Nothing will make you question your parenting abilities quicker than when you realize your child is suffering or is hurt because of choices or decisions you have made for them. As parents, we have our children’s best interest at heart and it is truly one the hardest pills to swallow when you know you are the reason your child is unhappy. Knowing if you would just go with the masses your child wouldn’t be sitting in the corner crying….all over snack time at school.
Here is a little bit of history for you.
I have a 5 year old little boy, his name is Gray.
Gray is in Kindergarten.
Gray’s first year of school last year was great. I seemed to have gotten into a group of “over-acheiver” parents like myself (but I really belong more in a over commit-er and then frazzled parent group-but that’s a whole other post) and daily snack time was typically a nice cluster of grapes and crackers or cheese and water…at least usually. “Bad” snacks didn’t happen often and I was OK with the occasional indulgence.
…and then Kindergarten happened. We went from a nice small class of 14 to a class of 20 something and for some reason the snack stress level went through the roof! Then something happened I swore to myself I never would do, I crossed over. I crossed over into the completely overbearing, life controlling, crazy A type-personality mother and decided that I was going to have to become one of “those” parents. Who would have thought a simple snack could be so stressful and worrisome?? But I had finally come to my limit on hearing day after day from my 5 year old that snack today was, yet again, “gummies and cupcakes! or Fruit roll ups and juice boxes” and I was REALLY tired of the text messages or phone calls of my son acting “crazy” mid-afternoon or doing something completely out of character.
Now my son is 5 and is bound to do some crazy things but I also know that, given enough sugar in one setting my son will go off the deep end of crazy and start looking much like a Monkey on speed…or on a sugar high. So the time had come. I had SWORE to myself that I wouldn’t do it… I try to follow the 80/20 rule (80% of the time I feed him and that is whole, healthy and natural-while the OTHER 20% I just turn my head)… but it was happening. Decision made- My son was not allowed to have regular snack anymore. I would start sending him an alternate snack because I just don’t trust other people to care what is going in my son’s body as much as I do. I did draw some lines in the sand like if someone was having a birthday Gray could enjoy a cupcake, etc. I don’t want him to be left out of celebrations. But I just can’t expect people who don’t follow our lifestyle to quite understand what is going to be a good snack for a kid that doesn’t really eat fruit roll ups or drink juice boxes on a regular basis.
The alternate snack idea has actually went over really well for the most part up until this particular day, just this week actually….and “most part” is what brings me to the story:
I had just finished working with some clients when I remembered to text message my son’s teacher that I would be picking him up from school that day. The conversation that followed, while short, has had quite an effect on me. I started with feeling like pretty much the scum of the Earth as far as a parent goes, to feeling more determined than ever in a single afternoon. I have the evidence right before you:
To envision my son crying in the closet over frosted covered animal crackers makes the Mother in ME want go cry in the closet and then run to his rescue, grab him up, wrap him up and then let him have as many animal crackers as he wants.
Then right in the middle of those thoughts, God sent a voice of reason to me in Gray’s teacher.
You can see right from the text messages my son has a handle on sugar amounts. I have taught him the difference between Protein, Fat and Carbohydrates and what makes those things up. I am proud to say I truly believe he knows more about food and nutrition than most 50 year olds. While some people will berate me with comments like “you are giving him a complex!” I argue back that I am merely giving him an EDUCATION on something that will serve him well throughout his whole life, because, obviously-no one else is going to do it. For those of you that just automatically assume the kid only gets to eat broccoli and chicken I will have you know he gets plenty of the “kid junk” we ALL loved so much. Pizza makes a weekly appearance in my house (granted I am at work…) and every Saturday we go out for a big breakfast to Gray’s choice of places and that usually consists of Braum’s biscuits and gravy with sausage and pancakes. We make cookies together, granted I don’t have regular sugar in my house but we do have honey available. My point is that the kid is not deprived of sweets and indulgences, but they are regulated and thought out.
While this particular day I felt pretty terrible about his situation I came away from it more resolved with the fact that it is OK to be different. It is OK to NOT follow the Masses (lets remove the m and we can all laugh) and most importantly my son WILL be OK.
Just like I am the keeper of my body, until he is older, I am the keeper of his. And his body is even more important than my own. You better believe I will protect him and it the best I can. If that means that I’ll be sending alternate snacks to school for the foreseeable future, then so be it. If that means people will judge me as a parent, so be it. And if that means my son will grow up with a respect for food and a gauge for other not so healthy temptations that WILL come his way, then absolutely, SO BE IT!
One other thing that I find really neat about this situation is that every once in a while I get a text message from Gray’s teacher, curious as to his snack that day, “what did you send today? Where do you get that? I tried one and it was tasty!” I just smile and point in the right direction. Yup, shocking, it’s healthy and it tastes good too! So if I can even have a positive affect on others while I am at it, then SO BE IT AND SO BE IT!
I am not telling others the way they should go, to each their own for sure. But my way will be the “different” way and that is OK with me!
To Our Kids’s Health!
Nutrabio Elite Athlete
Coupon Code LJ2014