Bribing small children

Small children are not always known for being cooperative. Many times the grownups have an agenda that just doesn’t jive with the small child’s. Convincing the small child to do the adult’s bidding takes cunning, patience, and bribery.

Our tiny granddaughter, just like her mother before her, is not always willing to get in her carseat when it’s time to travel. When Jennifer was tiny, the laws were not in place as they are now, and by the time she was four, she was riding in the front seat with me, sometimes even without a seatbelt. I know, horror of all horrors. How the child survived, I don’t know. But such is not the case now. Small children must be in a car seat up to certain pounds or height. I’ll let the parents stay informed on this and tell me when it’s time to go without the car seat, but for now, Leeya must be strapped in before the car rolls. The parents know this, the grandparents know this, but Leeya is often reluctant to get in that seat. That’s when the bribe comes out–bunnies.

Annie’s Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks are Leeya’s favorite car bribe. I carry them with me at all times when she is around.

“When I get my seat belt on, do I get bunnies?”

“Sure, but you have to be strapped in.”

Works like a charm.

Tiny grandson, on the other hand, is always ready to go. All he has to hear is the word GO and he runs to get his shoes and stands by the door. He gladly gets into his car seat because life is a big adventure and he’s up for any of it. He has gotten old enough to know, though, that his sister is getting a bribe, so he too gets one. Sometimes it’s a race to see who can get their bunnies first.

Is this good parenting? Probably not. But it’s excellent grandparenting. My grandchildren adore me. That’s all that matters. Oh, and that they get in their car seats when it’s time to go.


4 responses to “Bribing small children

  1. what a great idea, my daughter used to scream her head off after a little while in the car seat, guess she felt trapped.

    • The bunnies last for awhile, usually to get us a ways down the road. Leeya has gotten better about sitting in the car. It takes 3 hours to drive to our house so I have to keep a few tricks in my bag.

  2. What a great bribe! And everybody wins, it seems. It’s is interesting how different each child is from the other? 🙂

  3. Too funny! I especially love your last paragraph.

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