Grocery Store Parenting

temper-tantrums-0You know when you are at the grocery store and some kid is being a menace and in 3 short seconds, you can determine just what his parents are doing wrong and how you would do it better? Yeah. It is always easy to parent other people’s children. We always know how we would do it better.

We were camping this weekend, which means being exposed to a lot of families. And tired, dirty crabby, sugar high kids. And I had some great ideas on what I would do in those temper tantrum moments. Cause like I said, I am great at parenting other people’s kids.

Last night, laying in my tent, I got to thinking, how would people parent my children. What do people think about how we do things and what do they roll their eyes at when we parent?

For example, I have a pretty good idea that many people would know how to get Johanna to eat. I am sure I have talked about her eating issues on the blog many times before. Here is one example:

Did you know the first time I fed Hanna oatmeal with banana flakes in it she was 6 months old. The first bite I gave her, she swallowed the oatmeal and spit out the tiny flake of almost dissolved banana onto her bib. And she proceeded to do that for every single bite. I did EVERYTHING that every book said to get this child to eat. She wouldn’t. And the older she got the less she like. And she won every single battle. So I had to, for my sanity, give up. The kid eats what she eats, we do not make a big deal about it and everyone is happy.

Except once every few months I feel horrible and research on line, talk to my (therapist) co-workers at lunch, and bribe, beg and threaten her to try one bite of pancake. And she won’t.

Kraft-Mac-and-CheeseHanna eats cheese pizza, chicken nuggets, mac and cheese (boxed or home made by my mother, but she does not like any other home made), pretty much any form of potatoes, grilled chicken strips made by my dad on the grill, lasagna, wonton soup, lo mein with no veggies or meat and toast. She will, with complaint, eat spaghetti (noodles with meatless sauce), and hot dogs. She will eat a variety of basic baked goods. No fruit, no veggies, very very little meat.

There are days I think that I am letting her destroy her body. I am afraid her teeth and hair will fall out and she will get anemia and rickets. She gets NO vitamins, minerals or anti-oxidants in her food.

I thought she would outgrow it, but she is 11 in a couple days and there seems to be no hope of change in the next year. I am not sure where I am going with this, certainly not looking for advice, because, trust me, I have heard it ALL. I guess I am just saying that whenever we decide we know exactly how someone else should parent their child, we really have no idea what is going on. We really have no idea how to parent that child. The only thing anyone knows for sure, is that children are a complete mystery and we have to shrug our shoulders sometimes and just give in and make a few potty jokes to make us all laugh.


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