How things have changed since we were growing up!

When I was growing up we didn’t really have very much as far as luxuries went. We lived very simply. My mother raised my sister and I by herself and she always did her best to make sure we had what we needed. We all worked hard for what we had and I quickly gained a large appreciation for everything around me. New toys were a rarity as were fancy foods. There were times when we would just get by with the necessities. However, even in times like that we were thankful for what was provided.

I never cared about the clothes I wore or what food I would eat that day. I didn’t expected my mother to entertain me, and I never asked her to find something for me to do. I quickly learn to entertain myself, unless I wanted more hard labor to do which was most of the time worse than being bored. Playing in the woods, building forts, and exploring nature were my daily adventures that I was more than happy to conquer.

It seems like these days children complain if they are not given the foods that looks familiar to them, and usually throw fits if they don’t get those wants catered to. It seems like if they whine enough that they will be given the foods that they want even if it’s not exactly good for them.

I can concur with this situation because my daughter was once the same way. She would pitch a fit if she was given anything but rice and chicken for dinner. She didn’t eat soups, hamburgers, vegetables, or anything spicy or that had a different flavor to it. She would also say she didn’t like it before she even tried it.

Why didn’t I yell at her and make her sit there until it was gone? I guess back then I thought if I didn’t give her what she wanted to eat than I was not being a good parent. Why it took me so many years to put my foot down and say “Tough cookie, You are eating it” is beyond me. Well it all changed very drastically when I realized that “Hey my kid looks spoiled rotten when she complains about food.” God knows that if I would have acted like that when I was little I would have gone to bed hungry.

Things had to change. She was given what everyone else was given for dinner and not allowed to complain. As soon as she said “I don’t like it” she went to the corner to rethink her statement. After a few more visits to her corner, she stopped. Then came the instances where she would sit there until the food was cold, then said she would say she was tired and wanted to go to bed. Errrch! Red light, I don’t think so! So she sat there for 2 hours, got a talking to and went to bed.

It took one last stand off to change her mind about complaining. It was the dreaded “Vegetable Stir Fry from Hell” which rewired her “not liking new foods”. She refused to eat it that night. She was sticking to her guns. She eventually gave up, with the help of many lectures, and she realized she wasn’t winning anything but a hungry belly.

Now she eats everything she is given. There still are occasional lectures, which are absolutely necessary. However, she does have a new respect for food and enjoys having new items in front of her. Her question each night, which is asked while hopping up and down, is “What are we having for dinner tonight?”

It seems to me that if we don’t stop and take the time to look back at how we were raised, and what we weren’t allowed to get away with and apply it to our own parenting, then how will our kids grow up with even half the amount of respect that we had when we were children?


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