Food used as positive reinforcement

Katarina - posted on 12/13/2010 ( 197 moms have responded )

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I don't use candy or other food as a reward for positive behaviours. Too many snacks can set your child up to develop cavities, diabetes and obesity.



Instead, my husband and I use colourful bandaids(That my son picks out at the store) as a reinforcer. We use them sparingly and don't "reward"(i hate this term) for things that should be done or for listening to us when he's about to do something wrong. For those behaviours we give him tons of hugs and kisses and tell him he's doing great!



Thoughts?

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Carolyn - posted on 12/15/2010

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i find the words "my morals will be inflicted on her" very interesting choice of words



To give, cause, or produce by striking, or as if by striking; to apply forcibly; to lay or impose; to send; to cause to bear, feel, or suffer; as, to inflict blows; to inflict a wound with a dagger; to inflict severe pain by ingratitude; to inflict punishment on an offender; to inflict the penalty of death on a criminal.







if your lifestyle and morals are so wonderful why do you choose to "inflict" upon your children ?



hmm insight me thinks

Sharon - posted on 12/15/2010

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LMAO - you may get lucky and you're little one will do exactly as you say always.



But I'm kinda doubting that. Most people don't teach their kids drinking & driving is good and yet it still happens.



People don't teach their kids that heroin is good, and yet it still happens.



To me, a food choice isn't as bad as either of those, its much less evil - and so much more likely to happen. Look how many women here grew up "knowing" god is all and are, yet, unbelievers now.



Children don't always squarely follow in their parents footsteps.

Krista - posted on 12/15/2010

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I also know that she is a very compassionate person she will decide eating animals is wrong, and that is the only one i am really concerned about.

Hon, absolutely NONE of us have any way of knowing for sure what our kids will decide at any point during their lives. We can make educated guesses, we can hope, we can even be fairly confident. But do any of us "KNOW"? Nuh-uh. I'm agnostic and my husband is an avowed antitheist, and I'm not going to sit here and say that I KNOW that my son will not wind up being a religious zealot. I hope he doesn't, and I'd be very surprised if he did, but at the end of the day, I really DON'T know.

And neither do you.

Jodi - posted on 12/15/2010

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Julianne, I think you have extremely high expectations of your daughter. I really hope she doesn't disappoint you. And I really hope she doesn't feel the pressure you are already putting on her to BE perfect. That in itself will be reason enough for her to hide her imperfections from you.

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Sharon - posted on 12/21/2010

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food is to be enjoyed. I enjoy my food. Flavors textures, and the healthy aspect is nice too. But some things I eat JUST for the enjoyment. Those are TREATS.

Because McDs is not normal for us - its a TREAT for my kids. Therefore - its used as a reward. Its infrequent, uncommon, and never purchased in response to something they saw on tv EXCEPT for the pokemon toys and My Little Pony Cds. those were the only two times my kids asked for the meals based on the toys.

OH and i bought a shit load of burger king when i wanted the light up Lord of the Rings glasses. I just fed it all to my co-workers ANDDD!!!! they weren't even in the kids meals!!!! they were part of the ADULT MEALS!! WOWIE ya'lls!

Kate CP - posted on 12/21/2010

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See, that's what pisses me off about some "old school" trainers and owners who THINK they know about dog behavior and really know jack. Dogs learn new behaviors better by attaching a positive reward to the behavior rather then a punishment to the failure of NOT doing the behavior. They get confused if you just punish them for NOT doing something. They NEED the reward for doing the correct behavior so they can go "Oh, THAT'S what that crazy human wants!" Eventually you can wean them off of treats and they won't need them to perform routine commands and won't really even expect them after a while.

Gee...sounds a lot like kids, don't it?

Jodi - posted on 12/21/2010

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That's it Mary, you've totally fucked up her eating habits for life. Nothing to be done now, you may as well just keep going the way you have been ;D

Mary - posted on 12/21/2010

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Ah, Kate, perhaps we have ruined our dogs by giving them treats?

I'm also wondering if perhaps my telling my two y/o that she can't have berries unless she eats more of her dinner is offset by the fact that I've potty trained without candy or stickers? Or is she still doomed to a life of f'd up eating habits....

