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Powerful excerpt from Kate's blog today

I'm a mom to a 3 year old and newborn and I share the same frustrations.

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Fri. Jan 5, 12:42pm

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"powerful"? i thought it was "hysterical". how about teaching your child to make decisions for him or herself. there has been a proven correlation between restricting a child's eating and future overeating problems.

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Friday, January 05, 2007, 1:10 PM

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I try hard not to be judgemental of other people's parenting. It is hard being a parent - especially setting limits, dealing with behaviour, and disciplining. I am not perfect and learn more and more everyday. But I have to say, if you can't say NO to a 4 year old for fear of them having a tantrum, then you are really the cause of your own problems. To blame the lady behind the counter is irresponsible.

Yes, I appreciate it when a waitress asks me quietly about dessert. But if they don't and I have to say no in earshot of my children, I am prepared to deal with their reactions. I am the adult, I am in charge. If I say 'no dessert', and they have a tantrum, then I take them out to the car where they remain until the tantrum is over. Does it suck that I have to miss my meal? Yes. Is it embarrassing? yes. Is it a pain in the ass? Oh yes. But after a few times doing this, my children learned tantrums didn't get results, and they don't do it anymore. They must understand that treats are an occasional thing, and I get to say when their is an 'occasion'. Not the waitress or the lady behind the counter.

Friday, January 05, 2007, 1:22 PM

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To 1:10pm

Spoken like a person who either a) doesn't have children or b) has children but they are older or c) someone who likes to be a beyotch.



Friday, January 05, 2007, 1:24 PM

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allowing a child to agree with food options that are offered them by a stranger is not a good thing. c'mon! yes, you should teach your child to make decisions, but they should be EDUCATED decisions, not blindly made by wondering what tastes best...so there's a correlation between forcing children to eat a particular way.okay. so we don't force them, but instead instill healthy eating habits-by showing them how to order, how to make their own choices, not just follow the suggestions of the sales clerk. children learn in many ways, and teaching by example is a great way to follow-through with these lessons. especially if the parents have learned through their own mistakes in making poor choices. this is clearly the case with Kate.

Friday, January 05, 2007, 1:25 PM

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I'm not the same person, but I would say: Spoken like someone who is not making parenting harder than it has to be.

Just spent the holidays with relatives -- lordy, my sibling's kids are SO poorly-behaved! And the people who suffer the most are their parents. Although I must say, I also felt badly for the restaurant patrons who left because they objected to the unchecked rugrats toddling around their table, whining, tantruming, etc.

Back to the original post, though: What was that counterperson THINKING? Yes, it is Mom and Dad's job to say "no." But parenting is hard enough without people making it worse. I'm surprised she didn't offer the kid a cigarette, too, lol.

Friday, January 05, 2007, 1:31 PM

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"Spoken like someone who is not making parenting harder than it has to be."

is that sentence correct? i'm not sure i get the point. whose comment are you referring to? i'm not trying to be rude, just trying to understand the message. thanks!


Friday, January 05, 2007, 1:35 PM

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It is not the critic that counts!!

It is so easy to be a critic. Why don't you put yourself out there as a blogger on PEERtrainer like Kate has done?

Friday, January 05, 2007, 1:36 PM

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Sorry that was unclear -- double unclear as it turns out! I am the 1:31 poster, referring to the comments of the 1:22 poster, and responding to the comments of the 1:23 poster, who was in fact insulting the 1:10 poster and not the 1:22 poster.... are we all confused, yet?? :)

In other words: Just say "No, you can't have that." And if the kid throws a tantrum, leave the restaurant. You'll only have to do it once or twice. If you don't do it, you'll spend their entire childhood appeasing.

Friday, January 05, 2007, 1:53 PM

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1:24, i do have children, they are not older, and this is the first contradictory thing i have ever posted on PT. i belive in giving children choices and teaching them to think for themselves and to take ownership over their bodies. even a four year old has the capacity to understand concepts of junk food, healthy food, treats and balance. i was struck that the original poster thought lying to the child about mayo/mustard, etc etc was "powerful" example that we should look to; that's why i attached a link to a study that shows a correlation between restricting food and later eating problems. i am only sorry that the original story was not an anon. post and was on someone's blog.

Friday, January 05, 2007, 5:31 PM

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Hey guys, Kate here...

I really appreciate this discussion. Don't worry, I'm not offended by people who disagree with my choices or my parenting methods, LOL...if I were easily offended, as the 1:36 poster put it, I wouldn't put myself out there as a blogger.

