Getting more yeses with less bribes (or threats)

January 23, 2013

If you haven’t read this NYTimes piece on bribery, its worth a read. As you may know I’m a huge Dr. Laura Markham of Aha Parenting fan and she also has a great read on bribery. We tend to fall into two camps when it comes to getting something done: bribery or threats. Neither seem to work very well and the Times article address perhaps long term damage from bribery. 

Whatever your stance (mine tends to fall under the if it should be done because thats what you do, then no bribe is necessary or warranted) But I agree with Dr. Laura when she says it should be a 50/50-Win/Win for both parties. One of the best ways both articles say to increase long term cooperation and increase happiness is to offer words of acknowledgment and encouragement. 

So here are 27 Encouraging words from Positive Parenting Solutions

-Thank you for your help!
-You should be proud of yourself!
-Look at your improvement!
-That “A” reflects a lot of hard work!
-You worked really hard to get this room clean!
-Thanks for helping set the table, that made a big difference.
-I noticed you were really patient with your little brother.
-What do you think about it?
-You seem to really enjoy science.
-Your hard work paid off!
-That’s a tough one, but you’ll figure it out.
-Look how far you’ve come!
-I trust your judgment.
-The time you’re putting into your homework is really paying off.
-I love being with you.
-You really put a smile on her face with your kind words!
-That’s coming along nicely!
-You really worked it out!
-That’s a very good observation.
-Thank you for your cooperation.
-I see a very thorough job!
-That’s what we call perseverance!
-I can tell you really care.
-You make it look easy!
-You’ve really got the hang of it!
-I can tell you spent a lot of time thinking this through.
-I really feel like a team when we work like this! 

Photo: Shutterstock