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how much is too much chocolate?

(14 Posts)
Catsdontcare Thu 28-Feb-13 09:44:19

Chocolate every day is too much.

MiaowTheCat Thu 28-Feb-13 09:42:13

Why don't you swap to stickers to save for a bigger reward now he's obviously getting the hang of it? Let him have some input into what it is - whether it's a small toy of whatever he's in to (something like a pack of cheap and cheerful toy cars might work for a selection of "carrots" - or a trip to soft play or wherever)... the chocolate obviously worked to get him on the right track initially - you could reduce that down to a couple of buttons and "oooh here's another sticker for your chart" (but keep the numbers of stickers required to something easily gettable to start with)... or pasta in a jar - anything like that.

drinkyourmilk Thu 28-Feb-13 06:38:21

I think it depends on how long you are going to do it for. A couple of months would be ok in my book, then start dropping the reward but still giving praise. A lifetime of chocolate each day isn't great.

anonymosity Thu 28-Feb-13 01:15:24

Some children are more sensitive to chocolate than others. My son might get excited by the prospect of eating a bit, but it barely effect him. My DD might have some dark chocolate and get immediately hyper and have a dash to the loo.

But I would be careful I too don't think rewarding with food is going to be good in the longer term. I would try to break that habit (yours) now, if at all possible.

clabsyqueen Wed 27-Feb-13 22:23:45

I don't think daily chocolate is a problem in small amounts but as a reward for good behaviour it's not a good long term strategy. You need to wean him off the need for an extrinsic reward for good behaviour - he needs to want to feel pride in himself for prides sake not chocolates sake. Your words, your approval, your very public boasting about his great behaviour and effort to family members need to be his drivers. Easier said than done but its worth thinking ahead now because it has been shown that using rewards as you are has a detrimental effect on motivation ie if there's no choc in it then why should he behave? The usual approach to weaning children off these things is to move the goalposts slowly e.g he needs to be good for 2 days to get his reward rather than 1 day. Why he says? Because you're getting so good at doing the right thing you don't need a reward to remind you every day. Tough when you've chosen chocolate as you might be out for a special occasion and want to give him some anyway. I would replace choc with stickers but 5 stickers = doing something really fun. Means that chocolate can go back to being a source of nutrition (ahem) rather than a value laden food item. Phew. Epic post.

merrymouse Wed 27-Feb-13 22:18:19

Also, I think 'good behaviour at nursery' is a bit vague. If he doesn't get a good report there may have been contributing factors that were beyond his control, and if he does get a good report, it may be that his key worker is just glossing over what happened during the day.

It might be a bit confusing for him.

pipsqueaky Wed 27-Feb-13 22:18:16

guess I could just give him the chocolate at other times and not mention that it is for being a good boy. Am more worried about the amount he is having each day. Is a small amount too much? He is a very thin active child btw

exoticfruits Wed 27-Feb-13 22:15:27

Nothing wrong in having a small amount everyday but I wouldn't associate food with rewards.

merrymouse Wed 27-Feb-13 22:15:10

Well, back in 1976, when I was in reception we got one smartie for eating our school dinner (including gristle). Could you just give him one chocolate button?

However, I think rewards work better as a short term motivator to improve specific behaviour e.g. many people use stickers/smarties for potty training, but you don't continue to reward your child once they can use the potty because then it isn't a reward anymore. It's just a snack.

pipsqueaky Wed 27-Feb-13 22:08:20

I knew it would but really just wondered how much other people give their DCs. DS is a big fan of chocolate and it seemed like a good way of making him behave, just didn't expect him to turn into such a well behaved boy expecting his reward every day!! I eat chocolate every day but am not sure I want DS to and my friends seem to be split in opinion - some give numerous treats while others won't allow their DCs any. Would like to point out that our diet is otherwise excellent, he hates junk food like fishfingers and chips(strange) and loves vegetables and fruit.
Stickers don't really cut the mustard I'm afraid, we tried that one!

clabsyqueen Wed 27-Feb-13 21:35:06

See! Already caused a stir!

Wolfiefan Wed 27-Feb-13 21:32:48

Use stickers?
Chocolate for being good? Really?

clabsyqueen Wed 27-Feb-13 21:31:12

Ooo I'm betting this topic divides the field right down the middle. Food should never be a reward etc... I personally eat chocolate every single day (not as a reward mind - i get it even if I've been naughty) so don't mind if my LO does either so if you want to keep going with the choc for good behaviour then I would buy small treats that mean he isn't getting too much, something as small as the bags of foil covered mini Easter eggs if you know the ones I mean. Ultimately though you should really kick this method of reward as it will only be counterproductive in the long run.

pipsqueaky Wed 27-Feb-13 20:51:32

I have been rewarding my 3.5 year old DS with chocolate when he is well behaved at nursery, until recently he tended to only get a good report a couple of days a week so that was 2 treats a week (small packet of buttons or freddo bar). Recently his behaviour has been excellent so I am having to reward him every day but is that too much chocolate? If he has this I don't also give cake/biscuits at home, just fruit/yoghurt. I want to encourage this good behaviour by rewarding him but don't want to be in the habit of having chocolate every day

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