or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › How do you handle sweets in your house?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

How do you handle sweets in your house? - Page 2

post #21 of 50

We almost always have some sort of sweet in the house: ice cream, M&Ms, or homemade cookies, usually. We don't really restrict access, but the kids don't ask for it more than I would allow, so it hasn't been an issue. I give them like 10 M&Ms with lunch, or a cookie or scoop of ice cream after dinner, and they seem content with that, and I'm perfectly fine with them consuming that quantity of sweets. 

post #22 of 50
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the responses so far, it's really interesting to see how everyone handles this!!

DS has a major sweet tooth... plus he just loves food in general. His favorite thing in the world is... CHOCOLATE. ("DS, what kind of party do you want to have for your birthday party?" Him: "Hmm... a chocolate party! With chocolate cupcakes and chocolate frosting and chocolate cookies!!")

I started out letting him have 'treats' whenever he asked. So if he asked for chocolate, I'd give him one chocolate chip, and he'd be happy. But then he started wanting more & more so we made a one-treat-a-day rule (and they were usually very very small servings). BUT, then I felt uncomfortable controlling his diet like this, so I thought I'd go back to letting him self-regulate... but he still has the sweet tooth so I'm just not sure what I want to do. The only rule right now is no chocolate once it's dark out (the ~5 hours before bed) and he's probably eating 1-3 tiny treats a day but some days it seems like a lot more!

We don't keep a lot of junk around really... dark chocolate (75%+ cocoa), cocoa & carob powders, that's pretty much it, we don't do "candy" and don't bake often. We are gluten-free & vegan so I keep a stash of packaged cookies in case we're at a party where the cake isn't GF/veg. And DH loves tortilla chips so there is usually a bag or two hanging around, but DS isn't obsessed with them. I can't imagine not having chocolate in the house... when I need chocolate, I need it NOW!! Where do you hide it? How do you keep your kids from seeing you indulge??? DS can hear from three rooms away if I open the chocolate cabinet...
post #23 of 50

we have problems.  i am still trying to figure it out.  dd has discovered begging.  ("just one chocolate chip?  just ONE?")

and the other day she told dh that she "felt like mama was going to bring her a lollipop after work." 

i have no idea how to say no to that.

i like to bake, and it's kind of fulfilling for us to bake together on the weekends, so it's hard to control that too.  plus i love sweets and am huge preggo. 

i am thinking instituting one treat per day is the way we'll go too.  the holidays were really difficult as far as all that goes, too.

post #24 of 50
Thread Starter 
Yeah maybe we'll go back to the one-a-day rule too. Holidays definitely made it tough because people were giving us treats constantly!!
post #25 of 50

It's unrestricted and it's always been. She can eat what she wants, when she wants, and how much she wants. She doesn't "self regulate," I guess. There's no need to. She doesn't have that consuming desire for sweets like a lot of kids do, I think because it's just a part of her everyday. It's not doled out on special occasions or used as a bargaining chip, there's no "forbidden fruit" aspect to sweets, so she just doesn't care about it that much.

 

Her diet, when looked at on a single-meal or one-day basis, is usually unbalanced, and not necessarily in the junky way (today, thus far, she's eaten 2 bananas, half a bowl of raw broccoli, a few green beans, and some chocolate milk, nothing else, though we haven't had dinner yet -- highly unbalanced according to the almighty food pyramid, LOL). But patch it together and look at it over a week, a month, a year, and it's very much balanced. She has days where she eats nothing but sweets and just as many or more where she bypasses them altogether.

