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Just desserts

‘If you eat your vegetables, you can have dessert!’

 

 

Yes, bribing the kids usually works, but according to some researchers, including Dr Edward Deci, psychology professor at the University of Rochester in the US, the technique will backfire unless you’re prepared to offer the same reward every time. Use bribes sparingly, he suggests.

He also recommends trying a three-step alternative. Be clear about why what you’re asking them to do is important, and be interested in their point of view. And don’t use words like ‘should’, ‘must’ and ‘have to’. That just says you’re a big person trying to push a smaller person around.

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