Treats for kids

I question whether I treat my kids too often. I’m sure a lot of parents do.

In our house right now, we’re living by the Halloween Candy Rule that dictates that for the first one-week period following Halloween Night and the festivities of Trick or Treating, you can have a portion of your candy following every meal, including breakfast. (OK, so maybe I made that rule up, but still, it’s a rule in our house.)

But outside of that candy rule, there are other treats. Like a drink and a doughnut at the mall once all the shopping is done (providing you were a well-behaved child throughout the errand running).

And if you cleaned up all your toys every time Mommy or Daddy asked for a week, Mommy or Daddy (your choice) will play a game with you even if we’re too busy to take a break and play a game. (This is a great treat for my kids, and me too, because it means a break from work and my older kid realizes how special it is when Mom or Dad take a break from chores and focus on her for a while.)

But sometimes I wonder if I’m “treating” my kids too much instead of just expecting them to lend a hand and do their part as members of this family. I’ve been known to call everything a “special treat” if it means I can convince my kids to do something. (Like: If you put away all your toys, I’ll treat you to some candy, some time with Mom, a special book, etc.)

And with the recent Halloween festivities, I use my kids’ candy as a bribe an incentive to motivate them. But the non-candy treats (time with mom or dad, a special book, a game, a movie, etc.) have lost their shine. All my kids want is candy.

I know it will pass. It’s just a phase. In the meantime, it’s sugar city at my house.


13 thoughts on “Treats for kids

  1. dusterbed

    It doesn’t sound to me like you’re going overboard at all. I say, if it works – do it! Sometimes kids need key words like “special treat” to make them think that they are getting something extra 🙂

  2. on thehomefrontandbeyond

    I think you are doing just fine–if you are worried about it, then that means you are cognisant (sp?-why don’t comments have spell check) of it and therefore not guilty of it–that is my opinion and I am sticking to it–just like Halloween toffee

  3. keepingitreal

    I do things a little different in my home. My kids call me “sugar cop.” They know mommy is tough when it comes to dishing out treats. In fact, I am so concerned about the adverse effects of sugar that my kids only got a few pieces of candy on Halloween night. I hid their buckets immediately after.

    As for the “non-candy” treats, I absolutely love this method. I am a firm believer that kids need our presence more than actual presents. Great post!

  4. shoes

    I am all about my kids eating massive amounts of their Halloween candy for a couple days, just to get rid of the stuff. I would rather have a couple days of sugar-high kids than weeks of whining and begging for just one more piece of candy. Lucky for me, most of the candy they don’t like, so while they “eat” 10 pieces, really more than half of it goes into the trash. Plus with the Switch Witch idea, it culls the candy quantity down that much more.

    I like the non food treats you use, just the fact that they want to spend time with us and share their play with us is awesome, but when that becomes a treat, even better! 🙂

    1. Nancy Post author

      I agree; a couple days of sugar-high kids sure beats the endless whining for weeks on end when they know there is still candy somewhere in the house. I’ve never heard of the Switch Witch. What’s that?

      1. shoes

        The Switch Witch comes late in the night after Halloween. She takes the candy that the kids leave out on the front porch step and replaces it with a special toy. In our case, the boys took all the candy they did not want and put it in bowls. In the morning those bowls contained a container of glow stick bracelets and an LED light up ring in place of the candy. It is a nice way to reduce the candy. 🙂

  5. Lin

    I’ll give you $100 to let your kids be kids and eat their halloween candy. Dont be a control monger where it doesnt matter. Let them have fun. Control them on things that matter like self control, morals,
    There’s a difference between treating kids for behavior and justifying buying toys from them. There’s a saying “Kids don’t want your presents, they want your presence”. Too many working parents bride their kids and dont discipline them where it matters because they work. I dont think a treat here and there is bad, but if you’re rewarding for every little thing, beware…they turn into teens with a hand out for free cash.

    1. Nancy Post author

      Very good points. Thanks for reading and speaking your mind. You’ve given me some food for thought about the way I parent and the way I would like to parent.


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