Friday, November 6, 2009
How many times a day do your children ask for a snack? Once, twice, three times, more? Well, with two kids it's double the fun. One snack is two. Two snacks is four. And on and on and on and on ad infinitum.

Well, I've recently figured out something that smarter parents probably figured out ages ago. A new level of conditioning in the Pavlovian experiment we call "parenting". Here's how it works.

Each time your child asks for a snack, tell him/her that he/she can get it or he/she can wait for you to get it. At first, this will seem like a no-brainer to the child who will usually decide to wait rather than interrupt his/her "project". (As long as he/she doesn't have to wait too long mind you. And, in this one instance, you should not make him/her wait.)

When you get the snack, provide the child with a small, ultra-nutritious snack. When the child complains, and he/she will, let him/her know that he/she can have another snack once the first snack is finished. At this point, the child should dutifully eat the snack.

When the child comes back for more, say the same thing. "You can get it yourself or I will in a minute." Repeat the process from the first snack. (Small, ultra-nutritious. Another snack may be had after the given snack is finished.)

Repeat as needed until the child is full or realizes that he/she can get a better snack if he/she does it him/herself.

Once you have established this fact, the second part of the plan is to make the junk food increasingly hard to reach so that when the child gets his/her own snack, the only option is the "healthy" stuff.

Congratulations! You have now gained yourself at least an hour a day back in your life. Don't you feel younger already?


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