Is it bad to use snacks to motivate a kindergartener (to write?)
I am helping my kindergarten son to learn how to write. He can sound out and spell rhyming words after some thought (for example, cat/bat/sat; ball/call/hall; say/hay/lay) and he can write them as well, but his handwriting is what we call "wobbly" (a Winnie the Pooh reference). He doesn't like the activity books that we have that are supposedly for his age and he thinks they're a chore. However, he's got a big appetite, and beyond his regular meals he asks for at least a couple of snacks a day, so we've gotten into a habit of negotiating snacks/treats in return for spelling and writing. For example, if he wants 5 chocolate covered blueberries, I'll say he needs to spell 20 words, and after he spells 20, if he feels confident, he'll up the ante and say he'll write 10 more words for 5 more chocolates.. My sister tells me I'm treating him like a dog and using food as incentive is bad. But it works for us, and I would've given him the snack anyway... Besides chocolate covered blueberries, we also might use mochi ice creams, chocolate covered strawberry, yogurt pretzels, etc.
So I guess my questions are (1) how do you motivate a child to write, and (2) is using snacks a good or bad way to motivate?
We are low screen/TV/video games family, so that can't be used as the reward.