When her little boy's sweet tooth spiraled out of control, writer Tamara Reese opted for a less-expected "punishment" than the typical lecture in healthy eating or time-out. Instead, she went with the philosophy of "Too much of a good thing is . . . too much." After several days in a row of dealing with her son sneaking sweets behind her back, Reese took action, then chronicled her story on Kveller.com. Reese writes:
My blood was boiling. Lying and sneakiness makes me bananapants crazy. But lectures, warnings, and punishment have gotten me nowhere (don't even get me started about the positive parenting sticker chart and the bazillion "good behavior prizes" rotting in our closet). All I could think to myself was, "I give up." And then I thought, GIVE UP. Just GIVE UP. And I replied, "You're in luck! I know how much you like to eat treats, so today you are having cake for breakfast!
I served him a huge slice of cake and rummaged through the pantry for the box of sno-cap candies I had been hiding. I dumped them on the plate next to the cake. He looked at the bounty with wide eyes and said, "Can I have M&Ms too?" Sure! I found a bag of M&Ms, and tossed those in too. He ate every last bit of it. For lunch, he had a chocolate pudding cup and the remainder of the sno-caps. For dinner, he had a cupcake, two giant scoops of ice cream, and sugar cookies.
Can you guess what happened next? The 4-year-old eyed his brother's dinner of chicken, cucumbers, and cantaloupe with envy and told his mom that not only was he still hungry, but also that he felt like his teeth were going to fall out. Lesson learned.
"I have no doubt he will sneak treats again, but I proved to him that I can stand by my word. He learned a lesson, at least for the day, that I can remind him of when he sneaks food again," Reese wrote.
While his reputation as the boy who ate candy and ice cream for an entire day may precede him among the playground set, there's no doubt that Reese got her message across. What do you think? Would you try this approach on your junk-food-loving kids?