Do you bribe your children?

The Sweet Life – by anonymous

Disclaimer: The following is complete silliness. If you don’t enjoy it, keep it to yourself! Remember, as it says in Pirkei Avos: a fence for wisdom is silence.

Bribery with sugar to get children to do things. It’s a beautiful concept. I employed it all the time in my obligatory teaching days. Some might consider it a corruption of sorts. I think it leads to entrepreneurial thinking. I know those children I taught will look back years later, and implement my methods when they’re big business execs or even better, mommies and Rabbis. When they need to motivate their employees or kids, I know they’ll be pulling out the sour sticks.

Dentists and nutritionists might be against using candy as a bribe, but I really think the benefits outweigh the cost in the end. For example, candy makes kids move faster- the better to run to do a mitzvah! It is also a known fact that candy increases the appetite. This is especially important for males who will face compulsory drinking on Purim, Simchas Torah etc, and therefore will need a stocky frame to keep all that liquor down.

Combining speed and appetite, we have very efficient children on our hands. Think about it. Many times I have had this experience in shul at Kiddush: You have actually managed to get through the crowd to that crock pot, but alas, it’s down to scrapings and a serving spoon covered in dried cholent goodness. Why? Because those darned candied-up kids are just too fast! And why are they candied-up? Because whoever was running the Shabbos program was stocked with nutty chews. Those things are so freakin’ addictive. Which brings me to yet another virtue of “candy bribery”. Preserving the faith with candy. This is not a chidush (new concept) on my part. It has been said many times before, that if a child associates Torah and Mitzvahs with sweetness, then he will keep to the path his entire life. Clearly candy is the solution for those who have gone off the derech- they probably just didn’t get enough sweets when they were kids. (There are those who were bribed with fear- often a less effective tool than glucose.) Bring them back with a little chocolate!

The more I ponder this subject, the more merits I can see in using sugar to bribe children. It can strengthen one’s personal connection with G-d. If you go through the frum educational system, even with mediocre standing, you will have consumed enough sugary delights that by the time you’re 25 you will be praying to G-d to restore your rotted teeth! Ah, how sweet youth was! Also, this provides an opportunity to help a fellow Jew. Remember that dentist? Dr. Rothstein? That’s right. Well now he has a flourishing practice- baruch Hashem!

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