It's Not Bribing, It's CurrencyBeth Anne Ballance
My good friend and fellow working momma Brandy and I talk toddlers together on a daily basis, whether it’s on a walk or over email or during lunch. It’s wonderful having a friend who knows exactly what I’m going through with my own toddler and we bounce ideas off each other. We’d talk about how to get our toddlers to eat their vegetables, put on their coats, use the potty and Brandy was the first one in our group to coin the term “finding your toddler’s currency.”
Some call it bribery, but that’s a little bitter-tasting in the mouth, right?
It’s an age-old parenting tactic that most of us employ on a regular basis:
“You can’t have dessert until you eat your vegetables.”
“You can’t play video games until you finish your homework.”
“You can play outside once all of your chores are done.”
“You can have that toy when you bring home an A in English.”
Some people may sniff at this tactic as lazy parenting, but I think finding a child’s currency is genius – you get what you want, he gets what he wants. Bim, bam, thank you ma’am. For our family, we struggled mightily with potty training but once I brought his currency in – time to play Angry Birds – the power struggle ended & we had success. Personally, I think it works because it shares the control – the child can choose not to do it, but they will lose something they want badly. It brings out a level of age-appropriate personal responsibility (depending on the task and reward).
The hard part is finding the toddler’s currency. My suggestion? Pick something that is an activity, that he has easy and daily access to. Like a game on the iPad or bubble bath or Hershey Kiss after dinner.
And be ready to start all over again when his “currency” changes!
Do you use “currency” in your parenting? Does it work well? What is your toddler’s currency?
BA writes really cool stuff: