milk. Naturally, I got clever with my parenting and resorted to bribing. For every dinner (those were our toughest meals to get through) that she ate every bite on her plate, she got one piece of her halloween candy. After halloween candy ran out we switched it to her advent chocolate for December. And now? At the end of February? I DONT NEED TO BRIBE HER TO EAT HER CARROTS! I don't know what happened over the couple months of bribes, but she stopped expecting a treat after dinner, and she started to really really enjoy her carrots, green beans, really any vegetable I put on her plate. I can't remember the last time she didn't eat all of her dinner.
We have made a new 'rule' for the kids when making their meals. Half of their meals need to consist of fruits and veggies. And now half the time that's what they go for first. A few nights ago they had a slice of pizza, carrots and pear slices for dinner. Before Tindra had even touched her pizza she was asking for 'mo carrots and pears please'. I'll take that as a win.
Now WebMD tells me that apparently bribing can back fire. So apparently this isn't solid parenting advice. But for us? Bribing works!