If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Buy ‘Em Ice Cream

Every day after work, I check my Fitbit to see how many steps I managed to take during my predominantly sedentary day and then I make the call home to let my husband and the boys know that I’m on my way home… and discuss who would be walking with me to get in my remaining steps.

The hubby is now doing a lot of walking, so he’ll express that he doesn’t need anymore steps, while the boys will try to convince me to take the other one.

So now I use bribery. From time to time, I will buy ice cream (or frozen yoghurt, or chocolate) for the victim of the day. Not every time, just some of the times. It lessens the moaning, complaining, dragging of feet. To be honest, even without the bribery, the walking has gotten more enjoyable. There is less resistance even if they have already met their step goals. There are many conversations about Harry Potter, the goings on at school, what’s making news, Trump, Ford, their gaming, the videos they are watching on YouTube, some of the stuff I’m doing at work, their childhood, my childhood, life lessons, things I’d like them to work on… you name it, we talk about it.

These kids never cease to amaze me with their youthful wisdom and insight. We laugh a lot, debate often, argue on occasion, and walk out all the stress from the day. They have their own opinions and observations, they possess an understanding of the world that I did not at their age. While I had travelled more and lived in 3 countries by their age, I definitely did not have as savvy a knowledge as they do about how the world, politics, and the economy work. My world was simpler, I was more naive about people and things.

Today I got the both of them. A2 and I wanted to take A1 to SOMA Chocolatemaker (a five star treat, by the way) to have the best chocolate ice cream either of us have ever tasted in our entire lives. Unfortunately, they close at 6 pm on Sundays so we kept walking. A1 spied the nitrogen ice cream place on Queen Street he has always bugged me about every time we drive past (Cool N2, another five star experience). He was excitedly surprised when I capitulated and started walking in that direction. (Our usual haunts are: Yogurty’s, iHalo Krunch, and La Diperie.)

So… I’m spending a little more money than I’d like, we’re ingesting a little more sugar than ideal, but I now have more willing participants in what I’m hoping will be the creation of great memories they have about their time with me. We are walking a lot, trying every single ice cream place in our neighbourhood, talking about silly things as well as very meaningful things, and getting to know each other as human beings. How cool is that!?

If you can’t easily convince your kids to do something slightly uncomfortable that is good for them (like walking and talking for an hour after dinner with their mother as they turn into adolescents before my eyes), I see no harm in buying ice cream from time to time as bribery, reward, or pure sugary enjoyment!


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