Does bribing work when it comes to your kids?

I remember trying everything to encourage my boys to “go potty”, including bribing coaxing them with the promise of a new toy.

Brandi Brenner promised to buy her 2-year-old daughter any present of her choice – the caveat? She’d have to have gone “poop on the potty” for a full month. Then, little Sophia would be treated to a toy during the family’s trip to Target.

Sophia excitedly picked out her “reward” – a doll.

“She kept going back to the doctor doll, because in her mind, she is already a doctor,” Benner said. “She loves giving checkups, and if you come in the house, she’ll tell you that’s the first thing you need.”

Sophia, who will be 3 in July, was so excited by her choice that she wouldn’t let go of her new doll until they reached the register to check out.

When Brandi, hubby Nick, and Sophia got to the register, the cashier asked if Sophia was going to a birthday party.

According to a Facebook post gone viral, the rude cashier continued and pointed to Sophia’s doll, asking if she bought it for a friend.

Nick and I told Sophia that after 1 whole month of going poop on the potty, she could pick out a special prize at…

Posted by Brandi Benner on Friday, March 31, 2017


“We both gave her a blank stare. She then pointed to the doll and asked Sophia if she picked her out for a friend. Sophia continued to stare blankly and I let the cashier know that she was a prize for Sophia being fully potty trained.”

“The woman gave me a puzzled look and turned to Sophia and asked, ‘Are you sure this is the doll you want, honey?’

Sophia finally found her voice and said, ‘Yes, please!’

The cashier replied, ‘But she doesn’t look like you. We have lots of other dolls that look more like you.’

“I immediately became angry, but before I could say anything, Sophia responded with, ‘Yes, she does. She’s a doctor like I’m a doctor. And I’m a pretty girl and she’s a pretty girl. See her pretty hair? And see her stethoscope?’

“Thankfully the cashier decided to drop the issue and just answer, ‘Oh, that’s nice.’”

“This experience just confirmed my belief that we aren’t born with the idea that color matters. Skin comes in different colors just like hair and eyes and every shade is beautiful.”

Benner posted an account of their experience Friday to her personal Facebook page and Instagram, where it then went viral. Most of the comments have been supportive messages from other mothers or people with similar experiences.

Research suggests that kids aren’t born with biases about race and gender. Kids of parents who have more diverse friends and live in a multi-racial environment show less racial bias than the children of parents who have less diverse friends and live in a mono-racial environment. This story is proof that racism is taught.

What do you think? The cashier was schooled by a two-year-old!


Maria Lianos-Carbone is the author of “Oh Baby! A Mom’s Self-Care Survival Guide for the First Year”, and publisher of, a leading lifestyle blog for women.

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