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That’s bribery that is!

Quite often, parents can become confused about when a “treat” given to a child with the intention of encouraging them to behave well (say on a supermarket trip) is a “Bribe” and when it a “Reward”.

Also, some parents feel awkward about giving their children a reward as they feel as they are bribing or coercing their children into behaving well.

The difference between a Bribe and a Reward is that a Bribe is given to a child before they have done what they are required to do (e.g. stay sat quietly in the supermarket trolley until return to the car after the shop is completed), while a Reward is only given to the child after they have done what they were required or told to do to earn the reward (i.e. they would receive the reward on return to the car, provided they had sat quietly in the trolley all the way round).

Clearly, bribing children is not recommended, as they have no incentive to behave well if they are given what they want, before the time they have to behave well.

10 ways to be a Positive Parent

We have a choice as a parents, whatever our circumstances and however challenging our children can sometimes be, to approach our parenting in a positive or negative way (recognising, of course, that we all sometimes have off-days, when it is difficult to feel at our most positive!)

Mountains of research and evidence shows that Positive Parenting results in better behaved children; happier children with better self-esteem; better achieving children; better parent-child relationships; happier, less stressed parents and far happier family life all-round.

Great! But how can you achieve positive parenting? Here are 10 key things we need to do as parents:

  1. Model positivity yourself. Be the very best role model you can be to your child, by what you say and what you do
  2. Establish positive values and rules in your family
  3. Always be ready to catch your children being good
  4. Give plenty of Effective Praise
  5. Reward your child – when reward has been appropriately earned
  6. Listen and talk to your child in a sensitive, thoughtful way. Take their views into account
  7.  Never smack or hit your child. Smacking is illegal and does not achieve positive outcomes, which positive parenting does!
  8. Adapt and tailor your approach to reflect your children’s personality, particular circumstances and the age of your child (see Positive Parenting at different ages)
  9. Keep things in perspective and retain a sense of humour
  10. Every day, seek to build your child’s Reserve of Self Esteem