[pullquote align="left" type="simple"]Notice: If you are a parent that provides boundaries and holds your child or children accountable for their actions, you will most likely enjoy and agree with this article. If you are one those parents that believes your child or children has free will to explore his or her world (or some other liberal excuse for not applying discipline to your offspring), you will find this offensive. [/pullquote]
My Dad used to remind me often he was in charge. I couldn’t tell you how many times I heard “I brought you into this world, I can take you out.” My sisters and I may have tried to buck him a few times… ok, mostly my younger sister and I. My older sister was an adult by the age of 7 or 8. Either way, I tested my Dad constantly and so, I received constant reminders he was in charge. I belonged to him and he didn’t give into the pressures of “the easy way”. If he told me to eat the dinner my Mother prepared, I either ate it immediately or I sat at the table until I did. Once my little sister attempted to throw a dinner away and say she’d eaten it. Dad knew better, dug it out of the trash and returned the meal to her plate and my sister back at the table. She gave her food to the dog. Smart huh? Not so much… she paid for it the old fashioned way and gained a better understanding of another of my Pop’s sayings… “Ya gotta pay to play”. Funny, she never tried to repeat that particular stunt.
Those where the good ol’ days of “traditional” discipline. When children had parents who had no issue giving a child boundaries and true “incentives” for not crossing them. It worked for tens of thousands of years just fine, but us Americans are arrogant and believe we can improve on tried and true methods.
Let me preface the next part with I have no children. I have never experienced the tremendous “stress” of having a youngan that tests me at every turn. I know they purposefully do everything they can to ruin your life. They do everything they can to keep you from doing what you want. Worse, they constantly crave attention. They are horrible, selfish little creatures that only care about themselves. I empathize with your parenting woes.
Not really, you had them. They are your fault. If you didn’t plan on raising them to be a productive citizens, why did you have them? They need boundaries, rules, and your constant attention. They need you to be a role model and set the example.
They also need good nutrition to support development. The old adage that you can eat whatever you want when you’re young is crap. Children need better nutrition than you. How many of you parents go to a restaurant and order grilled fish and veggies but get the kids orders of fried chicken fingers, mac and cheese, and french fries? Yeah, yeah, I know… I don’t understand what a pain in the a** it is to hear them cry and fuss in public. I get it, it’s just easier to feed your babies crap. Whatever is easier, I guess.
Look around… America is fatter and less healthy than ever before. It’s parents faults. Yes, YOUR fault. There is someone to blame in this case. As I write this I’m sitting in a popular restaurant that is known to hire attractive waitresses (no, not Hooter’s). All I see are thin, but soft and fat 20-24 year olds who live off french fries, cereal, and soft drinks. Their parents allowed them to eat crappy foods and they don’t know the difference. We all know McDonald’s and Mt. Dew is bad for us. But because cooking a healthy meal is too difficult or time consuming or whatever lame excuse for neglecting your child you’d like to insert here, you roll through the drive thru and get them fast food you know is hurting them.
If I fed my dogs what most Americans feed their children, I’d be considered cruel. Think about it, if you saw me feeding my pups Big Macs, fries, Skittles and a Monster drink it would freak you out. You would look down your nose at me and judge me an irresponsible pet owner. But it’s ok to feed it to your children?
How about this? If you witnessed a parent using a taser on a kid for acting out you’d say it was abusive and hurtful and call 911. Yet you’re ok with feeding your child toxic chemicals that you know lead to cancers and highly processed carbs that cause Diabetes. I’d argue the pain and effects of poisoning your child over years is arguably far worse neglect than jolt from a taser.
“Don’t handicap your children by making their lives easy.” - Robert A. Heinlein
So right now, you have one of two reactions to what I’m saying. Either you’re saying to yourself “Hell yeah, someone is calling out lazy parents for taking the easy route” or you think I’m an insensitive ass “that doesn’t understand what it is like”. If you are the first, congrats… your kids stand a chance. If you are the one dismissing me because I don’t have kids and you allow your little ones to eat whatever they want… good luck. Go ahead and get your little one health insurance… they’ll be needing it.
So I’m not one for pointing out a problem without providing a solution. A common thing I hear is that “Little Johnny” doesn’t like broccoli and will not eat it. First, if you’re doing it, your child will be more apt to. One of most important parts of leadership is setting the example. If that doesn’t work try my Dad’s approach. In other words, invoke the other part of leadership… discipline. Sooner or later “Little Johnny” will get hungry enough to appreciate broccoli and all its nutrition.
Seriously, the only way we’re going to get healthier as a nation is for you to feed your children healthy foods now. You had them, they are your fault, so now take care of them. Be the grown up.