I have this ingrained idea that ice cream is THE definition of a reward. It stems from a lifetime of ice cream cones after winning (or losing) a softball game, getting good grades, served at every birthday party, etc. Needless to say, I have A LOT of positive associations with ice cream.
This has crept into my ideas about parenting and giving ice cream as a reward for good behavior and sometimes even a bribe for finishing vegetables…. yikes! The more I read about child nutrition I learned that I was giving my kids really confusing ideas about food.
“We don’t eat vegetables because they make us healthy, we eat them because we get ice cream.”
Here is a link to a great post by Child Nutrition Expert, Jill Castle, about this topic. I am now working intentionally not to use food as a reward. I am also dialoging with my children about what I like about healthy food and making connections to health.
“I like bananas because they are yellow and sweet. They give me energy to run and jump.”
Here is my recent success about getting Out of the Crap Trap:
- The Scene: At the doctor’s office for vaccinations
- The Crap Trap: I wanted to offer my son an ice cream cone if he stopped crying and cooperated with the Medical Assistant. Completely logical!
- Out of the Crap Trap: I resisted my urge to offer the ice cream probably 3 times in my mind. I finally said with a giant smile, “I will let you pick any park in the city and we’ll go play together.” He received his shots and we went to play later in the day when it warmed up outside. < big sigh of relief > When we went back a few weeks later for a booster-dose, he was very calm and asked about going to the park again. SWEET!
I know it is actual work to get out of the Crap Trap. Our culture of junk food makes healthy living extremely difficult. But we can do it! How have you escaped the Crap Trap this week?