Food as Rewards and Punishments

Topics: Nutrition, Health, Eating Pages: 5 (1963 words) Published: March 14, 2012
Food as Rewards and Punishments
Parents, as well as pet owners, teachers, and business owners have discovered the advantages of using food as rewards and punishments. This idea has become so accustomed in our society that even places like Krispy Kreme Doughnuts give a free doughnut for every A received on a report card. It is not uncommon to see teachers who give candy when students behave well. Nourishment can be just as effective as a new toy or spanking. Food as rewards has become very common in our lifestyle, but there are also disadvantages to using food as a weapon. A young girl giving her dog a treat, very common when training pets. A young girl giving her dog a treat, very common when training pets.

Many different situations allow for food to be used as a reward. Receiving good grades, behaving well, and learning all present themselves with a reward and punishment system. Parents use dessert or taking their child out to eat as a weapon to reinforce good deeds. Teachers give pizza parties or candy when a class is good for a substitute. Training a pet to go outside when using the restroom is much easier with the help of treats as well. According to Mary Rydman, CEF, who wrote “Food and Emotions or But I Need My Chocolate!” says that at an early age we are taught that food and emotions go hand in hand, starting at breast feeding. She says “When food is used as reward or punishment for children, emotional ties to the receiving or withholding of food are deepened even more.” We begin to see food as more than just nourishment for our bodies; it becomes a source of happiness or sadness. People everyday use food as a weapon to get what they want. It is so common it is even sold in stores in the form of books on how to raise children or dog training videos. There are a few advantages to using food as rewards. In a fast paced lifestyle that many Americans live in today candy is convenient; it’s small, portable, and easily accessible. Candy can be purchased at almost any store or gas station. Cookies and candy is also relatively cheap compared to a new toy every time the child is good. One bag of candy can give weeks of rewards which are much cheaper than buying one toy each time. Other forms of rewards can begin to get expensive like toys or trinkets. Using candy is also fun for the child, all children like the vibrant colors and sugary tastes. There are many obvious reasons for using Vibrant colors and sugary taste attract children. Vibrant colors and sugary taste attract children.

food as rewards for children, but parents should realize there are many harmful disadvantages as well. We are so used to seeing food as a weapon that we fail to see the harm that we are causing to younger generations. Not only is giving a high-calorie snack unhealthy for the body but it is for the mind as well. Children who always receive cookies or other sweets as rewards learn to expect them. Every time a child partakes in good behavior they thing they deserve a treat, and don’t act good because they are supposed to. This bears on the parents because they either have to continue to provide a treat or their child may act out when the treat is not present. They might not even understand why they are not receiving a treat and be upset and confused. Sometimes always providing treats can result in bad parenting; candy will get an immediate change in behavior if needed; if a child is misbehaving a piece of candy will get the child’s attention, but this is not the way to get a child to behave. This actually puts the child in control. If they realize that by misbehaving they are rewarded then they will think being bad is actually good. Providing treats may also teach children that it is okay to eat unwholesome foods anytime of the day. When there is no filter to how much unhealthy food is eaten the child learns bad eating habits. Parents are not the only ones who implant the wrong idea of when and how often we should intake sugar, teachers are...
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