I Bribe My Kids And I’m Not Ashamed to Admit it

bribe these

I love being a mom of two crazy kids. You already know they’re my whole world. But having them 21 months apart is both a blessing and a curse. The blessing is that they can be the best of friends in the future and now they are on similar wavelengths and levels on so many things. The curse is all the: whining, fighting, complaining, competing, hitting, sleep avoidance, hunger strikes, “No”s … let me just stop here because the list could go on forever.

I’ve learned that as a mom we start doing things we say we’d never do. The anti-TV mom gives the kids screen-time all day. The strictly clean-eating mom gives fast food burgers more often than not…. you get the point.

My Never was that I would never have my kids running the show….

Can we say…FAIL!

These children know they have so much power. It’s ridiculous. They straight up play me. (Exhibit A) One part of parenting I always saw on TV but never thought would be a reality in my own life is: Bribery. I figured my kids would whine and fuss and I’d just find sly mommy ways to trick em into doing what I want them to….. Because I’m the grown up of course… I run the show right?



I have to bribe those children sometimes….and I’m not even ashamed to admit it.

So now I find myself saying things like “If you do X you can do Y” and I don’t even blink an eye. I’m all about the end results… by any means necessary. So if I have to give you a few chocolate covered raisins for you to sit down, be quiet and eat… I’m going to do it.

Luckily… my kids are as quirky as their mama…. and I bribe them in the most odd ways.

roey brushes

I have said…probably 8 to 10 times this week alone: “If you ____, I’ll let you go brush teeth!” to which I received loud “YAYs” and squeals of joy from my little nuggets….followed by impeccable behavior until tooth-brushing time.

I have no idea why they enjoy brushing their teeth so much, but I’m guessing it has something to do with Elmo and Thomas on their Orajel toothpaste tubes. (Which they insist on holding tightly in one fist while they brush with the other hand.) We also use light-up tooth brushes so that adds to the fun factor.

The kids also will really fall in line quickly for bribes including play doh, the outdoors and the library… but brushing their teeth, closely followed by some sort of chocolate treat are the top bribes.

John has jumped on the bribery bandwagon. His go to is little chocolate candies…and glowsticks. Just the other day I heard a very distinct “If you ___ then you get ___.”…and suddenly our bathroom was a disco.

glowstick bribe

So bribery is now a family affair. I’m a little nervous that the kids are going to start acting out more often because they know a treat will come from it… so we may have to change our tactic eventually… but for now.. with my toddler and preschooler we’re going to keep the bribery alive. I just hope they continue to love brushing their teeth as a treat!

Do you bribe your kids?

I’m excited to partner with Orajel™ as a Smilehood ambassador for 2016. Orajel is one of the most trusted brands of pain relief and oral care solutions for babies and young children and we have used it exclusively for Rohan and Kaya from the teething tablets, to the finger toothbrush to the toothpastes they fight over. I’m joining forces with several moms to share about oral hygiene for out little ones as well as our experiences with the brand.

This post was sponsored by Orajel but you already know everything above is 100% me. Visit Orajel’s website to peep their extensive product line and get tips on keeping your children’s teeth healthy. (With or without bribery.)

brush ro


  1. says

    I mean, bribery is just part of motherhood. I usually threaten to put their toys in the frying pan, but hey, whatever works. We use Orajel, too–but they’re not as hype about it as your kids.

  2. says

    I bribe my kids all of the time and would proudly list that as a parenting skill! Gotta get creative sometimes.
    We’ve used Orajel since my girls were babies and they also really enjoy brushing time. I’ve never thought about bribing them with it, but I’m definitely not ruling it out as a possibility. Whatever works, right?

  3. says

    You already know I bribe my kids! The teen is bribed with money and just saying I’ll play outside with Mo is enough to get her to do anything. LOL

  4. MJ says

    How cute are these two? Listen, I bribe my kid. And when the baby gets older, I will bribe him too. I’ll take a bribe over insanity any day. My kid is simple, toothpaste, stickers, and a teeny tiny dumdum lollipop after her weekly swim lesson works every single time.

    Congrats on your ambassadorship. Orajel is a great one because toothpaste and what it cost! Plus cute and perfect for kids.

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