My dilemma was not only about the sugar. It was about rewards, AKA bribes. I wanted my child to behave because I told her to not because she wanted a prize. That’s how I was raised. (Is it just me or is it harder to raise kids these days?)
I hesitate to offer bribes because I want my daughter to be prepared for the “real world”--where every effort doesn’t result in an instant reward. Besides, a donut may motivate her now, but as she gets older, she’ll demand more expensive prizes. I’d rather not go down that road.
But thanks to my husband, we were already there. I switched the after-tutoring treat to fruit smoothies, thinking they were healthier. Then on the way to get a smoothie in Kroger’s, my daughter spotted balloons. Another time, she wanted a potted flower instead. My husband had the nerve to complain that the rewards were growing in price. I balked, but secretly agreed. We were spiraling out of control.
I hate to admit, I was both disappointed and a little pleased when my daughter didn’t earn a reward one time. I was tired and wanted to get home for dinner. She apologized later for “letting me down” and I told her it was okay; she just needed to do her best next time.
Fortunately (or unfortunately--depending on how you look at it) my daughter’s good days outnumber her not-so-good ones. Neither my waistline nor my bank account can take much more of this, though. Someone please help me--I’m trapped between a donut and a smoothie!
YOUR TURN TO COMMENT: What rewards do you feel are appropriate for kids? Do you ever reward yourself?
**Treat yourself to a zero-calorie reward: A Sister's Promise or What Happiness Looks Like e-books are cheaper than a smoothie and they'll last longer than a donut.