Monday, August 5, 2013

I want candy



No, I'm not talking about the hit song (although it's a good one). I'm referring to the phrase that my husband regularly gives in to when he's alone with our kids. For years, I have tried to understand why Daddy-in-Training feels the need to use sweet confections as rewards or bribes for good behavior. It seems as soon as I'm out of the picture (e.g. like this past weekend when I took a girls-only trip to Boston), reports of candy buying and giving immediately surface when I return. Well, how about using stickers instead? I have come to a couple of realizations: 1.) Candy was given and eaten frequently when my husband was growing up. 2.) It's a quick (albeit unhealthy) way to bribe my children to sit still for two minutes.

I have talked with Daddy-in-Training 'til I'm blue in the face about how much I dislike candy in general, but especially for our kids. Yes, a lollypop or a few M&ms here and there won't hurt. However, as far as I can tell, nothing good comes from using candy as an incentive for good behavior. First, bribes don't work. Furthermore, not only might it lead to ill health and rotten teeth, but it may actually cause worse behavior once the initial sugar-high wears off. In fact, British researchers conducted a study a few years ago that found candy-eating kids may turn violent as adults! Can't say I'm surprised.

As much as I wish my hubby would back away from the candy giving, I've decided at least to try to compromise. Here's a list of some "healthier" substitutions I'd like him to consider:

-berries with homemade whipped cream (preferably sweetened with Agave, but I won't go crazy if it's not used)
-sugar free popsicles
-sugar free lollypops
-a couple pieces of dark chocolate
-fruit dipped (not dunked) in chocolate
-yogurt covered raisins or pretzels (although these still can be high in sugar)

I'm not looking to ban all treats, but I also don't want our kids to grow up thinking candy is a staple in our house. Here's to hoping hubby meets me half-way.

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