Dear Abby

Dear Abby: Money spent to keep kids from smoking is no bribe

 

Dear Abby: I was surprised to see you equate a concerned grandmother’s creative solution to smoking with bribery in your Feb. 14 column. The word “bribe” has a negative connotation. What the grandmother did was offer an incentive, NOT a bribe, that will benefit her grandchildren in the long run. I think the woman should be congratulated.

Now for a disclaimer: When my daughter was 14, I came up with the same idea in the form of a wager. I bet her that if she could resist peer pressure and not become a smoker by the time she was 21, I would buy her the dress of her dreams. To my delight, she won the bet. By then she was studying to become a marine biologist, so instead of a dress, the money went toward a wetsuit.

At 43, she’s still a nonsmoker and she has now made that same bet with her children. It’s the best money I ever spent.

Retired Clinical Social Worker

Oh me, oh my, did I get clobbered for my response to that letter. Read on:

Dear Abby: In my many years as a school psychologist, I have counseled hundreds of parents and teachers about dealing with behavioral issues in children. I often make the distinction between a “bribe” and a “reward” by describing a bribe as something you give someone to do something dishonest, while a reward is given for doing something commendable. What she did was reward their good choice.

Old-School Psychologist

Dear Abby: When you give someone money for something that has already been completed, it’s a paycheck and not a bribe. It was pointed out to me that few of us would continue to go to work if we weren’t paid for it, and those grandchildren were being paid for “work” that was already completed. It’s an important distinction that may be helpful for parents and other adults to understand.

Former School Principal

Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

Read more Lifestyle stories from the Miami Herald

  • Cook’s Corner

    Cook’s Corner: Behold the new colors of Easter eggs

    Radiant Orchid, Pantone Color Institute’s color of the year, not only is the hot spring fashion color, but it has made its way into the Easter egg parade. Forget the pastels of yesteryear; what’s trending now are vivid colors. McCormick developed these formulas for making vibrant dyes.

  •  
Linda Bladholm

    A Fork on the Road

    A Fork on the Road: Choices Cafe gives vegans plenty of flavor

    In a sign of the times, a small vegan café has opened a larger outpost, offering meatless burgers, wraps, soups and salads. Choices Cafe doubles as a juice bar with cold-pressed fruit and vegetable juices and innovative smoothies such as the Miami Heat with mango, jalapeño, lime, plantain, ground flax and chia seeds and agave.

  • The Edgy Veggie

    Edgy Veggie: Eggless ‘Egg Salad’

    This must be the egg industry’s favorite time of the year. There’s Easter eggs, egg-rich Easter cakes and cookies, Easter brunch omelets, casseroles and eggs Benedict (eggs atop English muffins and in the Hollandaise sauce). Eggs also play a big part at Passover. They’re on the Seder plate and in matzo balls, kugels and Passover desserts. Eggs, though, aren’t all they’re cracked up to be for cholesterol avoiders, allergic folk (eggs are among the top eight food allergens) and vegans. Plant-powered egg alternatives mean we still get a place at the holiday table.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category