That’s it. I’ve had it. I want to start an Anti-Everything Parents League.
Who’s with me?
I really am talking everything – the whole kit and caboodle.
Anti-sugar. Anti-processed food. Anti-video games. Anti-cell phones. Anti-electronics. Anti-little plastic toys that people keep giving kids. Anti-having to buy the latest gadget all the time because every other kid has one.
I’m sick of it. And I’m sick of us making our kids sick.
- 40 percent of our kids are overweight.
- Worse yet, one out of every three children in our society is obese.
- That obesity rate? It has tripled since I was a kid in 1980.
That’s not even getting into the rapid increase in childhood diabetes, the impact on self-esteem and quality of life or the fact that obese kids often grow into obese adults and the whole slew of health problems that presents.
- The average amount of TV American kids watch a day? 4.5 hours.
- The time they spend using entertainment media? A whopping 7.5 hours.
- Only three out of 10 high schoolers eat veggies each day.
- Two thirds of those high schoolers drink at least one sports drink or soft drink a day.
- Heck, we start them early. One in five infants – we’re talking babies here – drink soda.
The Grinch mom
I have been trying fight the good fight. Less TV. Limited computer, Wii, video games. Rationing candy. Making veggie juice and fruit smoothies and wracking my brain for new ways of coaxing some good stuff down throats.
But, I am so freaking tired. I don’t like being the no-no-no mom all the time.
I just want to say yes sometimes (and I do – probably too often). But, before I even get to think about saying yes, my kids are tempted by the potato chips and cookies sold in the school cafeteria. (One spent all of the change in his piggy bank on these sweet treats before we discovered it.)
They’re given candy during the day for rewards and juice and cupcakes for birthday treats. They’re given juice and who knows what else in their after school program.
(Remember when juice used to be good for you? I guess we were fooling ourselves. Now it’s known as just another sugary drink meant to be limited to one glass a day. Forget giving your kid OJ with breakfast. They’ll get that one serving elsewhere later by someone who just knows they are serving up an elixir of health.)
They go to sports practice, and good-hearted parents bring them Caprisun with its 18 grams sugar and zero grams everything else, along with Freeze Pops with their 13 grams sugar and zero grams everything else. Or worse, a bag of Chips Ahoy.
And then, you stop at the bank, and the teller offers your kid a lollipop.
Of course, none of these nice people are overdoing it. They are treating the kids, just this once. The problem is, every other adult in the kid’s life does the same thing, just once – and all those just onces add up.
Heck, we have done it. Same thinking. Rewarded by those same happy smiles as we divvy up the poison.
We will assimilate you
And then there’s those dang Borg-like electronic devices. They assimilate children, turning them into a brain-dead, sedentary collective. And yet, we give them to our children. Why?
Tonight’s rant, in fact, was inspired by my normally very reasonable and responsible son’s rant about not receiving more technology for Christmas.
You know, all of his sixth grade friends have cell phones, Nooks, Kindle Fires, iPads and Xboxes and are getting Ferraris for Christmas next year.
We actually considered getting him a Kindle, not the Fire. The problem is the kid can burn through a book a day. At that rate, after year’s worth of Kindle books for him, we could probably have paid for a Ferrari.
Here’s the thing world: Maybe our kids shouldn’t have everything they want. For that matter, maybe we shouldn’t give them everything we want to give them.
My son is sad right now, but, seriously, will his life really be any less rich if we borrow his books from the library instead of booting them up on an electronic device?
Still, I need this saying no stuff to get easier. It would help a lot if a slew of others were swimming upstream against society right along with me.
So what do you say? Will you join my Anti-Everything Parents League?
And now just for fun …
What happens when you tell your kids you ate their candy?