How do i stop bribing my 4-year old?

Nikki - posted on 10/23/2014 ( 6 moms have responded )

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To get him to stay in bed, i'll tell him he can have a muffin in the morning. To get him to get in his car seat, i'll tell him he can watch a movie when we get home.

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Dove - posted on 10/23/2014

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lol 'Little Miss'... I hate bedtime.

Change your wording... and it changes from a bribe to a promise..

I know you don't want to go to bed, but the faster you go to sleep the faster it will be morning and you can have....

I know you don't want to get in your seat, but the sooner we get going the sooner we'll be done and can....

You can get the same results as w/ a bribe, but it's not technically a bribe. ;)

Sarah - posted on 10/23/2014

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The trouble with "bribes", is that you kids can easily up the ante. Now telling your son he can have a muffin for breakfast? I don't think that's a bribe, unless you would not normally eat muffins.
The car seat is another matter. He must sit in it, so if the movie doesn't get him in, then you might proceed to candy, toys, etc. I don't think kids ever need to be rewarded for expected behavior. Praise for obedience, consequences for disobedience.
I agree with the other suggestions of distraction; sing a crazy made up song about buckling up while you fasten him into the seat. If he pitches a fit, you won't be able to reason with him. So maybe talk to him about it before the next trip out. If those are your two biggest battles, I'd say you are doing just fine.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 10/23/2014

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I want to hang myself at bed time. Some days I think to myself I need to be drunk for this.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 10/23/2014

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LOL I was the 'mean mom'...never bribed. Told the boys what was expected, and they did it.

Bedtime was usually good in my house, but naptime was a bitch! I still didn't bribe, but would lay down in the bottom bunk with the youngest and tell a story...usually both were asleep within minutes with that.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 10/23/2014

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Just stop. Talk to him while he is getting in his car seat. Distract him. Or pick him up and put him in.

Bed time sucks.

Lots of different things you can do. Read to him in bed. Talk with him. Give him a time limit of five minutes that you will stay in bed and just talk. Count down the minutes til you have to leave so he knows what to expect. Let him have a book in bed after you leave. Some toys. Something to keep him distracted in bed, but that he can do quietly til he falls asleep.

It is really tough not to bribe. Once in a while I do it, and it can be really helpful, but I don't want to personally get into the habit of bribing in order to get my kids to do as they are told, or to do as they need to.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 10/23/2014

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So you follow through? telling LO that he can have a muffin for breakfast when he goes to bed, and following through...I don't see anything wrong with that, unless you're using bed as a tool to keep him out of your hair for no other reason than that you don't want him underfoot.

As far as the carseat, try explaining that he has to do it because it's the law, and that mommy would get in trouble if he doesn't. Be truthful. You'll find kids respond to that.

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