Keiki Talk: Bribes are bad, rewards are good

Every second Friday, we chat with psychologist Dr. Suzanne Gelb, about keiki and the ohana.  Today’s Keiki Talk is:  Why bribing your child with treats doesn’t work.
She says it’s not uncommon for parents to offer their children a reward to get them to behave or do something. For instance, If you tidy you room, then I’ll take you to the movies. But these are not rewards — these are bribes!


Dr. Gelb says bribery is not an effective parenting technique because the child always wants something for behaving well.


A reward, on the other hand, doesn’t reward being responsible, and she says it’s OK to reward extra effort.


Lastly, it’s very important you become a good role model when teaching kids to behave responsibly. “You need to lead by example, and show them behaving responsibly makes us feel confident and successful,” says Dr. Gelb.


For more information on this and other keiki topics, visit

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