In a day and age where people are treating their dogs more and more like children, I suppose it was bound to swing the other way as well.
You guys. Our kids are not dogs. And I’m really tired of everyone rewarding, training, and incentivizing them as if they are.
After ballet they get a sucker. After soccer they get Cheetos and Capri Sun. If they do XYZ just right in school or church they get candy.
I’m over it. Really.
What if for going to ballet class you are rewarded with increased skill and confidence in your dance routine? What if for playing hard in your soccer game you learned a little more and maybe even scored or blocked a goal? What if for paying attention in class or studying you gained knowledge and learned you are capable of working hard? What if we teach our kids that the activity itself is worthy?
There are two major issues with treating Frankie like Fido:
Rewarding with food gives food a power it should not have. You run the risk of creating a dangerous relationship with food. Food is fuel for our bodies. It can be fun, delicious, and enjoyable but it should not be the reason we do everything in life. If my kid is to the point where “snack is the best part of soccer” then I’m just going to buy her a few snacks and skip the $85 fee to play soccer.
The second issue is that we are creating a generation of kids who believes every thing they do deserves a reward. Every.Single.Thing. Do you want to deal with that adult? Neither do I!
But this is exactly what they are learning. I go to the class or game (that I begged my parents to let me do) and I get a food reward. I do what I am already supposed to do at school and I get a food reward. I pee in the potty instead of on the living room floor and I get a food reward. We already have a serious issue of entitlement coming up out of high school and college right now. This next group is going to be even worse if this keeps up.
Listen, if you want to treat your dog as a child have at it. I’ll keep to myself my thoughts on the “I Love My Granddog” bumper sticker you just bought your parents.
But for the sake of these kids we’re raising to be adults and the world that must deal with them…can we PLEASE stop treating them like dogs?!