ï»¿ï»¿A while back I wrote a sorta silly post about picky kids.
Actually, I’ve written quite a few of them in the past 3 years, some more serious.
Reader Alice Osborn posted this response, which I think warrants front-page attention. A “reprint” of sorts:
“Love all of this. My parents used to tell my sister and me: ‘That’s the beauty of living in America. You are entitled to your opinion. Isn’t it great? You don’t have to like it. You just have to eat it!’ And as mentioned above, when dinner concluded, the kitchen was closed. ‘See ya tomorrow!’ Needless to say, we learned to like a lot of things we didn’t like-part of self-preservation.”
My reply: Alice, I love your comment. Adore it really. It’s funny. It’s you rolling your eyes at the idea we all have to prance around, offering the infant emperor anything that tastes good, until his tantrum subsides.
It gets us to reflect on a simpler time when we didn’t have whole generations of kids who refuse to work, who aren’t connected to their food source, and who won’t eat anything that isn’t packaged and processed within an inch of its life.
Because we have gotten away from thousands of years of common sense–where parents served one meal and kids were thankful for it and no one thought to refuse to eat. Now we believe kids shouldn’t be “forced” to do anything, and pediatricians say they must be offered “options.” (Usually that means that junk like “mac-n-cheze” must be offered as an alternative to the healthy dish. I spelled cheze that way on purpose because it certainly isn’t cheese.)
Saying kids shouldn’t be “forced” is just a manipulative way to say that nothing should be required of them. (No one would disagree that we shouldn’t FORCE, right? All arguments are silenced by that. But there is nothing wrong with setting limits, having rules or requirements. You and I, as adults, face requirements daily in local/federal laws, rules at work, and religious and ethical codes.)
Once someone wrote me an angry letter about my intro to 12 Steps that outlines my opinions about food and kids. I think she went so far as to say that my philosophy (very close to Alice’s above) was “abuse.”
Let’s reserve the word “abuse” for people who beat their kids or call them names. Not for the people who do what parents did for thousands of years–until we collectively lost our minds in the hands of the refined-foods industry.