Treataholic: My Kid Wants Nothing But Treats
It’s kid crack. Noble can’t shake it. Poor Alistair is just as addicted.
If Noble goes too long without a treat, he starts to get massive withdrawals. In his case, these withdrawals manifest themselves in the form of crankiness, intolerable whining, blaming me for not caring, and he has even gone so far as to tell me that if I don’t give him chocolate milk, his body will die. And that, according to Noble, means that I want him to die. It’s always a joy to hear him mumble under his breath “guess you want me to die” as he defeatedly walks away.
Alistair, on the other hand, is only 22 months. He communicates his frustrations best by screaming at the top of his lungs. He also belts out choice phrases learned from big bro Noble, like “YOU’RE STUPID!” It’s a lot harder to deal with Alistair’s withdrawals in the moment, but on the flip side, it’s many times easier to handle the overall removal of treats. Out of sight, out of mind for Alistair…most of the time. Every once in awhile he’ll come screaming, “chocowit! chocowit!” (I would spell chocolate correctly, but then when you read it, it would just come across that my child speaks perfect english…and that’s just not true.) And if I don’t have something chocowitty waiting for him then, I can expect the vocal sirens of hell. Or as the scientists call it, a tantrum.
It’s really hard to keep treats away from the kids. Healthy alternatives rarely work. Because it’s so obviously a healthy alternative. Usually when I offer one, I feel like I’m the waiter at a snobby, upscale restaurant where everything gets sent back because it’s appallingly disgusting. When kids want a treat, they expect a treat. They know full well what is good enough to rot their teeth, and that’s what they want. No exceptions.
Here’s how I currently handle treats: As of right now, today, we are post-treataholic intervention. We remind our kids that we are not a treat house. We do not do treats, except for special occasions. And no, cleaning a room that you should already be cleaning, is not a special occasion. This has not eliminated the begging and pleading, but it has changed what they beg for. Whereas before it might have been chocolate milk, or a lollipop, now the “treats” are things like organic fruit strips or white corn puffs (pirates booty). They don’t actually ask for “organic” fruit strips, fyi. I just wrote that so you’d think that I was doing something healthy for my kids. They do say USDA Organic, though. So I should feel really great about that, right?
Your turn! Have you had a treat intervention with your child? How did it go? Did you get healthy alternatives to work? Recipe please. I’d love to get your opinion!