Saturday, August 15, 2015

The marshmallow trial

Yesterday at chapel, the presenter showed cute videos of "The Marshmallow Test."  I'm sure we've all seen them: adorable videos of kids trying to resist the pull as the marshmallow called their name.

The kids laughed at the little ones who couldn't hold out, and they all raised their hand when the presenter asked how many of them thought they would have the patience to wait for the second treat.

It was fine, a typical chapel overall... until the end, when she presented each teacher with a bag of chocolate-stuffed marshmallows to pass out to the students.

I hate junk food at school.  I just hate it.  I know I was given candy by some of my teachers over the years and I turned out fine.  I know it's normal.  I know other parents don't mind.  I don't care.  I still hate it.

Last year, in my class of 14 students I had 3 with a dairy allergy, one who followed a religious diet, one whose mother didn't allow sweet treats, and one  with an egg allergy.  So when someone sent birthday cake, let's say, there were always 6 who were left out.  Almost half the class-that's a lot! Some kids didn't mind, but others did.

And that's not counting my own two who always have to turn down treats. Why do we have to boil everything down to food?  The kids liked the video.  They liked the songs and the chapel time.  They didn't need marshmallows.  If they loved the video so much that they asked their parents for a marshmallow later, the parents could give them one if they wanted.  Otherwise they'd just forget about it and move on with their day.

I particularly hated that I was the one who had to pass them out.  I had told parents at open house that I don't use food rewards or give treats at school.  In the end, I stuck to my word by giving each parent the marshmallow instead, when they picked their child up in the afternoon.  I told them another teacher had given it to me to give their child, but it was up to them whether or not they wanted their child to eat it.  The vast majority shrugged and handed it off.  But one or two didn't, so I'm glad I stuck to my principle.

Anyway, last night, after the Thai homework disaster when he was already feeling miserable, M mentioned the chocolate marshmallows he couldn't have.  Though he generally handles his diet with maturity, at that moment it just felt like a burden.

Well! I might mess up my kid's Thai homework and make him cry, but I can come through with a chocolate marshmallow in times of need.  

A few chocolate chips, a little incision, and the boys enjoyed additive-free chocolate-stuffed marshmallows this morning.
And since they were already out, we went ahead and followed up on that cocoa promise.

I don't have anything against treats.  I just don't think they should be given to children except by their parents.


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