Myth: Bribing your child is always a bad idea.
Truth: Bribing a child is almost always a bad idea. But if you avoid it 98 percent of the time, it can serve you well for those 2 percent of situations in which decent behavior is nonnegotiable. If, for instance, you really, really need your 5-year-old to sit still during your sister's wedding, there's no harm in promising that you'll buy him a Dragon Ball Z doll at the end of the day, Dr. Wolf says.
So why not use this more often? Practically speaking, bribery costs money, and it also loses its effectiveness pretty rapidly, Dr. Wolf says. Moreover, you'll no doubt want to avoid the message it sends: that you don't have to behave like a civilized human being unless there's something in it for you.