Parenting, Goals and A Princess Bike

by Carrie with Children with 6 comments

It was a big weekend at our house.  Besides the 4th of July holiday, Maggie received a very special present – a ‘big kid’ bike!  And not just any bike….it’s a princess bike.  Maggie is in heaven!

In order to earn the bike, she had to reach a few goals and it was a great motivation for her. She couldn’t be more proud and excited about her new wheels.

Maggie's Big Girl Bike

Setting Goals or A Bribe?

We’ve been struggling for months with getting Maggie to wear ‘big kid’ underwear overnight with no accidents.  We’ve tried everything – bed mats, pull-ups and while they all worked for us – we’ve still had the occasional accidents.

Plus, each night about 3 a.m., she always wakes up and makes her way to our room to sleep in our bed.  No one has been sleeping well and it’s made our ‘big kid’ underwear transition even more difficult.

So, we decided to give her a goal and a reward for meeting that goal. If she could sleep in her own bed, all night with no accidents for five nights in a row – she could have the princess bike she’s been eyeing at the store.

Maggie's New Princess Bike

We thought for sure that it would take awhile to break her of the bad habits and that we had some time before the bike came home with us.  But, imagine our surprise – this past week she did it without even missing a night!  She did it – five nights in a row!

It was such a great day on Friday to see her little eyes light up over her new princess bike.  It didn’t take her long to get used to the training wheels – she was cruising around the driveway in no time!

Maggie Day Two Princess Bike

Your Thoughts?

What are your thoughts on giving toddlers goals and rewarding them with items?  Do you consider it bribing? Honestly, part of me kind of does – but she understands that there are goals and when you meet those goals, you get rewards.

I’m guessing it’s probably a hot topic for parents..

Are goals/rewards for toddlers considering bribing? 


  • Annie @ Mama Dweeb

    Congrats to your big girl!! that is NOT a bribe. How many times do we as adults set ourselves goal and then reward ourselves for goals achieved? Drinks after work for surviving a week…..Not buying that new dress until you drop that last 10 lbs or at least give up soda for an entire month…..we all do it and it is healthy 🙂

    I say – way to go mama!!!

  • Jessica @FoundtheMarbles

    I agree with Annie. I think of bribing (when it comes to kids) as being more blatant. And I like the way you phrased it as a difference between bribing and goal setting. Great question!

  • Beeb

    OMG how adorable is that bike and the little lamb in the front! Good for her! I don’t have kids, so I’m totally unqualified here, LOL. I think that, done correctly, there is nothing wrong with an incentive for meeting goals – my opinion is that children learn adult skills (Working for our goals in business, etc) by what is modeled in childhood. And you have to do what YOU think is right since no two families or children are alike! 🙂

  • Kayla Rice

    I think that is awesome. I love the way you phrased it with her. She looks so happy on her princess bike.

  • Melissa

    Yay Maggie! I just love the pictures! I’m big on setting up rewards {bribing} for Hayden but I think of it more as goal setting! 🙂

  • Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell

    I think that’s totally fine. I’m not really a fan of rewarding with food, but something like this is totally cool! Yay for her successes!!!