Here’s a helpful parenting tip I wanted to pass along to young parents. Every time we were about to eat out as a family, my four year old kept insisting on going to McDonald’s. Not because the food is incredibly delicious, but because McDonald’s has the market cornered on kids. Their Happy Meal toys are a great incentive for kids and a terrible curse on parents who deny their kids the privilege of McDonald’s fast food. As an adult, let me just say that the McDonald’s menu is not entirely suited to our dietary needs. After constantly being the bad guy for telling my kid no, I decided to just tell him that McDonald’s was closed for the winter season and that they would reopen in the Spring. For a few months, my kids never asked for McDonald’s and they even started to like other restaurants that served a more adult menu.
Now I’m sure some people are saying that lying to your kids is just plain wrong, but I would argue that all that advertising on television aimed at kids is not entirely trustworthy. My kids eventually realized that McDonald’s wasn’t closed, and at that time I told them why I did not want them eating McDonald’s all the time and by this time they were older and understood my intentions.