Candy for children as rewards is like giving candy to a baby, and about as responsible. In a world where kids are being put on diets and touted as being problems for their obesity, how is it tolerated that some teachers are still using sweets as a reward system for educational accomplishments or good behavior? Are you in shock? I am and I am pissed off.
I have encountered teachers who group children into different candy groups and if they accomplish their tasks for the day, they are rewarded with that treat. The treats range from sweet sugary cereals, to skittles, M&Ms, and gummy bears to name a few. Why?
Children accumulate tickets for good behavior or good listening skills, they can then cash the tickets in for sweets or special treats like lunch with the teacher or sitting in a special place. Of course, you have to save a lot more tickets to earn the non-sugary rewards. It is almost as if the children are being encouraged to take the easy reward, the route of instant gratification. Isn’t that how we’ve gotten to the current status of obesity in this country?
I am not a fanatic. I do believe that kids can enjoy the occasional piece of candy, in moderation. Candy is not the devil but it is also in no way a necessity in a child’s life. Candy for children as a special treat is fine but it should not be used as a reward system and given and withheld dependent on a child’s achievements. By doing this, we are teaching children to associate food with celebrations and achievement. We are teaching our children to eat their feelings. The 6 year old buying chocolate to celebrate knowing her addition facts is the same 500 pound woman who will be drinking a 32 ounce coke in the morning to “celebrate” waking up.
From personal experience, I know how hard it is to change your path of bad eating habits once they are learned. Those children that the teacher is giving candy and pop ( oh yes, they can earn tickets for pop too! I don’t even allow my girls to have pop at home and all they need to do is earn enough tickets, for doing what they are supposed to be doing anyways, and they can buy soda pop and candy at free will) to are being expected to have self- control that is most likely beyond their maturity level. I think it’s ridiculous. I have had to sit my daughter down and explain that she is not allowed to purchase ‘treats’ at school that she is not allowed at home. I also explained the effects that sugar has on your health, your teeth, the sugar highs and crashes, etc.
This is being done in a first grade class. What first grader do you know that wouldn’t eat themselves sick on sugar if given the chance? I’m pissed that they are given this option. Aren’t there nutrition guidelines enforced on school lunches for this very reason? This teacher’s reward system, undermines the entire shift in nutritional focus.How would you approach the teacher? I’ve told my daughter not to take the candy and she listens. But why should she have to feel punished? I think the candy should not be an option. What do you think about candy for children as a reward system for good behavior and good grades?