I Steal Candy From My Children

Image of a variety of candy
June 27 2024

I steal candy from my kids. There, I said it. Sometimes I eat it myself. Maybe we should start a support group for parents in possession of kid’s candy. I don’t believe we should take candy away from kids all together. I just think it needs to be rationed. Also, I think I need to eat all the peanut butter cups, it is called the “Dad Tax”. 

I know people that do the ‘no sugar’ diet for their kids and I applaud them for their efforts. I do not think sugar is good for you and may contribute to health problems. But kids will be exposed to it, and it can become the ‘forbidden fruit’. European countries have lower drinking ages and can argue they have less alcoholism. So how does one regulate all the holidays where kids get a grocery bag full of glucose? I can tell you how we deal with it and why I am still eating heart shaped chocolate from 2023, don’t judge me please.             

Kids need rewards for things. I will admit I am far from the best parent. My cousin told me once that while it’s not the healthiest of foods, McDonalds is bribery for good behavior. I do not live close to McDonalds, I wish I did, so we must rely on candy. During Halloween, Christmas, Valentines Day, and Easter we gather the candy and let them have a few during the initial event. Then when they nap or go to bed at night, we bag it up and hide it. Out of sight and out of mind- we only bring it up when we need them to do something or encourage good behavior. Having 3-year-old twin girls that are sassy and getting smarter, the only advantage we have sometimes is, “If you take a little nap, go potty, or have no ‘time outs’ at school you can have a piece of candy later.” It is Kiddy Currency that works every time. 

Binging on the initial bulk of candy received does not create a good attitude or lesson. I know if the girls are left unsupervised with candy, they will act differently. They think they can have the sugar access whenever they want and become demanding: ‘There was a bowl of candy there for our enjoyment and now you are saying we cannot have any more?’ They are more grateful if they get a piece of candy when they ask politely and say thank you to the provider. It creates an attitude of gratitude rather than a sense of entitlement.

Delayed gratification is also a lesson here. ‘You can have candy now, or we can enjoy it tonight when we watch a movie.’ This gets the kids to really think about how they want to enjoy their candy. They love to watch movies, which is a blessing to me because I do too. They understand that if they save some candy, it will be more fun to eat M&Ms with popcorn and watch the movie ‘Frozen’ for the 81st time. I would like to watch something else, but I just “Let it Go.”

These are things that I hope to teach them as a banker- to save their money. You can work the summers and spend all your money at the fair, or you can save it and use it during the school year. Sometimes you get a decent tax return, and you want to buy the best new shiny thing, or you can put it in a savings account for a rainy day. Then there is the investment and retirement conversation. Put your money away early and compound the interest. You can enjoy it more when you retire. Basically, you use the money to buy candy for your grandkids and the cycle starts over. 

 This summer will come with its parades down the streets. Strangers throw candy at children, enticing them to walk out into oncoming traffic. It is what makes small towns fun. But have you noticed how much candy these kids get now?  Hopefully we can get a hold of it when they get home. After they have drilled through all the Frooties and Tootsie Rolls that melt in the sun make everything sticky they touch. And stash it in the bribery bank of mom and dad. Children are sweet and innocent blessings, and I am very thankful for mine. But the candy makes them crazy. 

- Adam Frank Bruning, Loan Officer -

“We may never understand His wisdom, but we simply have to trust His will.”

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Broken Bow

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