Q. I started giving my two-year-old a biscuit once in a while when he would help me put away his toys. Now he expects a treat every time. How do I teach him that treats are not an everyday occurrence and that tidying up and chores are a part of life?
When our children are allowed to eat constantly throughout the day, it robs them of the chance to ever develop a proper appetite, which can create picky eating habits throughout the teen years.
If children don’t come to the table at least a little hungry, they won’t be terribly keen to try new foods. Also vitally important is the fact that the more treats your little one eats, the less space or respect he’ll have for nutritious foods, which are essential for growth.
Strive to create an environment where chores and tidying up are fun, do it to music or create a little song while you put things away.
Create a star chart where Fridays are treat days, and only award the treat if all the jobs are completed every day. Sure your two-year-old will complain initially, but it’s important to stand firm on these matters.
Habit forming in two-year-olds takes no more than two weeks, so take comfort in the fact that their objections shouldn’t last much longer than that!