 

In my opinion, treating sweets like a treat, doling them out on a restricted basis, or using them for rewards/special occasions, elevates their importance in a person's life and makes it likely that they will eat as much as they can of them, whenever they can get them, because they don't know when the next opportunity will come around. Anyone who has ever taken basic econ understands the idea. The less there is of something attractive, the more valuable and coveted it becomes. It's the oldest advertising strategy in the book: get one now, only 10 left, they're almost gone! When there's no limited supply, demand goes down and consumption levels out. That's what our experience with sweets and DD has been. She'll jump on the opportunity to eat fresh blackberries, because we only get them when they're in season and when we're in a place they grow. They're rare and special and she'll eat herself sick just to have her fill of them, because the next opportunity is uncertain. Meanwhile, the pan of brownies on the counter only gets picked at. Not because she doesn't like it, but because it's always available and there's no urgency.

post #26 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vrai View Post

 

In my opinion, treating sweets like a treat, doling them out on a restricted basis, or using them for rewards/special occasions, elevates their importance in a person's life and makes it likely that they will eat as much as they can of them, whenever they can get them, because they don't know when the next opportunity will come around. Anyone who has ever taken basic econ understands the idea. The less there is of something attractive, the more valuable and coveted it becomes. It's the oldest advertising strategy in the book: get one now, only 10 left, they're almost gone! When there's no limited supply, demand goes down and consumption levels out. That's what our experience with sweets and DD has been. She'll jump on the opportunity to eat fresh blackberries, because we only get them when they're in season and when we're in a place they grow. They're rare and special and she'll eat herself sick just to have her fill of them, because the next opportunity is uncertain. Meanwhile, the pan of brownies on the counter only gets picked at. Not because she doesn't like it, but because it's always available and there's no urgency.

I agree about treating "treats" as currency, or using them as a bribe.  I also think however, that some children (and adults for that matter) have poor self-control from a genetic/biological perspective and need help to learn (like being helped to learn impulse control, some kids are just better than others naturally).  Free, unrestricted access just doesn't work for some kids (or adults!).  I also think this is a different thing than "restricting" or "dolling out" treats though, and that at some point children need to be given some control as well.  It's about balance IMO, and knowing your child and what they can handle, and helping them learn to make good choices.
 

 

post #27 of 50

I suppose it's possible that there's a genetic basis for some people. But humans are programmed and evolved to eat a balanced diet when it's available. Being programmed to eat only or primarily unhealthy food when a variety is available makes no sense biologically and doesn't appear in any non-primate beings. It has to either have a social basis, or be a genetic dysfunction, as it places the beings it affects at a significant disadvantage for life and successful reproduction.

 

Culture dictates what peoples' habits are, not biology, for the most part (disorders notwithstanding). I don't believe that given a blank slate, a normal human brain and body is programmed to do what's bad for it in the long term. Culture and environment mess with it by elevating certain things beyond their place. By forcing "healthy" food and both demonizing and deifying "unhealthy" food, it seems like our western culture creates its own problems. Force develops a negative association, scarcity and intermittent reward develop positive associations. Healthy food is forced, sweets are in most homes at the very least scare (thus valuable). Of course people are going to make poor choices if faced with a choice between something that brings up happy memories and a feeling of euphoria at achieving the "forbidden," and something that brings up unhappy ones. I'm willing to bet that a child force-fed sweets who had vegetables, grains and protein restricted and given the same scarce/valuable status sweets attain in most homes, the child would beg and whine and throw tantrums in the produce aisle, and gorge on them whenever available.

 

If human beings were naturally helpless to their whims and only programmed to eat sugar and to need to learn "self-control" to deal with it appropriately, we'd have gone extinct right out of the gate. The body cannot survive on sugar alone, and the unprocessed mind knows it. If that weren't the case, we'd see epidemic obesity and little reproductive function (for lack of nutrition) in tribes surrounded by tasty, easily available and plentiful fruit, but where other forms of food are scarce or required increased effort to get, because all they'd eat is fruit. But we don't see that. We see people who go to great lengths to have diversity in their diet, even eating things that are disgusting to the human palate. If self-control factored into it, we'd expect to see a large sector of every one of these populations suffering disease and malnourishment from poor diet rather than for lack of availability. But we don't. We only see that in a few societies with a few very specific cultural elements.

