All loving parents want the best for their children, to be encouraging of everything that works in their best interest. Despite having good intentions, sometimes the strategy that some parents use to encourage good habits can unintentionally do quite the opposite.
Growing up, have your parents ever told you that… if you eat your vegetables they will reward you with treats? You may even be one of those parents who are currently making the same promise to your child. The treats are always something unhealthy, maybe ice cream or some kind of unhealthy snack.
There are two major issues with doing this; firstly, it is never a good idea to reward someone with anything that is bad or destructive for doing something that is good or constructive. It is bad practice, counterproductive, confusing and also highly illogical.
Secondly, people like to be rewarded because a reward is a symbol of completion, achievement, and payment. The means of achieving a reward will never be appreciated or loved as the reward itself. By making junk food the reward is psychologically damaging to the mind of any child. It will not only cause them to place the junk food above the healthy food, they will also look at eating healthy as an inconvenient responsibility, regardless of you telling them that it is good for them. The only reward that should be promised for eating healthy is the health it offers to the body.
It is also necessary, in this regard, for the duty to have the same source as the reward. If the duty was to eat a piece of vegetable (for example) then the reward must also come from the vegetable, not something else and definitely not something unhealthy. By teaching the child that the reward comes from the vegetable itself will make them appreciate it more, which will also make them be more encouraged to eat it.