Jodi - posted on 12/20/2010

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I just figure I haven't ruined my kids yet, so no biggie. Whatever floats your boat. Toys, stickers, food, they all trigger the reward centre of the brain. It only screws people up if it is overused or not used properly. Like anything really.

Sharon - posted on 12/20/2010

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sooo???? You're going to stop giving stickers as a reward when potty training?

its a reward after all and using the toilet is just plain expected of you, why be rewarded for it?

Jenn - posted on 12/20/2010

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Just a thought I had from the infamous McD's thread. Wouldn't the toy in the happy meal have the same effect as giving food as praise?

[deleted account]

To me food is food. When it's made into something more than what it is, it could lead to all sorts of problems later. I would rather not take the risk.



I do positive reinforcement in the form of verbal praise. I only do rewards for exceptional situations, but I try to avoid it were possible. Hugs and smiles are what they are too. I do them anyway regardless of behavior.

[deleted account]

Well quick google search excitotoxins effect the release of sex hormones ie Endorphin. NOT that it is an excitotoxin.

Sharon - posted on 12/16/2010

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a quick google revealed that SEX also releases an alarming amount of excitotoxins.

I guess we'd all better avoid that too. Especially in excess.

JuLeah - posted on 12/16/2010

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Hugs and kisses are also positive reinforcements. Positive means you are giving the child something, and reinforcement means that it will increase the likelyhood of the child doing the behavior again.
A pay check is a positive reinforecement, as is a gold star on a well written paper. When your baby smiles, you smile back in the hope she will smile again.
I am all for positive reinforcements - but not food - I agree on that part.

[deleted account]

Krista : I like the dancing rule :D I follow that one religiously.



Cathy, I`m sure if Gillian got plastic surgery, put on ten pounds of makeup, dyed her hair and a professional work on her ``perfect look``She could look that young too..

Krista - posted on 12/16/2010

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@Cathy: That's the thing: food helps. But it's not the sole factor in your health or in how you age.



Genetics plays a big factor. My stepdad's family are all remarkably long-lived and youthful. His mom and aunts all lived into their late 90's and were spry right up until the end. My stepdad can pass for a man 10 years younger. It's just the way that their DNA came out in the wash.



Another factor is sun. My mom eats more healthfully than my grandmother does, but my mom also did a hell of a lot more suntanning. Her skin has more wrinkles than my grandmother's.



Smoking also is a major contributor to poor health and aging. Stress is in there as well. And any sort of chronic or acute disease can age you.



So yes, eating healthfully is definitely ONE weapon in the fight against poor health and premature aging. But there are a lot of other factors at play that need to be taken into consideration.



The way my grandfather lived could be boiled down to this:



- Eat good food, and never turn down a good piece of homemade pie or cake.

- Have a beer once in awhile. Ah hell, have two.

- Don't get stressed out about shit that won't matter a year from now. Go fishing instead.

- Spend as much of your free time dancing as you possibly can.



He lived to 89, and was in the pink of health right up until 2 weeks before he died. I figure there are definitely worse models to emulate out there.

[deleted account]

cathy when i said food is the enemy i was not referring to animal products. Its the excitotoxins that are in food. Which are dangerous and do kill brain cells. MSG aspartame and other chemicals companys put in food.


exact quote from the article
``Large amounts of excitotoxins from any source cause brain cells to swell up and die immediately`` msg is in food in large amounts....
Saying people who eat meat are not eating healthy is obviously not true. Thats just like saying vegans are not healthy because they don`t.

http://www.alive.com/3805a1a2.php?subjec...

Krista - posted on 12/16/2010

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Getting back to rewarding with food, I'm not really a big fan of that. However, I'm certainly not going to say that I would NEVER do that -- it all depends on the situation, I guess.

One thing I have been guilty of is using food as a distraction. So let's say that Sam gets a hold of something he shouldn't have, and I take it away from him, and he throws a shit fit. 99% of the time, I'll empathize with him and give him a hug, and then try to distract him with a toy. However, if I'm busy or frazzled, there has been the odd time that you would hear "It's okay buddy, it's okay. Look! Look what Mommy has! She has...(dramatic pause) a GRAHAM cracker! Would you like that? Here you go!" The kid's calmed down and toddles off to eat his cracker and I resume the 5 things I was doing at once.

