jetsetgreen

Friday, November 20, 2009

Reds Are The Best


I received a phone call while out with some friends.

"I bought something for the house," Other Half said very seriously.

"Oh. OK," I try to keep calm.

"And about half of it is already gone," He responds, more seriously.

"OK..."

"It's an 89 cent package of Skittles. We're about 44 cents out at this point."

I start laughing.

Other Half has a system on Saturdays. The boys go do a specific task, pick up their rooms or put away all the toys in the play room, and they each get 2 Skittles. They rush up and down to finish chores since every completed one earns them 1-3 candies. The children think this is the most awesome thing ever on the face of the planet. I have to admit: it works, it works like only a sugar-coated sugar drop could.

However, it smacks of bribery to me, sweet, Red 40 bribery. I think I may be morally opposed to using candy to get children to do their chores. Children should do their chores the normal way--with threats and punishments hanging over their heads--and they should be grateful to have parents who recognize the value of hard work for the sake of hard work. But Skittles also work, really well.

It is really bribery if the candy is earned?

Or am I calling a spade a club and we're digging ourselves a hole that tastes like the rainbow? Guide me, Internets!

31 comments:

rookie cookie said...

Bribe it up.

I use anything that will stop my mouthy 4 year old from talking back to me. It's been particularly bad lately.

BowlerGirl said...

This is a system I think I will implement once my kid is old enough to do chores. Nice work as far as I'm concerned....whatever gets the job done!

Kristen said...

Sadly, as parents, we sometimes have to use whatever means possible to get our kids to do what we want. I'm sure Skittles are a happier way to get to that point than some alternatives. Just hope this method doesn't grow into having to use brightly colored iPods and cell phones when they get older. ;)

Cyndi said...

Eh, you do whatever works and keeps the peace in your family. I have to wonder when their bargaining power will kick in and they'll be demanding higher wages. Four Skittles! Six Skittles! Will you be able to afford them?

Azúcar said...

Of course not, Kristen! They'll have regular silver or black iPods like the rest of us, and that's final.

Azúcar said...

Cyndi, their wages will not be pegged to inflation.

A Few Tacos Shy... said...

I have no problem with this system of exchange. They want candy, you want the house tidy. Win-win :-)

Cafe Johnsonia said...

EVERYONE does this. Everyone. If they say they don't, they are lying.

I'll tell you what, I'd give my kids just about anything they asked for as bribery to get them to all sleep through the night from 7 pm to 7 am.

(You know what else works well for cleaning up toys? Getting a big garbage bag and telling them everything is going to go to DI. That's sort of my last-ditch effort if I'm out of bribes.)

undefined said...

Sometimes bribery is the only way to go. Plus, you could say you're sort of teaching them to earn the things they want, which sort of isn't bribery.

I wonder what I'd have to do to earn a brightly-colored iPod. (Get your mind out of the gutter.)

Amy said...

I'd use this method if I could. Turns out my son is impervious to bribes. I have discovered no currency that works for him, so I have no leverage at all. Be grateful. Plus, you can ease your guilt by saying it's a dad thing, not you.

Fig said...

I disagree; purples are the best.

And I would clean your house for Skittles.

La Yen said...

No different than an allowance, I say.
And Jooj doesn't care about bribes. Screwed.

annie said...

life is just like this. there is nothing wrong with learning early that doing work will earn you wages. unless you're a stay-at-home mom....then the rewards are a little less tangible and immediate. but since it's unlikely that either of your boys will be mothers, they might as well be paid for doing a good job at work they do. plus, even God does this....the ultimate parent bribes us for everything He asks of us. Is there any sacrifice or commandment that doesn't involve a good feeling or eternal reward for doing a good job? i say no....don't stone me, Internet.

Sue said...

It's like allowance. Sugary, sugary allowance.

soybeanlover said...

It's bartering. They're learning work, and an important life skill at the same time. Seems like we always negotiate how much candy is consumed at out house.

Vanessa said...

oh if it works continue on.
nothing works at my house yet.
someday i will find what is their weakness and bribe the heck out of them.

b. said...

We have chores that they do just because they belong to a family.

And then there are the others that require us to fork over payment.

Aleksandra Robinson said...

Well it sure costs less than allowance! I mean, face it, pretty much all parents bribe. It's just most do it with allowance -- which kids spend on candy anyway. Less candy, less cost, it's a perfect solution.

Erin L said...

its only bribery if you give them the reward first. If they earn it, then its an incentive. Incentives are all over the place. Everything we do is because there is an incentive. Getting to Heaven is an incentive. When we help other people, it is because we enjoy the warm fuzzy feeling we get. Its not bribery.

Lizzy said...

I like to think of it as a "paycheck" We all work for our boss, do what the boss-man says to get our paycheck, why should it work any different with our kids? You're just teaching them the way the world works!

Apple said...

My mother says that bribery is used only to make people do BAD things.

When you want someone to do GOOD things (i.e. clean their rooms, go poo or pee on the potty, etc.), it is called an INCENTIVE!

So, you should take the word bribery out of your parental vocabulary and exchange it with "incentive".

noelle said...

anna ate a bag of marshmallows in sacrament meeting yesterday as a reward for whispering, so i am not one to judge.

fijiangirl said...

Whatever works is what I say. Just think later on in life they will be asking to borrow the car.. nope not until the room is clean. Is that bribery then? Then is our boss using bribery to get us to work... no work no pay check?

Rynell said...

Earn, bribe, incentive....it's all motivation. Sometimes sugary motivation is the best kind.

Viva La Fashion said...

its not bribery. its a paycheck, but in candy form. :D

and i think that reds are always the best tasting candy.

Kelly said...

I have 5 kids ranging from age 2 to 15 and I love this skittles idea. I have to admit that by the time they are teenagers nothing works like cold hard cash. I shamefully admit that I paid my 13 year old son to organize all our bins in the playroom (painfully sorting for about an hour).

yep- I'm out 25.00 but looking at the bins makes me so happy! I get a natural high from organization.

I figure if I pay a person to come in 2 times a month and clean the house I can hire my own kids sometimes too. As long as it's not a regular chore, I pay them.

Oh and yes- the reds are the best!

Jillybean said...

At our house we call it incentive.

Can I tell you how super impressed I am that you can get your kids to do something for 2 Skittles.

Azúcar said...

Jilly, that's because, contrary to what my mother thinks, my children do not get a lot of sweets and junk, so they will do ANYTHING to mainline sugar.

Natalie | The Bobby Pin said...

I remember getting cash for chores - I know some are morally opposed to that - but it was about "earning" money.

Skittles are cheaper than a quarter/dollar reward for a chore.

adorned with life said...

Hee hee. Jude would agree with you. Parenting is all about fear and shame, he says.

More importantly, I came to your commenting space to say: Nuh uh. Purple all the way.

Natasha.

Geo said...

All I know is Red 40 rules the universe.