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?
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Updated February 28, 2017
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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).

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