Setting Limits with Kids in a Limitless Society

October 19th, 2010 No Comments Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

You’d think we were living in Vegas or something. “Anything goes” seems to be the motto on the beat these days. “Ah let them have fun they’re just kids”….this morphs into….

  • Let them go where they want…
  • Let them do what they want…
  • Let them act the way they want…and
  • Let them eat what they want.

STOP! That’s were I come in. In the post on October 4 and April 11 I raddled off many tips and tricks for parents to get them started with kids, eating and activity if weight is an issue. I touched on “setting limits” because volumes can be written on this topic.

Yes limits, kids despise them, parents surmise them but the tykes simply thrive with them. It’s true. Yes it takes some effort, but you AND your child will reap the benefits in spades. Ok so here are some common situations with suggested solutions I’ve seen over the years:

Mom’s a Short Order Cook – “Eggs Over Easy….”

Little Johnny has mom wrapped around his little finger. When a meal is prepared she’ll compensate with one dish after another and yet another in a merry-go-round of short order cooking. “Oh I don’t want him to go hungry!!” If this is you STOP. You are the boss remember. YOU make the rules. Choose common foods for the kids to eat. Take the “eye of nute” off the menu for the time being. Present the food to them in an age appropriate fashion. Some toddlers go through stages where they don’t want various food to touch or they despise mucky sauces. You can play this game. But you serve the food and they eat it. No forcing. No crying. No punishing. No threatening. After a reasonable meal time of say 20 minutes when everyone is done put the food away. And voila. If Little Johhny’s still hungry because he kicked up a fuss with you and you didn’t fall for his games he can wait until snack time before bed. Period.

In this scenario offer 3 meals and 2-3 snacks/day, nothing unlimited. Drinks are at meal times and water is served in between. No wandering juice cups for every waking hour. Make limits. Stick to them. And a little rumbling tumbly will teach Little Johnny to eat when it’s meal or snack time. Not when he bloody well pleases. He’s playing a game with you and stringing you along…..

Mom & Dad Playing By Different Rules – UN-United We Stand

Most kids are smarter than Einstein when it comes to playing parents off one another. Get your rules straight and be a united front. When 1 of you caves no one wins. Especially your child.

The Kids Drink Flavour Drinks Til They Look Like a Koolaid Jug

Ok folks drinks are food too and need to be treated as such. We live in a society where our vehicles are customized for jumbo travel cups. DON’T FALL FOR IT. Most of us are NOT living in the Sahara Desert. Let’s have bevy’s at meal and snack time as noted above not 24/7.

As I mentioned before, water’s ok in between meals.  For now if weight is an issue let’s only have milk at meals and no juice. NO juice isn’t bad. But let’s get Little Johnny in the habit of eating his fruit instead of drinking his fruit up the whazoo for the time being. Eating involves chewing and swallowing and registers to a greater degree with hunger and satiety cues.

The TV Makes a Great Babysitter – NOT!!

Ahh for the love of zombies. My Mom used to call the TV “the idiot box”. I think the term still applies…. 500 channels later. Research shows limiting screen time to a few hours per day will help with Little Johhny’s weight. Turn off the tube and every other GD computer game and get the kids outside playing….

Oh My, the Boogey Man Lives Next Door

Do you live in fear because you watch the 6 o’clock news?? Ya, me too. Become aware of the safety stats in your neighbourhood and use common sense getting the kids to go outside and play. Team up with other parents to take turns watching the kids play but for goodness sake let them play and be active.

Kids Don’t Have a Clue About the Basics…

…of making something as simple as a sandwich; I talked about this in my August 19th post and April 11th. When age appropriate, get kids involved in the details about food, meal planning, grocery shopping, food prep and dare I say cleaning up. Who are you, the GD maid?? They need to learn these life skills. Get them involved early on.

When the Kids Whine They Get Their Way – “Yay Fast Food Again”

Now after it’s all said and done and you’ve planned out your meals for the week don’t cave and hit the drive through just because the kids are whining. Turn a deaf ear to it. Yes all foods fit and work it into the family regimen. But NO – do not give in because you’ll end up wasting a lot of good food. What are you teaching them about all of this? Teach them something important like “waste not want not”.

Ok folks, so I’ll be wearing my witch costume for Halloween this year :-) I know I sound like an ole meanie. In fact it is the parent who does not set limits who is the REAL meanie in this scenario. Like the saying goes “no means no”…..

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