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What Happened to Treats?

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A couple times a month, my parents held a “popcorn party” night where my brother and I would get to watch a movie on the brand-new VHS player, eat homemade popcorn and indulge in our favorite beverage: RC Cola.

I remember those nights fondly and was grateful for the times we got to “have fun” and do something a little out of the ordinary.

It was a special treat for us.

What is a treat?

Merriam-Webster defines treat as “an especially unexpected source of joy, delight, or amusement.” Google says it is: “an event or item that is out of the ordinary and gives great pleasure.”

For me, treats were indulgences like going to events or receiving gifts sometimes accompanied by good behavior or a job well done.

Where have treats gone?

I’m open to the fact this could be age-related and I’m just getting older. But, I don’t see as many treats being handed out.

It almost seems like everything is a treat today. And because of this, treats (as I knew them) are nearly extinct.

The flavored, carbonated beverage is now at every meal.

The chips and ice cream too.

Trip to the store for a new toy happens often. As does the vacation out of town.

Where are the treats?

Everything is a treat.

What happens when treats become everyday occurrences

If treats are extinct (or nearly so) as I think they are, what will happen? Why has this happened?

I’ve had the taste of raising a child – though not of my own and not from infancy. I know the way kids can tug at your heart-strings. It’s hard to say no to that cute, pouty face.

I believe one of the reasons for the decline of treats is that we have wanted to give the best to our kids. To give them all (and more) than we had growing up.

We thought this would help them become better children and then better adults. And, of course, we thought this would reveal our love towards them.

But because everything is a treat and there are no longer unexpected events or gifts to look forward to – we’ve lost the chance to teach our children about delayed gratification. An important lesson in developing character and growing as mature adults.

At the risk of carrying this too far, when everything is a treat and there are no “unexpected” surprises we foster entitlement.

And, this is not an endearing trait.

What are your thoughts?

Have I lost perspective here and showing my age? Do you still see treats in everyday life? Or have they just become so commonplace, they’ve lost their “treat-ness”?

You might also be interested in:

  • Mister Rogers and Money
  • When Should You Buy Your Child a Phone?
  • Five Things Every Kid Should Know Before Leaving Home
  • A Year With Cloth Diapers
  • 5 Things I Would Tell My Younger Self About Money
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