Disclaimer: I know that as the parent I have the final word on what my kids get and don’t get. I don’t like to take stuff away from my kids when it has been given to them as a reward. It just sucks being the bad guy all the time.
So, it seems that everywhere we go, someone is giving my kids a trinket or tasty treat. I am not talking about birthday or Christmas gifts, those are different. I am talking about stickers, candy, dollar store treasures, and popsicles. At the doctor’s office they get stickers, no matter who’s office visit it is. The dentist gives them all sorts of crazy prizes, toothbrushes, toothpaste and stickers. I understand the use of incentives, trust me. Am I the only one that feels like sometimes the kids don’t earn them? Yet, without fail, they are still getting them. In addition to voiding the effectiveness of the incentive, my kids now expect to get a treat every time they go anywhere.
About 2 months ago, I visited the local urgent care facility for an ear ache. During my 25 minute visit, Ethan got a popsicle and two stickers. He was already behaving well, they just said that he was cute. He is cute, but still.
I attended an appointment recently in which both of my children walked into the office and started peppering with the nurse with questions. Can I have a sticker? Do you have any candy? May I have a popsicle? Do you have any treats? How old are you? They were like verbal machine guns. I could see the nurses head start to spin. Before she could answer one question, they were on her with the next one. I was horrified. I considered hiding under the table, but that would have been pointless. The nurse saw me come in with these little vultures. When the kids finally stopped to catch their breaths, the nurse told them that if they were good they could both get stickers at the end of the appointment. As far as I am concerned, they shouldn’t have been rewarded with anything at that point, despite any further good behavior. However, they both waltzed out of the office with two stickers each. Did I mention that they were not the stickers that were offered to them? Both kids rejected the offerings by the nurse and requested that they pick their own stickers. Again, I found myself looking for a place to hide. With no luck in the hiding department, I just grabbed both and headed for the door.
I do not have bad kids, they are actually lovely and kind little people. However, they are starting to believe that they are entitled to these small prizes and treats every time we go anywhere.
Target – Sticker, Cookie at the bakery counter (we don’t let the kids have the cookies)
Doctor’s Office – Stickers
Allegerist – Skittles
Dentist Office – Toth brushing kit, stickers, two prize box goodies
Cub Foods – Cookie at the bakery counter (we don’t let the kids have the cookies)
Red Robin – Balloons
Urgent Care – Popsicle, stickers
Yard sale – picture book (yes, really)
Most restaurants have started discretely asking about desserts before bringing them out. I greatly appriciate that, since 95% of the time we don’t let the kids have them.
So if anyone out there is paying any attention, please stop giving my kids stuff unless they deserve it. They are becoming immune to the joy that these simple treats can offer.