Be Good and You Might Get a Skittle

I was talking with some fellow moms the other day and and our conversation turned to the recent “back to school dentist visits” that our kids had endured lately. We all agreed that it seemed like our kids had more cavities than we did growing up. Of course in an effort to discover the root cause and ultimately solve the issue once and for all for all of mankind we each threw out what we suspected to be the culprit.

There was the old stand by about our kids drinking more bottled and filtered water and therefore not getting enough fluoride. We even lamented over the overall lack of dental hygiene that most kids practice, but the one thing we could all agree on was the candy.

Our kids and their peers consume a lot of sugar and a good portion of it in the form of candy. And that’s because candy has become society’s reward system. Kids learn at an early age that if they behave well in certain circumstances they will receive a sweet treat.

Teachers use candy to reward good behavior, good grades, good attitudes, good attendance. Good grief!

Stop in any local bank, hair salon or doctor’s office, and you will find a bowl of lollipops just daring your kid to be bad.  I think the dentist himself is the only place in town not serving up candy for good behavior. I’m sure it’s not for a lack of desire either; they just have to keep up that whole “healthy mouth” thing that they have going on.

Our church is even in on the conspiracy, because I’ve seen the kids lined up to go into Children’s Worship and what does each one of them get handed at the door before they go in? You got it! A piece of candy.

Now don’t get me wrong, I have been known to silence a screaming toddler once or twice in my day with a promised candy bar in the grocery store check out line. Heck, I’ve been known to silence my own screaming with a Three Musketeer or four. They don’t call it “point of purchase” for nothing.

All in all I think a few cavities is a small price to pay for well behaved kids. Besides doesn’t everybody really win in this scenario. The dentist gets his new sports car, the kids get their sugar fix, and mom and dad enjoy the blissful silence of well behaved children.

That is, until the novacaine wears off. Somebody pass the skittles, please!


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