I will say that I do a lot of active teaching to my daughter about our (not her - I personally don't think a 4-year-old needs to be responsible for her diet) eating choices. In this case, mayonnaise just happened to be one of the foods I hadn't gotten to yet in her repertoire, and not every moment has to be a teaching moment. And yes, I do say no to desserts when I have to, and if she does have a tantrum, we leave. But I certainly appreciate avoiding that situation whenever possible. Out of sight (and earshot), out of mind. She does have desserts on occasion, but what I choose to teach her is just that - occasion. Moderation.

Anyway, by all means, keep the discussion going. I wouldn't agree with some of your methods, as pertain to my family, and I don't expect you all to agree with mine, as pertain to yours. The important thing is that, in whatever way we choose, we're all trying to take responsibility for our children's health and nutrition, which is a huge problem in this country.

5:31 poster, I think I'll take it as a dubious honor that this is the first contradictory thing you have ever posted on PT. ;-)

- Kate

Friday, January 05, 2007, 7:23 PM

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I have three children, and I am bothered by the fact that soda is the default beverage offering not only at restaurants but at most social gatherings as well. What I have found effective is to repeat my children's choices to them and then ask, is there a better choice we can make? Then they will modify their order on their own-they will still have one less healthy item but they will replace something else they chose with a wiser choice. I agree with not making certain foods taboo-we should be teaching our children to enjoy things in moderation ( like asking for light hand with the mayonaise as opposed to the generous slather most places serve) , not to deprive themselves of things they enjoy.

Friday, January 05, 2007, 7:27 PM

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I am the original OP. The reason I used the word powerful - which admittedly, probably wasn't the best word choice - was because this is an issue that needs close attention. To the dissenters, consider the possibility - brace yourself, incoming compliment coming - that you have more knowledge than most about nutrition. That you might understand that "fruity cheerios" are fruit loops in disguise. Some parents out there, without your level of knowledge think fruit means healthy.

Why do I care? Because of the fact that current statistics show that 1 out of 3 children born after the year of 2000 will develop type 2 diabetes by the time they turn 50. One out of three is a frightening number. Yes, it is the parents responsibility to educate, but, as annoying as I consider this quote, it takes a village.

Saturday, January 06, 2007, 11:18 AM

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I do think it was wrong of the counterperson to speak directly to the child. I am a nanny of a 3-1/2 yr. old girl, and even at that age, she knows the difference between "anytime" foods and "sometimes" foods. I think the mother of the log should teach her child the difference, instead of pretending that desert doesn't exist at certain places, so that the child can be told before-hand "we had sometimes food yesterday, today we are only having good-for-our-bodies-any-time food". Then she could remind her at the counter and the child can make their own choices. Children are really proud of themselves for making choices mom and dad are happy about.
...just my experience and 2 cents.

Saturday, January 06, 2007, 12:57 PM

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11:18 I don't think it takes a village at all. In fact it only takes the parents but our society has unfortunately gone in the direction of not wanting to take responsibility for anything anymore. Its okay to pass the blame onto someone else, no its not. It seems odd to me that with the knowledge we have about health and food nowadays that 1 out of 3 will develop type 2 diabetes. Remember the days back when your parents kicked you out of the house and told you to go play until lunch or dinner, when you didn't spend 5 hours a day in front of the tv? We need to get our children more active, limit their tv, computer and game time, and this doesn't fall upon the school system this is all on the parents and their ability to restrict and limit their kids activities. I have said for years and now being a parent myself and seeing other parents raise their children that it seems parent just don't know what to do with their children and so they let them watch tv, play video games, or surf the computer way to much. Get out their, get involved with your kids, make them be active and teach the right and wrong and that they have choices.

Saturday, January 06, 2007, 1:44 PM

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I'd just like to compliment Kate. Kate, your above post shows a lot of centeredness and personal balance. I'm impressed that you are content to be part of the focus of such a strong (and sometimes more than strong) discussion. I'm impressed that you don't worry about others' judgements of your parenting.

I have four children ranging from 17 to 7 (today!). All are on the slender side. All eat more junk that I'd ideally allow if developing my kids' eating habits were the only parenting task I had. But they're strong, healthy kids and doing well on many levels, so I'm not going to tear my hair out over a few cookies or a piece of chocolate. Moderation, exactly.

I agree with your frustration with the counter woman. Regardless of how a parent chooses to handle it, it isn't appropriate for a stranger to offer a child food without checking with the parents.

Saturday, January 06, 2007, 3:07 PM

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