Now you know of course, I am not talking about the food here. As I launch into the next few posts which will be focused on giving your kids effective eating habits for life, I am going to get you to focus on yourself. No, I don’t mean that you might have secretly eaten the bag of potato chips when the kids went to bed, and you think: ”How can they possibly have good eating habits when I am so abysmal myself and struggle with weight?”, or “I can eat all the candy I want, but my 8 year old daughter is chubby and I can’t stand it and I am so worried I am going to give her an eating disorder.”
When I say “What are you Bringing to the Table?” I mean, what is your own history and legacy as a kid growing up in your family? Were you a picky eater but became a member of the Clean Plate Club, because your mom would have been heartbroken if you hadn’t eaten everything up? Were your parents health food freaks and never let a morsel of sugar or junk food in the house? Were you put on a diet as a 10 year old and did your parents always have an eye on what you ate?
These kinds of questions are what you need to ask yourself. Because they inform your own style of parenting. We all parent in ways that are a combination of modeling, (doing what you know because that was done to you), a complete reaction against, or informed by reading, learning and trying to find what works. Then to add to the mix, is the other parent, (if your kids have another parent in the picture, even if living separately,) and what their influences are.
It is worth thinking about. Because even if you have figured out what works for you, it may work for one kid, and not another. Or it may work when they are still fairly compliant, (if you actually have one of these kids), but won’t when they try to get more control over their lives, and may use food as a fighting tool. If you can’t separate out the issues, you may get sucked into it, as you might be too scared to ‘create a problem’ with food.
To help our kids stay on track with their bodies, take responsibility for feeding themselves well and creating effective eating habits they can use for life, we start here. More to come.