I said, “The dentist does NOT pass out candy!”
It got me thinking of what got him to the point that he expects treats for a “job well done.” I’ve thought of other things I’ve said:
“Eat one bite of your vegetables and you can have the cookie.”
“If you are good in the grocery store, I’ll get you a donut from the bakery.”
“OOHhh, your brother kicked you in the stomach? Do you want a snack?”
“Put your laundry away and I’ll let you pick a sucker from my candy box.”
What am I thinking! That is the exact opposite of what I want to teach my kids. So what are the alternatives:
- Reward kids with your time. Take them to the park, on a walk, read a story just you and him/her.
- Offer sugar free chewing gum during checkout at the grocery store.
- Have a stash of small prizes such as erasers, stickers, pencils, party favors, bouncy balls, etc. When your kids are doing something kind or when they do their chores without complaint, let them choose something.
- Help them learn to be internally motivated. They shouldn’t need external things to do the right thing. This is hard to teach, but if they learn it, then pat yourself on the back and get yourself some chocolate!