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Candy,kids, sugar, sweets as rewards

Like Giving Candy to a Baby~ Candy for Children as Reward for Behavior

by Deborah Cruz

candy for children,Candy,kids, sugar, sweets as rewards

Candy for Children as a Reward for Good Behaviors

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?

Candy for Children as Rewards should be Illegal

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?

Candy for Children as Rewards should not be an option

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Jennifer 2012/03/05 - 10:03 am

This kind of surprises me. Our school does not allow candy except at holiday parties, and they only get three of those a year, and no soda is allowed at school at all. If we want to bring in something for our child’s birthday it has to be cupcakes or cookies, no candy or other sweet treats are allowed.

I do donuts on Fridays with my kids, but if they have any color changes during the week then they don’t get to participate. Only Fridays because donuts are a “sometimes” food, and I started the color change thing last year when my daughter was having trouble jabbering in class. She needed a motivator. This was easy and worked.

Truthful Mommy 2012/03/06 - 10:18 am

OUr school last year was VERY strict about what the kids could bring in for snacks and treats. This year the school is vigilant about lunches but apparently don;t give a rats ass about what the teacher is passing out in the classroom. Which really sucks because I LOVE the teacher, I just hate that she passes out candy,,every, single. day! So I have to be the candy police to my daughter, which makes me the mean mom but I have to advocate for my kids health.

Melinda@LookWhatMomFoundandDadtoo! 2012/03/05 - 1:54 pm

I would have a problem with that. I don’t have a problem with candy but my kids get it on MY terms. I don’t use it as a reward but at a treat. Sometimes it’s a handful of m&ms for dessert or a lollipop at the end of a fun day out or just a sweet treat after a super healthy lunch. My niece was offered a lollipop once as a behavior bribe, it took 2 weeks for her to stop asking for one each time she did anything.

Truthful Mommy 2012/03/06 - 10:16 am

EXACTLY!!!!! This is precisely my point!

KalleyC 2012/03/06 - 9:16 am

Wow, I can’t believe that kids are earning candy as rewards. Not cool. I don’t think candy is necessarily bad, but honestly, I want to keep it out my home for as long as possible. Right now, my daughter doesn’t know what soda is and I want to keep it that way.

Truthful Mommy 2012/03/06 - 10:15 am

I don;t think candy is bad either but it should be given out at my discretion. I am the parent. THere is no need for the teacher to pass out candy EVERY DAY at school.

Cindi 2012/03/06 - 9:43 am

Maybe you could work something out with your daughter to exchange prizes. If she earns candy at school, allow her to take it (so she doesn’t feel left out or punished) and exchange it for points towards ____. (Whatever you choose.) A lot of dentists are now doing this following Halloween. Same thinking to avoid constant candy consumption. Just a thought. 🙂

Truthful Mommy 2012/03/06 - 10:12 am

That is a brilliant idea. I have been encouraging her to take the non candy rewards and that has been really working. Her and her sister want a trampoline, maybe I can use this to save up points towards this reward:) Thanks.

Sara 2012/03/06 - 9:57 am

All the things you could be worried about with your child’s education and this is what you are irritated about? Really? Not about the fact teachers are woefully underpaid, or the fact that they are trying to control huge classrooms of kids as best they can, or do more with fewer resources, you are worried about candy in the classroom? Really? Honestly, I think you need to take a breath and relax. If it’s that big of a deal to you, tell your kid not to eat it.

Truthful Mommy 2012/03/06 - 10:11 am

I have told my daughter not to eat the candy.Of course, but it annoys me that she has to feel excluded for not partaking in something that is unhealthy.My issue is that the teacher has no business passing out candy every single day as a reward when my girls are not allowed candy except for on special occasions at home.This teacher didn’t ask permission to give candy, gum and POP to 1st graders. Yes, this is what I am irritated about! I;m not taking a breath to make a teacher who’s making bad choices life easier. My kid is my priority , not this teacher’s feelings or her state of overwhelm or even her pay.
Kids don’t need candy. It is bad for their teeth, it’s bad for their health and it’s completely unnecessary. The last thing they need is to learn to associate food with every accomplishment or failure they have, that is how emotional eating starts.
P.S.My girls go to a private school, so the classroom size is small and there is an aid. We work our asses off to pay for that privilege, so yeah I expect more than her passing out candy like it’s fruit or vegetables. If control is something I should be concerned about the teacher having then maybe she should stop getting all the kids high on sugar! And I am an advocate for teachers to be paid more.They are the people who have the biggest influence over our children aside from ourselves, by sheer volume of time spent together,alone.

Sara 2012/03/06 - 10:33 am

If your kids go to a private school, then you should be getting what you pay for. Isn’t that part of the extra benefit you get when you go to a private school – increased access and a say in what happens in the school? If you don’t like it, then be proactive, set up a meeting, and tell them to stop. Or better yet, brainstorm with them on how to provide better rewards. Be proactive instead of reactive. I would have more enjoyed a post where you explained your problem with the issue and then what you did to resolve the situation. This just sounds like you getting worked up about something that can be solved easily, particularly if you are a private school parent.

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Micki 2020/06/09 - 9:12 am

I know this is an old article but my god you are ridiculous. Associating candy with accomplishments is one thing and one problem your adult child “might” end up dealing with.. but you can guarantee teaching your kids they can’t have something as simple as a sweet for doing well in life has taught them not that they shouldn’t do it, but that they should hide it from you. Well done.


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