Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together


If You Give a CHILD a Cookie…

posted by Linda Mintle

A friendly elderly man brings cookies and candy to the Y every day.

As soon as the children walk in the door, he offers the treats. Again, on the way out the door, the same treats are offered. And he makes it really hard to say NO.  I’ve seen some of the children say NO THANK YOU, only to be pressured to take the cookies.

Maybe this behavior seems harmless to you and you are thinking, cut the guy a break, he is just trying to be nice.

I think he is trying to be nice.

However, I sit on a community coalition that works hard at changing eating habits in children. With record rates of childhood obesity, we don’t want children associating exercise at the Y with unhealthy snacks as rewards. Those children then grow up to be adults who reward themselves with empty calorie food. The seemingly harmless behavior is teaching children the wrong eating habits. And some of the parents do not want the cookies offered by a stranger.

People have complained. I’ve suggested a compromise. How about if he brings small oranges, grapes, bananas or nuts and seeds instead. Or the money he spends on cookies and candy could be spent on stickers, sugar-free gum or something else if he is wants to engage the children. Or make a policy that junk food is not offered when you walk in the door.

Nothing has changed.

You might think, what is the big deal? Aren’t there more important issues to face in life?

The big deal is that so many people I work with have to change their relationship with food and stop rewarding themselves with treats every time they do something that requires physical discipline. This “food as reward” habit is often learned in childhood and carries over to adult life. Praise, activities, stickers, high five, anything else can be used to reward behavior without teaching bad eating habits.

Being nice to kids doesn’t have to include giving them daily cookies and candy at a place trying to promote healthy habits in kids and adults.

If we change these small unhealthy habits, they lead to bigger changes.

 

 

 

 



Previous Posts

Adrian Peterson: When Does Spanking Become Abuse?
This week has been filled with reports about NFL Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson's accusation of reckless or negligent injury to his four-year-old son. The incident has once again raised the controversy surrounding the use of corporal punishment. Three issues are key in this deba

posted 6:00:52am Sep. 18, 2014 | read full post »

Would You Allow Your Teen to Have Sex in Your House?
A friend of mine was having coffee with me and mentioned something that took me aback. Someone we know is allowing her son's girlfriend to live in the house with them and have sex under their roof. Neither of these "kids" are 21 and the family claims to be Christian. Honestly, I don't understand!

posted 6:00:33am Sep. 17, 2014 | read full post »

Does Porn Affect Your Relationship?
During an evening talk show  there were plenty of jokes about pornography. And as the host and celebrity guest settled down, it was evident, porn, in their opinions, is no big deal.  If fact, many of the tabloids and even a few respected marital therapists, will tell you that a little porn is fi

posted 6:00:38am Sep. 16, 2014 | read full post »

5 Ways to Live in Financial Harmony
Money can't buy you love but it sure can make love difficult. Especially if you are in a relationship and not managing your money well. When it comes to money, here are 5 tips to live in relationship harmony: 1) Decide how your credit cards will be used when you enter a relationship. One person

posted 6:00:28am Sep. 12, 2014 | read full post »

Understanding Depression: Let's Keep Talking
This week, Janet Parshall had me on her radio show, In The Market, to talk about a topic the church and society have  a great deal of trouble discussing--depression. The phone lines were constantly lit up. People wanted and needed to talk. Emails were sent asking for help. With  1 out of 10 peo

posted 6:00:22am Sep. 10, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.