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Is it okay to bribe my toddler with candy?

I'm tempted to give my toddler candy so he behaves. Is this a good idea?

Re:

I'm tempted to give my toddler candy so he behaves. Is this a good idea?

The Bump Expert

The American Academy of Pediatrics says no. “If you position candy as the ultimate goal in your child’s mind, then it can be detrimental or cause a reward relationship with food. If it’s part of the reward process, it can be healthy and effective,” explains Jessica Kim, mom of two and CEO and founder of BabbaCo. So instead of saying, “Go potty and you’ll get candy,” say, “Go potty like a big boy!” You can still give him candy if he does. That way, candy isn’t the goal, but it’s part of the process. (Remember, the candy shouldn't be anything he can choke on -- and brush his teeth well that night.)

Before you use candy as a reward, figure out what motivates your child and what his interests are. Some good non-candy rewards are stickers, small erasers or pencils, or beads (if your child is old enough).

Plus, more from The Bump:

5 Wacky Parenting Methods -- That Work!

Biggest Toddler Challenges Solved

How to Tame a Tantrum

The Bump Editors

Is it okay to bribe my toddler with candy?

For potty training I found that a sticker book worked wonders, make sure you get a variety of stickers and let them choose which one goes in the book. My daughter actually started making scenes from her books with her stickers!

CindyBrimmer |

Is it okay to bribe my toddler with candy?

Im about to hand out stickers myself for my child. I dont allow her to have candy, soda or anything unnecessary for her UNLESS its a special occasion she can have a little (but not candy or soda just cake no frosting).

mommylaughs |

Is it okay to bribe my toddler with candy?

It's absolutely not OK, I've done it and I can tell you the child will expect a reward every time he does something he knows it pleases you. I gave mine many candies and he started to want more and more. At some point I was asking myself if should buy a gingerbread house kit for him. That was the moment I realized I had gone too far with this and I stopped.

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