 

Biology aside, I question whether someone can learn impulse control by being controlled. Doesn't external control completely defeat the purpose of self-control? I'm not trying to start an argument or put you down, but I'm genuinely curious what the basis of these ideas are. I hear them repeated so often, but outside of the modern western world, there doesn't really seem to be any basis for them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nstewart View Post

I agree about treating "treats" as currency, or using them as a bribe.  I also think however, that some children (and adults for that matter) have poor self-control from a genetic/biological perspective and need help to learn (like being helped to learn impulse control, some kids are just better than others naturally).  Free, unrestricted access just doesn't work for some kids (or adults!).  I also think this is a different thing than "restricting" or "dolling out" treats though, and that at some point children need to be given some control as well.  It's about balance IMO, and knowing your child and what they can handle, and helping them learn to make good choices.
 

 



 

post #28 of 50

DD is 4 and a half and can NOT self regulate at all. We have tried to keep it around and let her decide on her own and she just can't do it.  So we restrict it a lot. I try to loosen up once in a while to see if she is ready but so far no success. Given the choice she will have fig newtons and M&Ms three meals a day. We do keep one treat in the house to have after dinner AFTER she eats good food all day.

 

My second (only 17 months) doesn't seem to have much of a sweet tooth. She will push a cookie away in favor of a slice of orange, so it may be a different story for her. My unlikely hope is that by the time DD1 learns to self regulate, DD2 will still rather have an orange and I won't have to regulate for them much!

post #29 of 50
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vrai View Post

I suppose it's possible that there's a genetic basis for some people. But humans are programmed and evolved to eat a balanced diet when it's available. Being programmed to eat only or primarily unhealthy food when a variety is available makes no sense biologically and doesn't appear in any non-primate beings. It has to either have a social basis, or be a genetic dysfunction, as it places the beings it affects at a significant disadvantage for life and successful reproduction.

OK so at first I totally agreed with this... but DS never had treats restricted for his first 2+ years or so, and we only started regulating them after he started going crazy over them & wanting to eat them all the time. I do think you are right that we a biologically programmed to eat balanced diet, but I think what you aren't factoring in is that sweets, candy, etc. didn't even exist for most of our evolutionary years. I don't know that our bodies can react in a biological way to something that shouldn't even exist in our environment.

My DS will happily eat his chocolate simultaneously with broccoli or brussels sprouts (I've actually seen him stop eating sweets to eat veggies and then resume the sweets and then go back to the veggies). He eats incredibly well and has never met a food he doesn't like. He just has a really strong sweet tooth, too, for some reason, and the amount of sweets he eats when given free access makes me really uncomfortable.
post #30 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vrai View Post

I suppose it's possible that there's a genetic basis for some people. But humans are programmed and evolved to eat a balanced diet when it's available. Being programmed to eat only or primarily unhealthy food when a variety is available makes no sense biologically and doesn't appear in any non-primate beings. It has to either have a social basis, or be a genetic dysfunction, as it places the beings it affects at a significant disadvantage for life and successful reproduction.

 

Culture dictates what peoples' habits are, not biology, for the most part (disorders notwithstanding). I don't believe that given a blank slate, a normal human brain and body is programmed to do what's bad for it in the long term. Culture and environment mess with it by elevating certain things beyond their place. By forcing "healthy" food and both demonizing and deifying "unhealthy" food, it seems like our western culture creates its own problems. Force develops a negative association, scarcity and intermittent reward develop positive associations. Healthy food is forced, sweets are in most homes at the very least scare (thus valuable). Of course people are going to make poor choices if faced with a choice between something that brings up happy memories and a feeling of euphoria at achieving the "forbidden," and something that brings up unhappy ones. I'm willing to bet that a child force-fed sweets who had vegetables, grains and protein restricted and given the same scarce/valuable status sweets attain in most homes, the child would beg and whine and throw tantrums in the produce aisle, and gorge on them whenever available.

