Embracing rudeness when it comes to sugar & our kids…
A friend posted on Facebook the other day about how throughout the day her three year old was given a cookie, a brownie, a cup cake. And each time my friend accepted because it was just a little and she didn’t want to seem rude. My friend’s day ended with her little girl screaming and crying as she desperately tried to soothe her.
I understand where she is coming from. My daughter was playing with a friend last week and as they played the boy shared with her his chocolate chip M&M cookies, his Doritos, his chips. I finally said it was enough only to encounter “the look” from the parents. You know the one I’m talking about, the “I can’t believe you aren’t letting them have it; it’s only a little something.” This look is often followed by the knowing glance, or as I like to think of it, the “how dare you judge me” glance.
Goody bags, Girl Scout cookies, bake sale fundraisers, playdates, grandparents visiting (sorry Mom). Each day our children are offered lots and lots of “little” bites. t the birthday party they have cake and get sent home with the bag of candy for later. There are soda machines in our schools. Every kid’s meal comes with a juice box and free dessert. And because we don’t want to be rude, we say “ok,” or “just a little.”
Look, I’m not an ogre. I love to take my kids for ice cream. I enjoy baking with them. But these are things we do sometimes, not all the time. The tidal wave of candy outside the house is what I am concerned with. But where do we draw the line? And more importantly why do we feel bad saying, “I’m sorry, but I would prefer if you don’t give my child a cookie right now.” Are we so worried we are going to offend the other person? And what’s going to happen if we do? Will they hate us? Or will they perhaps see the wisdom in our refusal and try to do things differently the next time.
My friend’s post ended by saying, “I am feeling pretty rude right now,” and I’m glad she is. If we are afraid to be rude, to say no or it’s enough, then we are just ignoring the issue. There is a point where it is just TOO MUCH. So let’s be rude. Let’s say enough is enough. Set your limits and stick to them. If your limit is one cookie, then after one cookie, just say no. While you might feel bad in that moment, when you see your child run with ease and grace or reach for the carrot instead of the cookie, you know that your “rudeness” was worth it.
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About the Author: Courtney Abrams is a Health Coach and Founder of Roslyn Wellness. Trained at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, she helps clients work within the realities of their day to day lives to find ways to make small and manageable changes to their health that can maintained over time. Her clients include people trying to lose weight, beat sugar, increase their energy, cook simple healthful food and reduce stress to name a few. She also shares a passion for food policy and educating people about the foods they are eating and the governmental role behind much of it. You can learn more about Courtney and Roslyn Wellness at http://RoslynWellness.com.