Just what I was thinking too

I was talking to a friend as we were in my car about giving kids sweets, as in letting your own children eat sweet things in the house.
As luck would have it The Felt Mouse Has voiced my thoughts much more eloquently than I could have in her post here.
When I was a kid my Mum tried to limit sweet things because I was a chubby child (just as I am now a chubby adult with major body issues) and a chubby child just did not fit in with her whole visual take on the world, if you didn’t look perfect like on the tv or in the papers then you weren’t worth bothering with or you needed fixing. She was always trying to fix me but all she ended up doing by denying me the odd biscuit or sweet was creating a pathological desire in me for sweet things. Like any kid I wanted what I could not have. She loved sweet things herself but was slim, she often had a toasted tea cake instead of a cooked meal, esp if my Dad was working away. She hated cooking and always said that if she could take a pill and not ever have to eat again she’d be happy. I think what she meant was she wanted a food pill so she didn’t have to cook. My Dad got so fed up with Mum’s refusal to embrace the whole cooking thing that he started cooking the meals himself. Don’t get me wrong, she cooked meals but just didn’t enjoy it – that kind of pushed through to the dining room and the whole family meal ambience. I love cooking, esp when my kids actually eat the food. I love to see them clear a plate and it’s worth the effort, and it is a hell of an effort sometimes. The kids know I love food too, so I hope that they understand the meal process and learn to cook for themselves when they grow up and move out (dear God please let them move out when they get to 25)
You know, I don’t really know but I think that the denial/reward thing that went on in my parents house is now so entrenched in my pysche that I cannot dig myself out of it. I still sneak and eat biscuits when no-one is looking yet appear to never eat at all. I skip meals and snack all the bad stuff. 42 years of inappropriate eating is a lot of baggage to shift (in all senses of the word).
So, in conclusion (!) if my kids want a biscuit or a sweet and they haven’t had seventymillion packets already that day then I let them have one. They don’t associate sweets with anything other than a treat that is not a meal. These kids are worked so hard at school, they work hard at home on homework, they do sports during the week and at weekend and are generally a joy to be around (I type this and they then bicker and scrap til blood it drawn) I find it’s a reward to myself letting them have something in moderation.
I have found these past few months referring to my parents parenting techniques quite a lot…..and doing exactly the opposite. So my kids get lots of positive reinforcement, very little expectation as long as they are doing some work, lots of encouragement, they get taken places and I do a lot of research to ensure they get a rounded childhood (i google stuff in other words)and oh yeah they get told ‘I Love You’ all the time. I was never sure I was loved and I certainly am not now by those parents.


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