Don’t reach for the Goldfish!
“You can have ice cream if you finish all your homework.”
“I’ll give you a lollipop if you sit in the dentist chair.”
“We will stop at McDonald’s on the way home if you behave in the car.”
Do these sound familiar? Let’s face it, these are sweet bribes or sweet treats as rewards for good behavior, but what message does it send your kids?
Many moms struggle with this reward system on a daily basis. You’re trying to navigate the waters of parenting tips as best you can. At times, it feels impossible when the temper tantrums begin. You pull a lollipop out of your bag handing it over to your little one in the hope to soothe his sorrows and bring about a better disposition.
But is this a good practice?
According to Science Daily, “Parents who use very overly controlling feeding practices with their children, such as using food as a reward or a treat, could be unintentionally teaching their children to rely on food to deal with their emotions. These children may be more likely to ’emotionally eat’ later in childhood.”
The University of Rochester Medical Center Health Encyclopedia also found that “offering treats as rewards can also lead to cavities and weight gain. When sweets or chips are given as a reward, they may become more appealing. This leads children to develop a preference for them instead of healthier foods with nutritional value.”
You may be second-guessing the food as reward idea just about now. Childhood obesity in America is at an all-time high.
If food has always been your go to and you now think that maybe you should try something new, you’re headed in the right direction.
Children are surprisingly easy to please. Primarily, they want what all adults want — good relationships with their parents and siblings and positive reinforcement for achieved goals. They like to be rewarded based on merit.
Kids love rewards for their good behavior and achievements. What can you offer them besides sweet or “unhealthy” treats as alternatives to bribes or…