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July Fourth Desserts!

July fourth desserts!  – Nothing better to motivate kids to great behavior!

July fourth desserts got my kids to finish their hamburgers and corn-on-the-cob dinner. July fourth desserts got them to put down the party’s appetizer bowl of potato chips. July fourth desserts even got them to delay gratifying their sweet tooths earlier in the day. Yes, my children closed that cookie jar when I said if you eat sweets now you’ll miss out on dessert tonight.

July fourth desserts are a parents friend, – when used skillfully. And what parent of two has not achieved an ounce of skill? The trick to this successful, humane child manipulation is to alert the children early in the day to the wondrous desserts that will fill the table after dinner. It’s the old carrot-and-stick technique, but children never jump through hoops for carrots. With the right desserts however, parents are amazed at what good behavior they’ll get. So put away that stick, get baking or shopping, and make your children smile. Keep reading to see my July fourth desserts and get tips on turning devils into angels.

The first step is alerting the children far in advance to the wondrously delicious desserts that will adorn the evening’s table. Similar to movie previews shown months before the actual date of film release, show the children those marvelous desserts to come later…if they will behave themselves now.

Better still: involve the children in the purchase and creation of July fourth desserts. Give them a stake in those sweets. I let my daughter choose apple from the selection of bakery pies. As my children watched me frost the chocolate cake, I heeded their decorating advice. Together we bought the vanilla ice cream with strawberry swirls.

Create the longing. On July fourth, the frosted chocolate cake and apple pie stood front and center on the kitchen counter, impossible for any casual kitchen passer-through to miss seeing. Although that blueberry soda for the July-fourth floats cooled in the ‘fridge, my seven-year-old son knew it was there and repeatedly took it out to marvel at its blueness.

Enlist their help in creating the buzz. Clutching that soda bottle, my seven-year-old made sure that his older sister knew that this blue marvel was on the menu.

Reap the rewards. With this preparation done, should mis-behavior arise, all you’ll need to do is cock your head, direct a warning eye, and say, “You want dessert…don’t you?” You needn’t even raise your voice. Ah yes, July fourth desserts are a parent’s ultimate carrots.

Too bad we can’t use them year-round.

July 4th Sugar Cookies










  1. So they don’t get to eat their parade candy either…?

  2. Good point, Debbie. They did get to eat the treats at the park after the kids’ parade. I’ll call those dessert appetizers. Thanks for reading and pausing to comment.

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