The sweetest bribe ever, with powdered sugar on top

img_4708Just like the old punishments are not working anymore – my son scoffs at time-outs these days – the former perks of points and stickers don’t have the same motivating effect either, so our family has a new reward system. Donuts.

For each A grade, chore completed without asking, extra kind gesture to a family member or friend, it’s a donut of his choice at Dunkin Donuts. Considering my son has a weekly spelling and math quiz, along with random pop quizzes, and a list of weekly tasks around the house, his chances are good to bring home a cool half dozen to share with family and friends each week.

I had tried other bribes, even dollar bills, but when my son says things like, “It only cost a thousand dollars, get it!” the value of money is lost on him. Likewise, the dollar bins at Target have lost their appeal, as there’s only so many bags of marbles, sling shots, rubber balls and harmonicas that a boy wants.

Donuts are a special treat around our home, so this reward is something he is excited about, and since he can share his bounty with friends, he can be king among the neighborhood gang.  The other great thing about donuts is they go quickly, so he needs to earn them again.

Like most kids, half the fun of donuts is choosing them, so he relishes going to the shop to see all the varieties; and very sweetly he selects specific ones for me and his grandmother, since he knows our favorites are eclairs and cream filled varieties.

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Since we have a Dunkin Donuts near our house that we pass every time we go grocery shopping, it’s a constant reminder for him to do well in school and play nice. The other great thing is that local Dunkin Donuts shops are always doing something charitable, so it’s a great learning opportunity to see the displays and talk about giving back to the community.

And of course, Mom doesn’t mind a weekly trip to the donut shop either!

Charity gives DC girls prom dresses, boosts confidence

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A new charity called the “Believe in Yourself Project” is helping to replace the poor body image that afflicts many girls and women. This image is heightened by what the traditional fashion industry deems as beautiful: Women are expected to appear a certain way and live up to a manufactured and unrealistic notion of what beauty is. At the same time, strained finances can prevent many girls from keeping up with what’s trending or cool, making them feel isolated among their friends for not being able to afford clothing that is deemed as “in” socially.

In an attempt to promote a positive body image, Believe in Yourself http://www.believeinyourself.org aims to help women feel better about themselves and their physical attributes and to promote healthy self esteem among young girls at an early age, empowering these young women to take on active social roles within their school communities.

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Over the past year, UsTrendy Founder and Believe in Yourself President Sam Sisakhti has given formal dresses to underprivileged high school girls and college students across the country, for them to wear at their school dances. Donations began last winter, and Sisakhti reports that many of the girls in the program have had the self confidence to attend their first school dance.

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This month, girls with limited financial resources in the Washington DC Area received dresses.

“It was such an amazing and humbling experience to hear the stories of the girls and see their excitement about receiving a brand new dress to wear for their upcoming dance. Many of them said it was one of their first new items that were not handed down” says Sam Sisakhti.

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