Abby 5/23

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“Not a real reg”

Since: Jan 13

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#1
May 23, 2013
 
DEAR ABBY: I was surprised to see you equate a concerned grandmother's creative solution to smoking with bribery in your Feb. 14 column. The word "bribe" has a negative connotation. What the grandmother did was offer an incentive, not a bribe, that will benefit her grandchildren in the long run. I think the woman should be congratulated.

Now for a disclaimer: When my daughter was 14, I came up with the same idea in the form of a wager. I bet her that if she could resist peer pressure and not become a smoker by the time she was 21, I would buy her the dress of her dreams. To my delight, she won the bet. By then she was studying to become a marine biologist, so instead of a dress, the money went toward a wetsuit.

At 43, she's still a nonsmoker and she has now made that same bet with her children. It's the best money I ever spent.-- RETIRED CLINICAL SOCIAL WORKER

DEAR R.C.S.W.: Oh me, oh my, did I get clobbered for my response to that letter. Out of the hundreds of letters and emails received, only one person agreed with me. The rest were smokin' mad. Read on:

DEAR ABBY: In my many years as a school psychologist, I have counseled hundreds of parents and teachers about dealing with behavioral issues in children. I often make the distinction between a "bribe" and a "reward" by describing a bribe as something you give someone to do something dishonest, while a reward is given for doing something commendable. What she did was reward their good choice in not developing a potentially fatal habit.-- OLD-SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGIST

DEAR ABBY: When you give someone money for something that has already been completed, it's a paycheck and not a bribe. It was pointed out to me that few of us would continue to go to work if we weren't paid for it, and those grandchildren were being paid for "work" that was already completed. It's an important distinction that may be helpful for parents and other adults to understand.-- FORMER SCHOOL PRINCIPAL

DEAR ABBY: I disagree with your answer! What that grandmother did was reward her grandchildren, not bribe them. A lot of pressure is put on teens, and it takes considerable willpower and maturity to avoid some of these temptations.

At 16 or 17, it is hard for them to imagine being over 30, and none of them can imagine being 60 or 70 with lung disease. Hooray for grandparents who can help them avoid adopting a life-threatening habit in any way they can!-- GRANDMOTHER IN IOWA

DEAR ABBY: I told my son I would give him $1,000 at the age of 21 if he didn't smoke. It wasn't bribery. It was a great tool to combat peer pressure. Whenever he was offered a cigarette, he could simply say he had a better offer. Not only did it work, the other kids were envious.-- MICHIGAN MOM

DEAR ABBY: My pre-teen daughter was devastated when her maternal grandfather died from the effects of emphysema. In spite of it, she took up smoking in her teens. We threatened her, grounded her, took away privileges, even tried guilt trips. Nothing worked. Her choice to smoke was influenced by her peer group.

I would have mortgaged our home, sold our possessions and borrowed money from the bank if I thought I could have altered her choice by bribing her. By the way, she has been diagnosed with pre-cancerous cells, but even this hasn't been enough to cause her to quit.-- WOULD HAVE DONE ANYTHING

Since: Jan 10

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#2
May 23, 2013
 

Judged:

1

"At 43 she is still a nonsmoker." Well, duh. If a person doesn't start smoking by age 18-21, they're most likely never going to.

L2:
Cass

Upland, CA

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#3
May 23, 2013
 
Oh, what a bore.

“Fort Kickass”

Since: Sep 09

Bloomington, IL

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#4
May 23, 2013
 
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
"At 43 she is still a nonsmoker." Well, duh. If a person doesn't start smoking by age 18-21, they're most likely never going to.
L2:
Aw, but I was totally going to take it up. All the cool kids are doing it.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

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#5
May 23, 2013
 
Actually I like the distinction, but really did not need to read it 5 times.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

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#6
May 23, 2013
 
Bribe, reward
tomayto, tomahto
let's call the whole thing off

Since: Jan 10

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#7
May 23, 2013
 
RACE wrote:
Actually I like the distinction, but really did not need to read it 5 times.
Exactly.

Since: Jan 10

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#8
May 23, 2013
 
My friend said they made a mistake last night and said to their 2.5yo: "If you eat all of your supper, you can have a cookie for dessert." Then she refused to eat her supper and demanded a cookie, which of course she did not get, and threw tantrums all night long. He said from now on, they won't use that as an incentive, just as a surprise reward.

“Fort Kickass”

Since: Sep 09

Bloomington, IL

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#9
May 23, 2013
 
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
My friend said they made a mistake last night and said to their 2.5yo: "If you eat all of your supper, you can have a cookie for dessert." Then she refused to eat her supper and demanded a cookie, which of course she did not get, and threw tantrums all night long. He said from now on, they won't use that as an incentive, just as a surprise reward.
That's the logic my sister worked with her entire childhood. It was exhausting.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

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#10
May 23, 2013
 
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
My friend said they made a mistake last night and said to their 2.5yo: "If you eat all of your supper, you can have a cookie for dessert." Then she refused to eat her supper and demanded a cookie, which of course she did not get, and threw tantrums all night long. He said from now on, they won't use that as an incentive, just as a surprise reward.
cookie works for me. Jersey mike's, kids eat free wed. Samich. Drink. Cookie. You want cookie. Eat sammmich. You don't eat sammich, mom and dad eat cookie.

“Checks and Balances”

Since: Apr 13

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#11
May 23, 2013
 
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
My friend said they made a mistake last night and said to their 2.5yo: "If you eat all of your supper, you can have a cookie for dessert." Then she refused to eat her supper and demanded a cookie, which of course she did not get, and threw tantrums all night long. He said from now on, they won't use that as an incentive, just as a surprise reward.
We have learned to say that they will earn a prize if they reach whatever goal. Then we usually ask (after the goal is reached) what they think the prize is. They usually come up with something easier and less expensive than what we were thinking.

My idea of the ultimate prize is usually totally different than their idea.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

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#12
May 23, 2013
 
That is very clever!
ScarletandOlive wrote:
<quoted text>
We have learned to say that they will earn a prize if they reach whatever goal. Then we usually ask (after the goal is reached) what they think the prize is. They usually come up with something easier and less expensive than what we were thinking.
My idea of the ultimate prize is usually totally different than their idea.

Since: Jan 10

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#13
May 23, 2013
 
ScarletandOlive wrote:
<quoted text>
We have learned to say that they will earn a prize if they reach whatever goal. Then we usually ask (after the goal is reached) what they think the prize is. They usually come up with something easier and less expensive than what we were thinking.
My idea of the ultimate prize is usually totally different than their idea.
I just shared that with a mom friend.:)
Julie

Skokie, IL

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#14
May 23, 2013
 
'My pre-teen daughter was devastated when her maternal grandfather died from the effects of emphysema. In spite of it, she took up smoking in her teens. We threatened her, grounded her, took away privileges, even tried guilt trips. Nothing worked. Her choice to smoke was influenced by her peer group.

I would have mortgaged our home, sold our possessions and borrowed money from the bank if I thought I could have altered her choice by bribing her. By the way, she has been diagnosed with pre-cancerous cells, but even this hasn't been enough to cause her to quit.--

I'm sorry. Your daughter obviously wants to kill herself. Good luck to you.

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