When you SPECIFICALLY request a trusted relative NOT to buy chocolate for your kids for Easter (but a small inedible present instead)…and they do it anyway.
And not even a small one; a very large, indulgent-looking one each.
THIS I find mega frustrating.
And although I know the intention was absolutely harmless and from a place of love, it’s STILL pretty irksome!
And it leaves me in a tricky situation.
Because if my children are gifted chocolate, if it is something that belongs to them, my view is that the only logical, respectful approach is for THEM to decide when they will eat it and how much they will eat.
Because look, if I gifted YOU a beautiful Easter egg or a box of your favourite chocolates and then followed it up with…”You can only have ONE now…I’m going to put the rest away in the cupboard for when I DECIDE you can another one”…let’s face it, it’d be a pretty disappointingly naff present.
The implication would be that it wasn’t REALLY a present for you, that I didn’t really honour the choices you make about what you put in your body, and I definitely didn’t TRUST you. In a nutshell, it’d be disrespectful and controlling.
Why then should it be any different for children?
But although I strongly oppose controlling what my kids choose to put in their own mouth, I DO believe that our job as parents is to control the environment our kids are exposed to.
So, in other words, it’s our choice whether we have masses of junk and chocolate in our cupboards for our kids to access OR a range of freely available relatively healthy snacks. It’s our choice whether the ‘Easter bunny’ brings a massive bucketful of eggs OR a few small ones and a present. And it’s our choice whether we go along with the current cultural norm of excessive chocolate egg swapping OR decide to opt out of this and do things differently.
Whilst they are young and still learning about their bodies and the effect different foods have on them, it’s our responsibility to minimise them from the overwhelm of too much. Because to be honest, it’s hard enough to cope with as adults sometimes.
Of course they will have to deal with the piles of junk and confectionery we are constantly bombarded with on their own eventually. But hopefully by then they will be less vulnerable and armed with greater knowledge and experience.
HI! I'M DR. NICOLA FARR
I'm a mama of 3 and a parenting coach specialising in picky eating and mealtime stress.
I'm passionate about inspiring parents to enjoy mealtimes & help their children develop a healthy long-term relationship with food.
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