While reward is a positive parenting tactic, bribery is a negative one and should be completely avoided. Here are four easy ways to differentiate between a reward and bribe.
Rewards are offered to recognise good behaviour. For example, if the child has done all the homework well or has cleaned his room nicely, you can reward the child.
However, a bribe is offered to stop bad behaviour. For example, if you tell your child to stop doing something and offer them chocolate, it is a bribe and not a reward.
Rewards can also be surprises. If you get your child some toys from the market just because they liked it, it can be a reward.
But if you buy them a toy because they are making a ruckus in the market, it will be a bribe.
If you feel happy and positive about giving your child a gift, it is a reward.
If you are giving your child something in stress and desperation because you don’t know what else to do, it is a bribe.
If your child feels happy and proud about receiving a gift, then it is a reward.
Giving a reward is a parent’s decision and is not negotiable.
On the other hand, if the child comes and tells you that I have cleaned a room and can give me extra screen time, it’s a bribe.