We’ve had lots of family discussions about rewarding good behavior in clinic to reinforce the positive experience surrounding the appointment. The problem is, nowadays reward systems are under a lot of scrutiny from “the experts.”
You can’t reward your kids with food, especially sweet treats, because that will perpetuate tendencies of eating your emotions and seeking sugar for validation, and that’s how you get obesity and diabetes.
You can’t reward your kids with toys, because that’s how they become entitled, dysfunctional members of society who expect things to be handed to them on a silver platter.
So what the heck are we supposed to reward him with? Carrots and chores??
My answer to this conundrum is rewarding him with experiences (within reason). There’s a movie theatre right down the road from the hospital. There’s a new trend with Kids’ Cafes, which are basically more civilized versions of Chuck E Cheese’s minus the creepy giant singing rat. There are playgrounds and swimming pools galore. And when he gets older, there are caboodles of state parks and hiking trails along I-10 on the way home from Gainesville, some with caves, caverns, and swimming holes. As he gets older and enjoys specific activities, we hope to be able to reward him with those experiences.
Clinic doesn’t have to be scary. It doesn’t have to hang over our heads as this horrible appointment that ruins the entire day. If we properly prepare ourselves and our kids, and if we can find a healthy motivation for good performance, we can really turn these doctor’s visits into something borderline enjoyable! And let’s be honest, when the kids have fun, we’re a lot less likely to want to jab our eyes out in frustration.