Me: If you finish eating those vegetables you can have a
My 5 year old: Oooh! What kind of treat?
Me: You'll see!
I'm sure my son was expecting a cupcake or a piece of candy or maybe even a small toy. But what he got was so much better. First of all, it was completely free. Plus, it not only causes no harm to the environment but it actually helps the earth. And it's something he'll never get tired of so I can use the same treat over and over again. Want to know what it I gave him?
My 5 year old: Mom! I'm done! I ate all my vegetables!
What's my treat?
Me: Time with me! You get to choose, an extra story at story time
or we can play a board game together.
My 5 year old: A game! A game! I want to play a game with
You would think I had just told him he could live in Toys R Us. We played 3 rounds of Mancala and had a great time together. Not only was it a treat for him but it was also a treat for me.
The next night, I offered the same deal and he gobbled up the foods he is usually very picky about for another game night with me. He did extra chores for a trip to the park with Daddy. And last night he ate a bowlful of rice (which he HATES) to be able to have craft time with me.
I know how tempting it is to use candy or toys to avoid tantrums or picky eating battles or all manner of parental woes. But ultimately, those things are entirely consumable. They will rot our children's teeth or occupy space in a landfill. But time, that's the most frugally green gift you can give--and it will last forever!