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When Parents Overuse Bribes in Parenting.

What are the upsides? 

Bribes can be a quick and effective way to motivate kids by offering rewards for good behavior or tasks. It helps set expectations and boundaries.  

What are the downsides? 

Relying too much on bribes children might start expecting a reward for everything they do. Which can make them less motivated to do things without a reward in return for that good deed.  

What’s the  impact on different age groups?

For a 3 year old, rewards can be helpful in reinforcing positive behavior and teaching basic concepts. For middle school students, this method can still be effective but become less and less effective over time due to intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. High school students are at that age where they start to develop a sense of independence, while rewards can be still used to acknowledge oneself accomplishments. This is the age where they are more focused on intrinsic motivation and helping themselves understand the long term benefits. 

What does it tell us about current society that this is so prevalent? 

When it comes to bribing children, it can reflect our society’s focus on immediate rewards and gratifications towards our actions. It shows how we sometimes prioritize short term gains over long-term values and lessons. It’s important to balance between teaching children values of hard work and discipline, while also providing them with positive reinforcements. And because our society lives in such a fast paced world where we are always looking for the “easy way” or shortcuts. It might also suggest that we value materialistic rewards over intrinsic motivation. 

Intrinsic vs extrinsic motivation. 

Intrinsic motivation is when you do something because you genuinely enjoy it or find it satisfying. It comes from within you and brings you joy or a sense of accomplishment. 

Extrinsic motivation , on the other hand, is when you do something for external reasons , like rewards or recognition. It’s when you’re motivated by the things outside of yourself like getting good grades in school or working a job to receive lots of money in some cases. In simple terms intrinsic motivation is about doing things because you love them , while extrinsic motivation is about doing things for external rewards or recognition. 

Bribes in a School Context

In the context of school and cell phone use, some teachers may resort to shortcuts to maintain a students behavior. Like candy or extra points on an assignment. However this approach may not teach the student any values that correlate to self-discipline and responsible decision making. At the same time , focusing on teaching responsible use of cell phones and setting expectations can help students develop long term skills and habits. It just depends on the balance of the two quantities 

The decision to bribe children is a personal one, influenced by various factors and circumstances, while it may provide short-term relief. It’s essential for parents to consider the potential negative consequences and focus on helping their child develop intrinsic motivation , responsibility and open communication with their children by doing this parents can help their children develop skills and values necessary for success in their personal, professional and social lives.

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