Thursday, March 27, 2014

Parenting: The "forgetfull" mama and sugar do a tango

Are you regularly on Facebook? Maybe you troll through Twitter a little too much. If you do either of these things then you have probably seen various articles floating around about sugar. There are the studies that claim sugar doesn't cause hyperactivity in children. And the ones that tell you never to eat it again because it is basically a poison. People feel strongly about these things too. Comments can get down right vicious.

Let me relay my story about sugar to you. As you all know by now I am a mama of three kids and I am a trained pastry chef. I do love to bake and have no problem whipping out cookies, or brownies. I also enjoy giving them away to friends and teachers, etc...because I love to see people smile.

Now let's quickly touch on the first world. I don't know why this has become true but sugar has been added to just about everything we eat these days. I'm not talking about just a pinch either. Food companies are adding sugar in its various forms to ketchup, juice, bread, very large quantities. It is very hard to walk down an aisle at the grocery store and not pick up a product that doesn't have your daily intake of sugar or sodium in one serving.

I love my children and want what is best for them. I also like to make them happy. My youngest loves to help me cook and I encourage her because it is a great thing to know. My middle child likes to cook when it is convenient for him. In our house we have a rule: No sugar for the kids past 4 pm. No sugar for mama past 7 pm. I have figured out what the cutoff times should be so that all of us can sleep better at night. (my husband really has no trouble sleeping, so he has no cut off)

I can't quite recall when I started drawing a correlation between my son's horrible behavior and sugar. It has been sometime in the last year. And when I say horrible, I mean H O R R I B L E. He screams at ear piercing levels. He yells. He swats at his little sister. Tells us adults that we are mean. He throws things.( I can go on and on here) The more sugar he's had in a day, or during the week the worst his behavior gets. This morning he started screaming when my husband carried our special needs child who cannot walk down the stairs because he was jealous. He didn't just scream once, oh no. He started screaming just after 6:30 AM and kept going until just after 7 AM.

On Monday morning I packed my son a lunch with a treat in it. This was the start of my forgetfulness. Tuesday I did the same thing and so on. Until late last night I remembered that sugar creates a monster in my son. You see I somehow block this out of my mind every once in a while and then things gets really ugly in our house. I also want to me a good mama and give something special to my kindergartner. Society has told us time and time again that caring, good moms put a little something sweet in Johnny or Susie's lunch box.

Sugar and I tango around through each week. At some point I will have to drop sugar as my dancing partner all together. And that my friends is the hardest part. I can't follow my son around at school and remind him not to eat that cookie at a party or snack on a little chocolate he's got stashed away somewhere. I've got to teach him that he doesn't need it. His friends are eating it though. Why doesn't he get too? It isn't fair he'll screech at me.

I need my fellow parents and society to start changing fast. I need back up here folks. Being left out or different really sucks for a kid. I need fruits and veggies to be offered more at the school parties. And the idea of a "treat" to change from a cookie or a piece of chocolate to some crackers or cheese. I really can't do this alone because I forget.

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