Sweet, sweet, summertime.
With the “rules” relaxed, it’s time to kick back, relax, slow down and enjoy.
Especially when it comes to food.
And if you have small children, I don’t have to tell you that allowing the occasional ice cream or sweet treat can quickly turn into a battle royale of whining and begging with you wishing that you’d never allowed it in the first place…
If you’ve ever found yourself in this situation, I’ve got two quick tips to help you through:
1. Involve your kids in boundary setting
If the occasional ice cream or popsicle is turning into constant demands for more, sit down with your kids and set some guidelines as to when treats can be expected. We did this in our family with ice cream. After bringing home a tub at the beginning of the summer, our kids were instantly hooked and began requesting it after every meal.
Ice cream Fridays.
Every Friday, we trek to our local Farmer’s Market after supper for a scoop of our fave flavour.
No more begging because they know when to expect their next treat, and as an added bonus we now have a summer family tradition we all enjoy.
2. Say “yes”
Since kids are generally a pretty determined bunch, they may *forget* about your mutually agreed upon routine.
And while it can be tempting to bend and give in to their requests, doing so only undermines the boundary you’ve set.
At the same time, outright denying it is often a first class ticket to tantrum town.
So what’s a parent to do?
Instead of shooting down their request, say “yes” instead.
“You want ice cream? Sure thing! We have ice cream on Fridays — only two more sleeps! What flavour are you going to get this time?”
You’re saying “yes” to their request while also reinforcing the boundary.
“You want a popsicle? Amazing. Me too. Let’s have one after nap.”
“Hot dogs! Definitely. We’re having hotdogs at grandmas on Saturday.”
Works like a charm.
Give it a try and let me know how it goes!
With a passion for encouraging and inspiring parents to ditch survival mode, Kelly Bourne (BA, BScN, CPDPE) is an engaging and entertaining Parenting Educator who “gets it.” Whether working with parents one-on-one or facilitating online group programs, her relaxed, non-judgemental style opens the door to creating lasting change in the families she works with. For more information, visit her website and be sure to sign up for her exclusive email updates.