I’ve got two very different little boys. Ying and yang, I like to call them. Because even though they’re both Tauruses, share physical characteristics and have an intense dislike for the bad “b” word – bedtime – they really couldn’t be more dissimilar. Which I suppose is half the joy of raising more than one child; the varying array of quirks, conflicts and complex personalities that keep you on your toes. (And often, reaching for a bottle of wine.)
This year, with Reid being in school for the very first time (translation: freedom!) I’m once again reminded that he is very different from his older brother. Whereas Ryder will ALWAYS finish his entire lunch at school, Reid has an insurmountable decision-making process, known only to him, for what he will eat, and what will go untouched.
“Why didn’t you eat your sandwich?”
“It was too melty.”
“Why didn’t you finish your grapes?”
“They’re too round. I like them less round.”
“Why did you bring back your cookies?”
“They smell funny. Like someone has been breathing on them.”
Now I ask you, what does melty even mean?? And how does it relate to a pristine turkey sandwich?
Two weeks in, I was seriously beginning to wonder if he would ever get the hang of eating a school lunch. And then I remembered a key piece of armour – a strategic tactic, if you will – in the war against determined toddlers: The Bribe.
Please don’t look for The Bribe in parenting manuals. We are stoically told from the moment our children are born that thou shalt not bribe children to elicit a desired behaviour or outcome. To which I say, yeah, and my toddler was toilet trained in 3 days when I bribed him with a KINDER SURPRISE.
So, I did what any responsible parent would do: I told Reid that if he finished his lunch… within reason, of course… he would receive a KINDER SURPRISE as an after school treat. The first day, he attempted to call my bluff; returning with an almost full, untouched lunchbox. However, when I doled out one of those delicious chocolate eggs to his brother, and not him, he quickly revised his stance.
The next day, the lunchbox returned empty, with a note from his teacher that the meal was indeed ingested by a reward-seeking little boy.
I’m not afraid to admit that I use “treats”, “rewards”, “bribes” – you name it – to encourage a certain behaviour from my children. And I can feel good about rewarding them with KINDER SURPRISE – a milky, chocolaty treat with the iconic small toy that provides hours (often, days) of creative play.
(PSST! In stores for a very limited time this fall – Transformers and Disney Fairies KINDER SURPRISE eggs! There are 8 Transformers toys and 10 Disney Fairies toys available in specially marked packages. Collect them all!)
Tell Me: Do you offer your children incentives for good behaviour?
I’m a #KinderMom who is part of the KINDER® Canada influencer team; as part of my affiliation with KINDER® Canada, I am provided with special perks and products. All opinions are my own.