So yeah...none of us are perfect. However, I figure that if my child eats unprocessed, whole food 95% of the time, and then has unhealthy food as an occasional treat or if we're busy or on the road, then it's really not going to hurt him.

Krista - posted on 12/16/2010

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According to Julienne, I'm apparently brain damaged as a result!



Well, that DOES explain a lot, Cathy.

Jenn - posted on 12/16/2010

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I see nothing wrong with what Julianne is doing but her child may change their mind when they get older - then again they may stick with what they know. I have a friend who is also vegan and she is always posting stuff on Facebook about how people are still "shoving animal corpses down their throat" and "consuming animal excretions" (referring to milk etc.) She does go a bit extreme with it, but morally speaking she does make some good points about the way these big factory farms operate and that the animals never have a good life only to then be slaughtered. Then again - I still eat meat and drink milk daily. ;)

Iris - posted on 12/16/2010

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Rewarding with food, it depends on what you are rewarding and the situation for me and what type of food it is. If she wants the strawberries in the fridge instead of dinner then she can have them as soon as she eats her meal. If we are working through a behavior problem and does well, she gets a Hello Kitty (kid tattoo) on her arm or a sticker. I don't reward her with candy or snacks most of the time but it happens every now and then when I don’t have her favorite...strawberries.

Julianne, I think you are raising your daughter the way you see fit. I don't see anything wrong with teaching your child your lifestyle and about killing animals is wrong, that’s your way and you have every right to teach it to your child. If you are a vegan, you teach your child that way, and more likely than not she will become one. Not only because of your teaching but because meat won't taste good to her and will be hard for her body to digest if she ever has it. But keep in mind that it could happen. Sweets, you can't say that your child is never going to have one because she is going to be surrounded by it sooner or later and she will get her hands on it, plus the peer pressure. At the age of 6, it will be pretty hard to try to teach a child about GMO or Gluten. Simple word like poison wont do it either because she sees all her friends and their family sucking on a chocolate, and love it. All I’m trying to say is don’t life happens and you do what you can, because you can’t predict anyones future. Not even your own child's.

[deleted account]

food rewards just seem like a really bad idea to me, coming from a family full of people with eating disorders...

[deleted account]

Its understandable to not give your children certain things. On the rare occasion that i do drink, if gabby seen me doing it and asked for some, obviously i wont give it to her. Things like coffee, caffeinated tea and alcohol are different. Its not what they eat on a regular basis that is completely different then what you eat. I quit the caffeine tea but we still have herbal teas together. I like to share everything with her. She likes it when i pour things out of the same jug for both of us. It makes her feel special because she is experiencing new things so when i do it as well, she feels like a big girl.

[deleted account]

I will second that Emma but as far as food goes my kids eat what I do. They do however have their own plate and their own drink. I may not live without caffeine or my hubby may not survive me being caffeine free LOL

Stifler's - posted on 12/15/2010

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i don't agree. i drink coffee and alcohol because I'M AN ADULT my 10 and a half month old wants to drink it but he can't because he's not old enough. I'm not going to can my adult privileges because "it's unfair" to my children.

[deleted account]

I feel she will make the right decisions in her life. I am an optimistic person. Expecting the best to happen, doesn't mean being highly disappointed when it doesn't. Everything happens for a reason. If she decides to eat meat. She will have her reasons. Who am I to say those reasons are wrong.

Jodi - posted on 12/15/2010

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"jodi if i teach my daughter eating meat is wrong i am brainwashing her?"



No, I didn't say that. But I would question the "food is the enemy" thing.

Jodi - posted on 12/15/2010

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Actually, Julianne, children do change. Their personalities develop depending on their experiences. Sure, every child is born with a personality, but every experience in their life build on that, and some experiences can change the person they are. I've seen kids who change completely who have gone through some very difficult circumstances (like my friend's 14 year old, my son's best friend, whose mother passed away after a 6 year battle with breast cancer). I've seen kids who have perhaps developed in a different (and I don't mean worse or better, just different) direction because of divorce or new siblings. I'm just saying that we are not BORN the people we are.



