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When To Give Your Kids Treats

| On 21, Sep 2013

All kids love treats and we, as parents, love to please our kids.  After all, making our kids happy is what it’s all about.  However, many parents worry about giving treats to the kids and there’s loads of conflicting advice on this subject.  Should you give treats sparingly so as not to ‘spoil’ the child?   Should you only give treats as a reward for good behaviour?  Should you go one step further and use treats as ‘bribes’ to get the kids to behave in the first place?  This really is up to individual families and the first thing to do is to define ‘treats’.

Redefine Treats

Treats don’t have to be expensive new toys and games or days out or experiences.  We can get into the habit of having small, daily treats which can promote a great atmosphere within the whole family.  If your family thinks of treats as regular little comforts, you can use treats to make your family a happy one.

Treats can just mean the nice things you do for each other as family members.  A couple of biscuits and a drink of milk at bedtime is an enjoyable experience (a daily treat, if you wish), followed by a bedtime story.  One small sweet in a lunchbox is a great daily surprise in school – it creates a connection between you and your child when you’re apart during the day.  A cool new gel pen stashed into their pencil case now and again, tuck a surprise bite-sized biscuit into a rucksack pocket in the morning or a cereal bar in a sports bag.  You get the idea – you know what your kids like and you just tailor the treats to their individual taste and age.  Treats don’t have to be expensive things you buy or do – just common sense treating each other in a loving manner.

Treat the Family

If you can teach your kids that treats don’t mean lots of sweets, pop and unhealthy junk food, treats can be good for the whole family.  Baking a cake together can be a weekend treat for everyone, especially if the family has a generally busy lifestyle.  A trip to the local park with sandwiches is a treat or a visit to a nearby swimming pool – these activities can be regular treats for all the family to enjoy quality time together and have fun.

Big Treats

Little treats are good news for kids and good news for families.  If you get your kids to appreciate the small things in life, they’ll be blown away when really spectacular or expensive treats are on the agenda now and again.  When you go on days out or on holiday, it’s fine to spend on more treats than usual if you can afford it.  You can explain that you’re buying more ice creams, fizzy drinks or junk food than usual as a convenient holiday treat, but that you’ll be back to your special treats when you get home.

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