it’s about the candy. sigh.
because we unschool, i try deep breathing when my kids ask for snacks. their choices have changed with their idea of power over themselves, their guilt lessening without my frowny-face. i still make it, depending on my level of internal strength the moment of their ask, but i also turn aside quick-quick when i feel my forehead wrinkling.
i will make and put out a tray of fruit-veggies-dips at least weekly, harboring quiet judgment and tracking which kid eats what. isn’t it impossible not to? i’ve been trying for years, people! the fruit goes quickly, but only one kid eats veggies anymore – unless i want to steam artichokes every night, she reminds me. this is our normal. i tried adding different dips to the rotation, but nothing has stuck. kid 1 hates dip. kid 2 has hated every dip since she stopped liking ranch six months ago.
add voluminous candy to my health efforts, and my deep breathing no longer covers the internal freakouts. i remember my parents “holding onto” my candy, disbursing two pieces after dinners until we forgot to ask anymore. full disclosure: i used this route quite successfully in my kiddos’ early years. within a week, they forgot about their candy, leaving the rest to us or to the trash. but i wonder, now, if the freedom approach would have altered anything. because sugar is addictive and yummy, and because their toddler+ systems gave solid feedback and they were still listening for that input then. now… i don’t see that check-in as much.
something i told myself today: my kids’ bodies are strong from all the healthy food they’ve eaten. another thing: i ate tons of candy at their age, and i am okay.
part of me will always freak out when i see them eating gobs of candy. i’m working through it.