Parents of small children know that it’s very difficult to escape the constant, perpetual, unrelenting, ceaseless, unwavering (aren’t Thesauruses cool?) ENDLESS ways in which one’s children can acquire various random items of JUNK food that have nothing whatsoever to do with said parents giving it to them! Grandparents, relatives, Sunday school teachers, daycare workers, school teachers, barbers, waitresses who think they will get on your good side by bribing the kiddos with sweeties, doctor and dentist offices, on and on down the line – like dope pushers on a Vegas street corner these people will stop at absolutely nothing until your kids are bouncing off the walls from a sugar high that would make Pee Wee Herman look like Eeyore (showing my age here I know – really, I never watched Pee Wee – really – but from what I hear he was pretty hyperactive, hence the lame metaphor).
Oh they mean well, of course. I’m not trying to impugn their motives. They are just trying to be nice. Nobody is in our children’s lives as much as we are, and sometimes I think people who love our kids want to get the absolute most out of the time they have with them. They want to make them happy, to see them say thank you, give a hug, stick out that blue (or red, or yellow, etc.) tongue in sheer delight because of something ‘nice’ they did for them. (I once had an aunt try and give my 4 month old a sucker! Yeah that didn’t end well…)
Every grandparent in our children’s lives has at least once made the joke everyone knows about filling the grandkids full of sugar and sending them home for us to deal with. They say it’s revenge for all the stuff we put them through as kids, but I think really they just want to see their grandkids smile. They said no enough to us growing up. Now it’s their turn to play ‘good cop.’ I get it. I also get why other people do it.
Now, how do we get them to STOP?
Someone who has read any of the other posts in the short life of this blog might be expecting some sort of laundry list of tips to help keep others from giving your kids so much JUNK. If anyone comes across such a list, would you please forward it to us?
Bottom line – Often there just isn’t a tactful way and there never will be, so parents just have to do their best to maintain a balance. America is the most obese nation on the planet for a reason – junk food is an ingrained part of our culture, despite the fact that the bad (obesity, hyperactivity, malnutrition, a myriad of chronic diseases, etc.) far outweighs the good (um, it tastes good??).
If we let our kids eat everything they get from other people they would each have early-onset diabetes by now! So we don’t – we can’t – we won’t. We’re not heartless. We do let them eat some, in moderation. While we appreciate the fact that so many people in our kids’ lives want to make them happy, we do wish folks would realize there’s nothing wrong with a pack of stickers or a pencil now and then!