According to a survey conducted by Transparency International, 4% of New Zealanders have admitted to paying a bribe in the last 12 months.
We like to think we are a nation free from the taint of corruption, yet the survey shows that vice is on the increase.
I am one of those 4%. It shames me to say it, but offering bribes is a way of life. They’re my way of getting things done, of getting the wheels moving. There’s barely a day goes by without my offering an inducement to get things moving. I’ll probably get struck off as a lawyer for admitting this.
Whether it’s “if you eat all your dinner I’ll give you dessert”, or “if you sit on the potty I’ll give you a jellybean”, I simply can’t spend more than a few hours without offering someone a reward in return for them doing something they ought to be doing anyway.
And sometimes it’s cold, hard cash. “Make your bed every day this week and I’ll give you pocket money” is my latest strategy.
Threats and extortion are also grist to the mill for me. “If you don’t pick your toys up this instant there will be no bedtime stories!” is a useful threat when you need action to be taken quickly. Another one that is useful but which I’m not especially proud of is “If you don’t hurry up and put your shoes on we’ll stay home!”
It shames me to admit all of this, and yet I had be honest with you. I needed to get this off my chest.
Mind you, I’m surprised the figure is only 4%. How do other parents do it?