 

If human beings were naturally helpless to their whims and only programmed to eat sugar and to need to learn "self-control" to deal with it appropriately, we'd have gone extinct right out of the gate. The body cannot survive on sugar alone, and the unprocessed mind knows it. If that weren't the case, we'd see epidemic obesity and little reproductive function (for lack of nutrition) in tribes surrounded by tasty, easily available and plentiful fruit, but where other forms of food are scarce or required increased effort to get, because all they'd eat is fruit. But we don't see that. We see people who go to great lengths to have diversity in their diet, even eating things that are disgusting to the human palate. If self-control factored into it, we'd expect to see a large sector of every one of these populations suffering disease and malnourishment from poor diet rather than for lack of availability. But we don't. We only see that in a few societies with a few very specific cultural elements.

 

Biology aside, I question whether someone can learn impulse control by being controlled. Doesn't external control completely defeat the purpose of self-control? I'm not trying to start an argument or put you down, but I'm genuinely curious what the basis of these ideas are. I hear them repeated so often, but outside of the modern western world, there doesn't really seem to be any basis for them.



 


No worries, I don't feel put down at all.  I actually agree with a lot of what you have said in terms of control and scarcity.  I also agree that cultural influence cannot be denied.  What I believe is needed is guidance, not control.

 

I think that what I am saying is that parents need to teach children about balance in general, not just when it comes to food.  I also think that sweets and junk are designed by companies to take advantage of evolutionary/genetic traits.  We are no longer dealing with "real" food.  We crave fat and sugar because until very very recently both were very scarce for most peoples and so it made sense to binge on them when they were available.  Also, these "cravings" and what the body can handle are affected by genetics.  There is new research suggesting, for example, that aboriginals in northern Canada would benefit from a high fat, low carb/sugar died because this is what their traditional diet was like and what they, as a people, are genetically best suited to rather than following the Canada Food Guide.  And you mentioned that if we didn't have impulse control we'd be extinct out of the gate.  Again, we aren't dealing with "real" food and look at what we are doing to ourselves as a society.  Look at obesity, heart disease, and diabeties.

 

I suppose this is also personal experience speaking.  My DH grew up in a family where junk food and sweets were unrestricted, nor were other types of food.  Everyone in his family has or had a weight problem, and he had NO self control as a kid and still struggles with it (but yet was let to eat whatever he wanted).  He once ate so many homemade buns that he vomitted them all up.  He would vomit every time he drank orange soda, but drank it anyway...I think that in many, many families it has a lot to do with not even knowing what types of food are healthy.  When we were first married and DH was trying to watch his weight he once took a GIANT plate of potato salad at a function, and I gave him a look and he replied, in total honesty and seriousness "What, it's salad."  He'd never been taught and so he had no idea.

 

As for other species, some breeds of dog have very very poor ability to self regulate.  Golden Retrievers and Labs are notorious for this.  We had a retriever who once ate an entire bag of cat food that was left out.  Another time he went to a friends where they just left dry dog food out in a big pail.  He ate non-stop for 20 minutes until we stopped him.  He would eat almost anything, and wouldn't stop until you took it away.  This wasn't just a problem in this particular dog, and it didn't come from being starved or denied food, it has a genetic basis in the breed as a whole.

 

It's an interesting subject certainly with lots of valid perspectives.

 

post #31 of 50

We have a sweets  section in the cabnit.No  issues with the kids.Dh on the other hand could eat a bag of chocolate in one sitting!

post #32 of 50

My only thought on the evolutionary idea is that technology/diet has changed faster than evolution.  Like previous posters said, tastes that were once scarce (sweet, rich(fat), etc.) that we are engineered to want are now readily available.  A person who may have a stronger genetic tendency to eat more of these things can reproduce before sucumbing to diet-related death (heart attack, stroke, etc.) and pass those genes along.

 

I know anecdotal evidence isn't the most valid, but it is what we base our decisions on food in our house, so here's our thoughts.  DH and I both grew up in pretty much unrestricted homes.  Both were very conventional, with few fruits/veg snacks, but lots of processed foods.  I can regulate myself and just have a few cookies, DH can't stop till he eats the whole box.  Neither of us were actually taught skills to regulate ourselves, I just did naturally and he did not.

