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    Default Using food/sweets as incentives or rewards for "good" behaviour - what are your thoug

    Hi

    So as the title suggests - I'm curious to know people's thoughts on using food as rewards or incentives for "good" behaviour. For example - promising a sweet treat if a certain task is completed in a timely manner and when first requested.

    I have tended to consciously avoid doing this on any kind of regular basis as I have food issues and didn't want my children to have the same. But quite frankly in thinking now - jelly beans really are a five year olds currency... I'm so over the battles to get ready, or go to bed, or do a particular job and today "resorted" to offering a jelly bean on the proviso all their dinner was eaten and they got ready for bed quickly. That was all I said and not only did miss 5 eat her dinner she asked for seconds and then got ready for bed in record time and without being asked/reminded again.

    I'm aware it could well have been the novelty factor... But.. I have a few friends who reward or offer incentives like chocolates etc to motivate independent activities like get ready on time etc. I've tried stickers and stamps etc, but as I said chocolate and jelly beans are her current currency.

    What are your thoughts? Am I placing too much of my own (food) issues on to a simple strategy or am I correct in being hesitant to use food in a attempt to avoid future unhealthy dependency on it to feel like a job well done? Am I over thinking this just a little too much?

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    I do it.

    Fight the battles you can win. A smartie goes a long way in our house

    We do have regular discussions now that she is older about good food choices, about the food groups, having a balanced diet and having treats in moderation.

    She understands about those things fairly well, and has a pretty good attitude to food.

    She still likes getting a special treat as a prize though


    She does respond well to "special stickers" too. We currently have a chart similar to what they have at school - where she gets stickers, and after a certain amount of good behaviour it goes up to a lolly prize (though at school its a small prize like a pencil or something) ... which she really seems to respond to.

    Money works with her too. She earns her pocket money by doing her own chores, but can earn extra by helping me to stuff - and it works pretty well
    Last edited by BH-KatiesMum; 16-09-2013 at 23:18.

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    I don't, mainly as I don't ever want lollies or chocolate ect to be considered a treat or something to aspire to eat - to me it seems like acknowledging that normal food is not good or boring? But that's just my opinion and I only have 1 child who is a great eater so I have never had that problem ( yet!)

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    Occasionally I do. Not often, but if I'm out and about I'd rather buy a freddo frog than a $25 toy to reward good behavior at the shops.

    With 2 very spirited boys sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elijahs Mum View Post
    I don't, mainly as I don't ever want lollies or chocolate ect to be considered a treat or something to aspire to eat - to me it seems like acknowledging that normal food is not good or boring? But that's just my opinion and I only have 1 child who is a great eater so I have never had that problem ( yet!)
    Yes! That was my worry.. I "reward" myself with "unhealthy" food options and didn't want to perpetuate that in my kids!

    Having said that I'm reassured the occasional sweet treat isn't going to create binge eaters! *paranoid much*

    Thanks all so much for your perspectives and tips. I think in my efforts to avoid unhealthy food obsessions I've gone to the extreme and made them so much of a rarity that she becomes obsessed with getting some. So will do anything for it - which defeats my original purpose! *face palm*! Lol

    I tried stickers etc but think I made it too complicated to earn rewards so need to make it more instantaneous. A week is a long time for a little kid. *rolls eyes at my own rigidity*

    Anyways thanks again for your reassurances a middle road is what I need. :-)

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    It's so hard to know what's right, isn't it?
    Who wouldn't prefer a melt-in-your moulth piece of chocolate over a piece of apple?!
    My Ds has received 3 party lolly bags over the last month, it's hard to avoid the topic.
    I don't use them as a reward, however if he really wants a lolly, I will usually say 'after lunch' if it's coming up to that time, or if he has actually eaten lunch then I'll just let him have one.
    Talking about the nutrients in food is really important so children understand why fruit/veggies etc are top priority. My ds only turned 4, so it's all about 'muscles growing big strong', 'growing taller' and we start talking about protein, calcium and vitamins helping.
    I usually say lollies etc won't help his muscles grow and too much might make his teeth black! (I don't say 'fall out' as this will happen anyway!)
    In saying all this, my ds has a sweet tooth,so the lolly jar is kept high and out of sight/reach!

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    When it comes to parenting, my motto is...whatever works.

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    We always have the lolly jar full, it works for my boys, they never ask for a lolly, they understand that they get one if I catch them being good, so it's not a 'if you do this, you'll get that' kinda thing. It works for them, really rewards good behavior and therefore encourages it.

    SD3 is different, a lolly fixes EVERYTHING! When she gets an owie "lolly fix it" If she can't have her dummy, then she wants a lolly instead. If we ask her to do something like brush hair, pick up toys etc she says "then I can have a lolly?" The other treat she loves are the mini lemonade ice blocks, sometimes she has 3 in one day wish I could lock the freezer!.... I do feel it's not working the way it should with her. I have talked to SO about it and suggest we don't buy lollies or ice blocks for awhile till SD learns not to expect them so much.. but he said b/c he only has her a day and a half per week.. he doesn't think it's such a bad thing. For now, i'm leaving the issue alone, it's his DD, but when she asks me for a lolly, I tell her she needs to ask Dad.

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    Lollies and chocolate just taste better than brocolli or beans and even if you don't give them as rewards a kids going to figure it out.
    As long as your child is eating a well balanced diet, I don't see the harm in it. I was always given treats as rewards as a kid and I'm a very healthy eater.

    The way I see it, if the promise of a small treat (occasionally, not every night) gets my kid to eat a plate full of food he normally wouldn't (he's pretty good with dinner) then so be it.

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    I don't think there is anything wrong with it, as long as they aren't getting a bag of lollies everyday!

    My DS is a great eater always has been, but I have started using lolly reward for tt. He gets a sticker for sitting on toilet but if he actually does something he gets lots of praise and a lolly.

    But as for "desert" he has a yoghurt so i also give healthy food as treats as well. He loves blueberries, strawberries or watermelon. I guess just relax a little, if they don't have any when they go to friends and are offered some they will go crazy and overload on them? I have seen this with friends children?

    I guess it's all about moderation.

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