We’ve all done it … but these parents have a cautionary tale when cutting deals with kids. When a dad on Reddit revealed his preschooler’s upsetting deal-cutting skills, other parents cheered in solidarity and shared their own tales of bargain torment.
“Never gamble what you aren’t willing to lose,” Reddit user Drunk_monk37 titled his post. “I know it’s tempting, but you shouldn’t offer your kids sweet things to complete tasks. The little monster immediately cleaned his room and I had to share my cake with him.”
Other parents were quick to chime in, warning against making deals with people who didn’t understand what deals could possibly even be.
“I used to do the deal thing too,” user boxidea posted ominously. “Then one day my four-year-old pulls this out: ‘Well daddy, I took your deal and I changed it. I will not clean up the markers and still get a cookie. That’s the new deal.’ OK, Darth Vader.”
Working the system
One parent said you have to be really careful when offering deals or bribes – because kids are whip-smart and will quickly learn how to make shivs, hide mobile phones in loose vents and generally work the system.
“I bribed my toddler with ‘candy’ (fruit snacks) to take her antibiotics,” Reddit user oh_ya_you_betcha posted. “For dayyyyyys after she was done with the meds, she’d come up to me and say ‘mecine?’ I asked her if she had an owie and she says ‘no, candy’. “
Another commenter noted that small children not only work they system, they become the system if you let them.
Listen to Kinderling Conversation:
“I used to always say, ‘I’ll make you a deal’ to my son,” PotatoKingMom warned, “and then go on to say if you do this, you can have this. Then my son started saying that to me when I would ask him do something. ‘Buddy please clean up your room.’ ‘Okay, mama, I’ll make you a deal…’ I had to clear up who is the dealmaker real quick. And I also stopped doing that.”
One parent was not here for your judgement – and another took deals to a sort of side-show next level:
“I’m potty training my kid with Hershey kisses. DONT JUDGE ME, he’s my fourth and he’s three and I’m done with fuc*ing diapers already,” RawketLeeg wrote.
“By the time we got to the last one,” twinkie45 concurred, “we taped a bunch of random candy and dollar store toys to the bathroom wall. If he pooped in the potty he could choose his prize. My prize was never buying or changing another diaper and I was more than willing to bribe my way across the finish line.”
As a parent who toilet-trained two children with spoons full of ice-cream as a reward, I support this sort of deal-making wholeheartedly.
This post originally appeared on Babyology.
A parent’s guide to toilet training
Tips for the trickly process.
Robin Barker’s thoughts on potty training
Robin Barker is the acclaimed author of parenting guides The Mighty Toddler and Baby Love.
Ten tips to toilet train your toddler
If you're having a wee problem getting your toddler out of nappies, check out Chris Minogue's tips for turning the tide.
"Give us both six weeks" – the sweet open letter every new parent needs to read
Spoiler alert: it's from the point of view of your baby.
To the father of my children, here's what I don’t tell you enough
Kids change things, but you're still my big love.
Meet the artist who turns all your kid's drawings into one work of art
What a great idea! Who would love one of these on their wall?
12 annoying things my mum said that I swore I’d never use
But oh how times change...
The fascinating way birth order affects our children’s personality
Is this true in your family?