Sure, personality has some genetic factors, but mostly, we are creatures of our environment. You cannot guarantee the experiences your daughter will have over the next 20 years. That's all I am saying.



I HAVE seen my children change. I also see their personalities in different environments. I also know they push boundaries (because thats what children do). They have new experiences at school, in sport, etc. The list goes on. Every single experience will mould your child into what they will be in the future. Not just the experiences you impose upon them.



Expectations breed disappointment. You in one breathe said nothing your daughter could do would ever disappoint you and in another said because I know she will be like this. What if she isn't?

[deleted account]

you in general liz...lol,



i know you said someone you knew did that to their kids...i was agreeing with you that its wrong to do.

[deleted account]

Sherri, i could see my brothers personality when he was gabbys age. Hes 9 now and i was pretty bang on. Yes some things change. For the most part, people are born with certain traits they don't lose.



edit



so jodi if i teach my daughter eating meat is wrong i am brainwashing her?

[deleted account]

liz, that's mean, to eat something you wont feed your child right in front of them? I quit drinking caffeinated teas because gabby wanted to drink out of my cup. She likes to eat off of my plate too, it makes her feel like a big girl. So i let her.. If you are going to eat a certain way, allow your children to as well. Don't teach them to be a hypocrite.

Sherri - posted on 12/15/2010

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Julianne my children at 1yr are NOTHING like what they now are at 13 & 12. They change significantly as they mature and grow.

[deleted account]

How did I miss this?



I reward my kids with food, sometimes healthy snacks and sometimes a healthy stack of Oreos:P Kids will only be kids once why not let them enjoy some of lifes little pleasures. I don't think I go overboard because my kids are all very healthy and active. We very rarely eat out and I like to think I cook healthy dinners (homemade chicken noodle soup tonight...YUM). I never eat junk food in front of my kids without sharing because that is something I don't agree with. I used to hangout with this chick who would sit there and eat icecream, chips, cheeseburgers, all kinds of stuff but made her girls have a total vegetarian diet, so while shes chowing down her snacks she gives her girls plain beans with nothing on them.

[deleted account]

Also jodi, msg is not in moderation like i said before, the free glutamate when found in food naturally is in moderate amounts. msg is extremely concentrated. so even one meal with msg and you are getting an extremely high dose of the glutamate. Its like tylenol to morphine.

[deleted account]

Jodi, when your children were that young(if you have any that young still) You couldn't look at them and see the person they were going to become? People are born with personalities. She has an extremely strong one. Some things they learn but for the most part they are who they are. I am confidant she is going to turn out perfect in her own way. She is who she is and i love every bit of her regardless of what her decisions are when shes older.Did you not read my comments? your words" Their choices are theirs to live. It is only our job to guide them, not force them to live it.: my words ". If she decides otherwise, its her life and i am only here to guide her, not live it for her. "

Your trying to tell me something i am well aware of. It is still my job to be confident in her that she will make the right decisions based on how i raise her. Isn't every parent confident their child is going to grow up and be the best person they can be in their own way?

Mrs. - posted on 12/15/2010

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Doesn't have to do with you at all...

I agree, upon reading, it does come across as bitchy. I'd probably not like it after something I'd written either. Sorry about that. Not intentional.

Jodi - posted on 12/15/2010

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That's where I am at. We mostly eat homecooked meals with fresh ingredients purchased at the markets. But treats for the kids here and there for good behaviour, a dinner out, a bit of fast food, and occasionally a packaged meal, well, I can't see it killing me. My chances of dying getting hit by a bus are probably roughly the same. Anyone could get struck down at any time. I know the healthiest people in the world who have suffered terribly or died at young ages, and I know the unhealthiest that just seem to keep going and going, with a good quality of life. Sure, a healthy diet and exercise is going to increase your odds, but it guarantees nothing.

Nikki - posted on 12/15/2010

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I do agree Jodi, it is overboard to you and I, and obviously other's but my whole point was as much as it seems extreme to us, Julianne is doing what she see's to be in the best interest of her child. Other parents have different extreme views or expectations for their children but and as long as they are not harming them it shouldn't matter.

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