I love junk food and don't work out like I should, and still have a very healthy body;  target BMI, low BP, low cholesterol.  DH road bikes daily, tries to monitor his food, etc., but has always battled with being overweight.  His whole family does.  We have a family photo of his Grandpa Elmer (awesome name, BTW) severely obese  (in an old sleeveless undershirt, no less) eating these GIANT, cold hot dogs, surrounded by 10+ grandchildren, many a bit husky (DH word, not mine) themselves.   Evolution can't keep up! 

 

Conversely, we have a friend who grew up in a VERY strict vegan/NO refined sugar home (before it was cool).  She really doesn't care for anything super sweet except in very small quantities.  To her, fruit is wonderfully sweet, and a chocolate covered Trader Joe's Joe Joe is the epitome of decadence.    Is this just her natural palette, or is it due to her environment?  Beats me,  but she is the only person with that background I know, and turns down desert more than any other person I have ever known.

 

We are aiming for somewhere in the middle.   I do have ultimate control, but with a lot of discussion and guided choices.  As DS gets older I am slowly giving him more control of what and when he eats.  We don't make it a big deal and DH and I model the behavior.   We don't put the sweets on a pedestal, like they are the end all and be all of deliciousness, because, as other posters have said, I think that leads to gorging, but we talk about healthy vs. unhealthy, and sugary items are labeled 'treats.'  Treats are delicious, but not for all the time, and aren't available all the time.  Just like I don't wear my beautiful sequin dress everyday (DS likes dress-up...).   I really want this pattern of eating to be the one his habits and idea of 'normal' is based off of when he makes decisions all for himself.  I guess I am a true behaviorist at heart and believe behavior can be taught/shaped.


Edited by jes h - 1/8/12 at 1:54pm
post #33 of 50

there is something about food personality too.

 

here we are talking about sugars.

 

but there are i believe two kinds of people. sugar and savory people. 

 

my bro and i were raised the same way. no sugar initially except the normal with very healthy diet. YET my bro acted like there was no tomorrow when he found sugar. i didnt care. i'd give him all my sugar stuff. 

 

but on the other hand give me good bread with butter, or chips and oh boy i dont stop till i am done. 

 

the other day i LOL when i read the nutrition info for the bag of chips. serving size was about 13 chips. gosh i laughed my head off. who eats only 13 chips. i ate almost 1300 chips the whole day. 

 

i wonder. i think most people have some sort of food addiction. that they have to struggle not to chow down. for some its sugar for others - savory or fat. 

 

today it pains me to see people have forgotten how to eat in just under a 100 years. we rely too much on taste. not how it makes you feel. food is now become a convenience - no longer about nutrition. 

post #34 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vrai View Post

I suppose it's possible that there's a genetic basis for some people. But humans are programmed and evolved to eat a balanced diet when it's available. Being programmed to eat only or primarily unhealthy food when a variety is available makes no sense biologically and doesn't appear in any non-primate beings. It has to either have a social basis, or be a genetic dysfunction, as it places the beings it affects at a significant disadvantage for life and successful reproduction.

 

Culture dictates what peoples' habits are, not biology, for the most part (disorders notwithstanding). I don't believe that given a blank slate, a normal human brain and body is programmed to do what's bad for it in the long term. Culture and environment mess with it by elevating certain things beyond their place. By forcing "healthy" food and both demonizing and deifying "unhealthy" food, it seems like our western culture creates its own problems. Force develops a negative association, scarcity and intermittent reward develop positive associations. Healthy food is forced, sweets are in most homes at the very least scare (thus valuable). Of course people are going to make poor choices if faced with a choice between something that brings up happy memories and a feeling of euphoria at achieving the "forbidden," and something that brings up unhappy ones. I'm willing to bet that a child force-fed sweets who had vegetables, grains and protein restricted and given the same scarce/valuable status sweets attain in most homes, the child would beg and whine and throw tantrums in the produce aisle, and gorge on them whenever available.

