The Do Good Bucket

The mother of all chores at our house is getting the youngest children to do their chores.  Sometimes it can get so bad that the whole house falls apart in tantrums and disagreement, and the older kids and parents end up doing the chores for the younger kids anyway!  Not good.

Enter, “The Do Good Bucket”!  My husband’s parenting works on bribery, and though I usually disagree with this tactic, his latest idea seems to be going quite well.  A simple pail filled with small toys such as Play-Doh packs, pencils, those hand towels that begin as squares and when you drop them in water they expand to their cute graphic towel form, and an occasional piece of candy serves as the reward for doing household chores, getting dressed in the morning, or behaving appropriately through such-and-such event.  If the kids “do good”, they get to pick an item from The Do Good Bucket.

If past attempts are an indication of how long this good thing will last, we can bet it’ll fade before the snow.  After a while they catch on to the idea that they are being taken advantage of, and lose interest in the rewards.  But, for now, I’m happy to be on the lookout for small toys and trinkets to keep The Do Good Bucket well-stocked!

What are your thoughts on this form of bribe-centric parenting?  Does it reinforce negative long-term behavioral principles?  Or would you be satisfied with “whatever works”?  What are some of your techniques for getting your children to do their chores and behave appropriately?  I’d love to hear any suggestions!

About Lisa Simony

Hello, my name is Lisa Simony, aka MomStar, a Grand Forks, North Dakota, blogger and mother of three! I suppose I'm just another mom, surfing the stars of family, health, money and travel (when we can get away with it!) ... oh, and food (mmm, food)! I also blog at my siteThe Mama Lisa,
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3 Responses to The Do Good Bucket

  1. jimlindlauf says:

    I’ve had it explained by a child psychologist that a bribe is a payment intended to make someone do something they shouldn’t do. A reward is a payment intended to make someone do something they should do. I don’t call them bribes anymore after that explanation. I think rewards work great, although they need to change a little as the child grow older.

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