Basically, he said that his dad was so extremely strict with food that it led John to begin to sneak food, eventually leading to a full-blown food addiction. (Read about it here in his post: Why You So Fat.) My husband Michael (and John's younger brother), however, had a completely different experience growing up. Same family, same rules, totally different effects on the adult children. (It's all there in the comments if you want more deets.)
So all of that dialog made me really think about my approach with my kids. Am I too strict? Do they feel the need to sneak food? Do they feel like food is a reward? A punishment? Am I providing a good enough balance? What kind of outlook on food am I really providing them?
Of course, I would love to think that I'm balanced (we usually are in our own eyes, right). But it's just so dang hard to see those blind spots!
My awesome friend, Kellie, said it well:
Everyone's idea of balance is different, so it can be crazy sometimes. Just like all aspects of parenting, we create a beautiful well thought out plan and then continually tweak it depending what the world/our kids throw at us. ;)
|Samuel and Michael|
Yesterday, Samuel went to the Wednesday night kids' church, and they gave him Kool-aid and two cookies. [[CRINGE]] [[FACIAL TICK]] And when he got home he told me about it as if it were bad news. It was, in fact, a great opportunity for a teachable moment.
Although, (I know I've said this once or twice) I don't like it when other people give my kids sweets without my permission (because if the kids get sweets and junk all the time from other people, then I feel like I can't give them any myself, and thus I'm the bad guy pushing carrots in their faces all the time), we were still able to give him a healthy response to what happened. He told me about it, and I said, "Samuel, I'm so glad that you want to be healthy, but it's okay if you have treats every now and then. Did you like them?" He smiled and said he did, and then I told him to tell me about them. It was a great moment. I could even see relief come over his face at my response (which signals to me that some tweaking was needed).
Anyway, all that to say that balance is hard, but I'll continue to look for teachable moments while maintaining my views on feeding them healthfully.
Parenting is hard! Gah! Why does it have to be so easy to screw kids up but so hard not to!