De-sweetening the deal

I, like lots of parents, used to use sweets as a reward. My youngest son needed to learn his times tables, and like most children wants instant rewards or pleasures without the hard work. He wants to pass his times table test with minimum practice.

To increase his desire to listen and practice the times tables which boomed out of our car each morning, I decided to sweeten the deal, and added some mentos (small sweets). I renamed the process 'mentos maths'. He was rewarded with a mentos if he got over 10 out of 12 correct. This was definitely strengthening the desire to practice.

But being a weight coach and a loving Mum, I began to question my strategy and tap into my wisdom to come up with a better way, that was kinder to my son and his long term well being. My boys have developed a love for football since we have been living in England and enjoy belting out their teams football song at the top of their lungs.

So, I switched the reward. My 7 year old's desire to listen to 'Glory Glory Man United' was strong, so we were on. Job done, brain hack achieved. Sugar replaced with sore ears for Mummy. It's worth it for my children's long term well being.


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