This is a story from when our daughter was about six.
Inbal heard me talk about chocolate when we’d finished dinner and learned to know that I was just talking about it. We were not going to have any.
Suddenly she just started crying and nothing really made sense. No matter what we said she kept crying and the tears, pouring out her eyes seemed like a leaking roof on a rainy night. In an effort to find a way out of the tragedy I told her (knowing it won’t work but what tha heck) that I like sweets too.
"I walk past the candy bars at Safeway many times" I told here, "There were occasions when I’d purchased a Mars Bar and enjoyed it. But in general, sweets are not healthy food and we try not to eat too many of them. It’s been quite a while now that I pass beside the Mars Bars and tell them: 'today I am NOT going to eat you'.”
Inbal’s gaze changed from miserable weeping to compassionate curiosity:
“Next time when you don’t eat the Mars Bar bring it to me”.And this was it. The crying stopped.
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The challenge of keeping our kids away from stuffing themselves is a complex one. This post is a side story to another one in response to the use of candy as reward in school.