The jury is out on the wisdom (or foolishness) of paying children allowances and plying them with gifts and special privileges for doing basic chores and getting good grades—stuff they should be doing without expecting a reward.
Regardless, if you’re not opposed to bribing your child—or you simply love taking advantage of food freebies—you might want to consider participating in National Bribe Your Child Week.
The new event was created by the Great American Cookies chain, which is encouraging parents to make kids pledge in writing (download the form here) to do something good this week—say, brush their teeth or clean their rooms without being asked. In exchange for their promise of “pledging to help” in some which way, kids will be thanked (or bribed, as the company would have it) with a free regular chocolate chip cookie when presenting the form. The promotion runs through Saturday, August 15, so get your bribery contract in order soon.
Word to the wise: Get your kid to complete his or her end of the bargain before (not after) the free cookie has been consumed. There are roughly 300 Great American Cookies stores around the country, most located inside malls.
By the way, according to a survey of parents conducted for Great American Cookies, 94% said that they have rewarded (or bribed, if you will) kids for good behavior. And the top tasks handled by kids that have prompted rewards were getting good grades and finishing chores, named, respectively, by 60% and 66% of parents.