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The Difference Between Rewards and Bribes

Updated: Sep 12

Feeling hesitant about offering rewards because you don't want to bribe your child?



When it comes to potty training children, I've found that offering rewards in the initial weeks gives them that tangible incentive to do it again and again. Some parents have reservations with this method, namely because they don't want to "bribe" their child. It's totally ok to feel that way, and I wholeheartedly agree that bribing is never a good thing! However, there is a difference between a bribe and a reward. A bribe is a cause, a reward is an effect. When you offer a child a bribe, you're doing it because YOU want something from them in that moment. Bribes are often thrown out in moments of desperation, and can give your child inappropriate leverage over a situation. On the other hand, a reward is offered in acknowledgement of your child's progress, and it empowers your child while you remain appropriately in control. See the difference?

Keep in mind that the type of reward you offer can be best suited to your child's natural desires (thus promoting success) and your own values. There are tangible and non-tangible, edible, and non-edible treats that will get your child excited to go on the potty! Not only that, but my method provides you with a clear path towards phasing out rewards entirely.



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the Potty Expert

Certified Potty Training Consultant