Ok, you would think I knew better by now but old habits die hard! We are so programmed to associate treat (or toxic junk food rather) with rewards that it’s almost instinctual to react like Pavlov’s puppy! 🙁 Yesterday, my youngest slept in her bed ALL NIGHT and she skipped into the room the following morning beaming with pride at her accomplishment. I immediately smiled as a good mamma should and answered, ” Oh, honey, I’m so proud of you. I’ll have to give you a treat today!” Seriously, did I REALLY just say that?
Of course, her response was, “Yay! Can I have candy for breakfast?” Ugh! I realized that she assumed I meant candy, cookie, or ice cream and told her no. The look of sheer disappointment saddened my heart. I tried to regain control of the matter at hand and explained that treats aren’t only candy and toys, but can be a play date with a friends, alone time with mommy or daddy, choosing the movie we’re going to watch, going on a picnic, or other things. She settled for the play date option and her world was once again a better place…whew!
I realize that it takes AWHILE to undo our perspective and we truly need to renew our minds about food and how we “celebrate” with it. How many times have we worked hard and rewarded ourselves with a frappucino, cupcake, or other junk food and rationalized that we “deserved” it? Let’s break this cycle and look to other satisfying rewards for our children and ourselves. A reward is a positive thing and shouldn’t be done with anything that harms us!
What do you do as a special treat for yourself or your little ones that you would like to share?
Remember to keep it “real” – um, food that is!