Okay parents, fess up.
Your 2-year-old is shrieking in the produce aisle so you promise him a chocolate bar. Your 9-year-old is grumbling about math homework, so you hint that there might be an iTunes gift card in his future.
All those parenting books warn moms and dads that such actions are a bad idea - that bribing only teaches kids to be motivated for the wrong reasons. But, sometimes, a dose of works righteousness is just so very easy.
Consider the case of a South Carolina mom who was fed up with her daughter's Facebook obsession. The deal she made? If her daughter, who is attending university, would stay off Facebook and Twitter for one month, mom would fork over $300.
It seems Alyssa Rushing, the teen in question, had been logging on several times a day, distracting her from her studies. "I didn't know I was truly addicted," she said in a report. She did not say whether $300 would prove a high enough incentive to resist updating her friend requests.
For her mom, perhaps it was a more simple calculation: $300 is a lot cheaper than all those potentially wasted tuition payments.
Of course, we all hope we'll be past bribing our kids by the time they get to university, but what do you think? Is it ever all right to bribe children? Have you done it? (And really, doesn't the occasional chocolate bar, promised in a moment of desperation, seem like a small price to pay for dodging those judging stares when your daughter's throwing a grade-A temper tantrum?)