 

If human beings were naturally helpless to their whims and only programmed to eat sugar and to need to learn "self-control" to deal with it appropriately, we'd have gone extinct right out of the gate. The body cannot survive on sugar alone, and the unprocessed mind knows it. If that weren't the case, we'd see epidemic obesity and little reproductive function (for lack of nutrition) in tribes surrounded by tasty, easily available and plentiful fruit, but where other forms of food are scarce or required increased effort to get, because all they'd eat is fruit. But we don't see that. We see people who go to great lengths to have diversity in their diet, even eating things that are disgusting to the human palate. If self-control factored into it, we'd expect to see a large sector of every one of these populations suffering disease and malnourishment from poor diet rather than for lack of availability. But we don't. We only see that in a few societies with a few very specific cultural elements.

 

Biology aside, I question whether someone can learn impulse control by being controlled. Doesn't external control completely defeat the purpose of self-control? I'm not trying to start an argument or put you down, but I'm genuinely curious what the basis of these ideas are. I hear them repeated so often, but outside of the modern western world, there doesn't really seem to be any basis for them.



 




i think your biological argument lacks supporting research.

everything i have read points to the fact that humans do in fact crave sweet tastes and sugar.  and high-fat foods when they are available. 

you speak of "tribes surrounded by fruit" and nothing else.  where are/were these people? 

i'm curious upon what evidence you are basing your research.

the very reason there is an epidemic of diabetes, overweight people, etc. is because humans, sadly, have evolutionarily developed the need (which promoted survival) for high calorie, and sweet foods.  even michael pollen speaks to this and how our biological need contrasts with industrial production.  and some people are genetically more predisposed to having issues with sugar/fats/etc. than others but the biological basis for all humans is pretty similar.

it's a tad insulting if you are implying that free-feeding kids sugar is not teaching self control. 

post #35 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vrai View Post

Biology aside, I question whether someone can learn impulse control by being controlled. Doesn't external control completely defeat the purpose of self-control? I'm not trying to start an argument or put you down, but I'm genuinely curious what the basis of these ideas are. I hear them repeated so often, but outside of the modern western world, there doesn't really seem to be any basis for them.


 

How/why would external control necessarily and entirely defeat the purpose of self-control? Can't there be both going on at the same time, especially when we're dealing with kids who are still growing and learning? I've seen this argument before, in discussions about Unconditional Parenting and things along those lines, and it never makes sense to me.

post #36 of 50
My kids get one sweet a day, generally just after they get home from school. If there's snacking with the tv at night, we do popcorn, fruit and cheese or pretzels.


Kids who never get sweets often gorge when their parents aren't around. Too many times I've seen these kids at my kids birthday parties tearing through cake, candy and ice cream like there's no tomorrow.
post #37 of 50

 

 

Quote:
How/why would external control necessarily and entirely defeat the purpose of self-control? Can't there be both going on at the same time, especially when we're dealing with kids who are still growing and learning? 

IRL I have yet to meet an adult that as a child was severely limited on their "sweets" intake and can do this when they grew up- all the ones I have meet go to the opposite extreme and gorge

 

 

 

Quote:
Kids who never get sweets often gorge when their parents aren't around.

I've seen this countless times and really those grow up to be adults and binge on sweets and I have seen the opposite with those who are allowed (without super strict moderation) know how to regulate later in life. I married one! It didn't work for him or his sister- college away (it was 100% sugar high) and has yet to stop later in life.

 

and I mean gorge out far above a bit - pig out

post #38 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by philomom View Post

Kids who never get sweets often gorge when their parents aren't around. Too many times I've seen these kids at my kids birthday parties tearing through cake, candy and ice cream like there's no tomorrow.



I just witnessed this first hand the other day!  We always have sweets in the pantry (cookies usually, sometimes chocolate) and my kids will ask, "Mom, can I have a cookie?" and unless it's close to mealtime, I say sure.  They take one, and go on their merry way.  Anyway, DS's friend, and his two siblings came over the other day.  They come from a VERY strict household with tons of food rules, no snacking, all meals are formal sit-down occasions, etc. DS asked if he could have a cookie and one for his friends too, so I said sure.  Half an hour later, I went into the pantry and the brand new box of cookies was EMPTY!  I asked DS where they were and he said his friend and his friend's sister ate them all.  He said they were literally filling their pockets with cookies because they never got them at home.   I'd rather allow a cookie or two regularly than have my kids binge on them when the opportunity arises because they fear they'll never get them again.

 

post #39 of 50


Alfie Kohn says that children learn to make decisions by making decisions, not by following directions.

 

I think he has an excellent point.  For example, dd (6), decides how much dessert she will eat, and when.  We've made sure her eyes are wide open to the details of it all (health, weight, belly ache, mood, etc), but not in a leading sort of way.  Especially if we are somewhere where there is food to be had (potluck), my children are allowed to eat what they would like, and in whatever quantity. 

 

The last time, dd said, "Mama, I want to try it all, but I know it will make my belly hurt, and I just don't have room.  What can I do?"  So, I showed her that I often cut a smaller piece, so I can try lots of things.  She was pleased with the idea, and didn't have too much dessert.  More than usual, yes, but not too much.

 

She knows what is too much for her only by being allowed to try it out.  She knows how she feels, and how she'd like to feel.  Sometimes she makes an unwise choice, but, then again, so do I.  If I tell her what to do, even if I give her a good explaination, I am still only giving her the explaination to manipulate her to my will.  Sometimes, I do just that...but I think it is important to be honest about it.  If I tell her she cannot have candy because were are going out, and I don't want to deal with the sugar high, that's about me...not about any lesson she is truly learning. 

 

It is also important to not be truly invested in the decision.  She has made herself sick on strawberries before.  I helped her clean up, and I soothed her belly ache a bit, but made sure to point out where it came from, and what happened.  Not in a mean shaming way, just the, "see, the facts of life got you" kind of way.  She has never done it again...

 

Now, if my child wasn't ready to make those decisions, or to benefit from the true (not imposed) consequence, then they would not be making those decisions.  I am thinking right now of my 1 and 2 year olds.  At another holiday thingy, dd3 (1yo), kept getting cookies off the table.  Well, why not?  Everyone else is, and they are pretty and yummy.  I didn't tell her no.  I just took her to the other part of the building to play ball.  I don't have to make a big deal out of something that really is, and should be, in their court.  If they can't handle the decision, then the decision does not exist.  (As in, they do not know about the availability of junk food.)

 

But, as their maturity and abilities increase, so should my trust and confidence in them.  With my children, I am slowly opening the gate, so to speak, slowly making their world a little wider, and a little wider, as they are able to handle it.  I don't want to overwhelm them, or confuse them, or cause them to fail too easily.  This applies to food, and to the rest of their lives. 
 

Quote:.
Originally Posted by coffeegirl View Post


 

How/why would external control necessarily and entirely defeat the purpose of self-control? Can't there be both going on at the same time, especially when we're dealing with kids who are still growing and learning? I've seen this argument before, in discussions about Unconditional Parenting and things along those lines, and it never makes sense to me.



 

post #40 of 50
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by serenbat View Post

I've seen this countless times and really those grow up to be adults and binge on sweets and I have seen the opposite with those who are allowed (without super strict moderation) know how to regulate later in life. I married one! It didn't work for him or his sister- college away (it was 100% sugar high) and has yet to stop later in life.

and I mean gorge out far above a bit - pig out

See the people I know who tend to gorge on junk food are all people who grew up in homes with completely free access to it.

I can't say I know anyone who wasn't allowed any sweets though, so I can't really compare...
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Parenting
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › How do you handle sweets in your house?