Sitting with Batman the other day I had a revelation; an important possibly life altering revelation. I had been reading about sugar intake that day and read about how it causes cancers and all that shit. When it hit me. I don’t give my kids sugar because it’s bad for them, but I don’t give my kids sugar because it’s good for me. What better reason right?
Does this make me a bad parent or a good one because essentially at the end of the day it is benefiting them, but I do it because at the end of each day I don’t want to be throwing back 4 bottles of wine, 12 doobies and 7 valium’s to hide the trauma’s parenting had on me that day.
With my eldest, (10 years agoish) I never really looked into what he ate, I was barely 20 years old and had little knowledge of the effects refined sugars and preservatives could have on a human, I was 20, an uneducated-little-derpy 20 year old that ate way too much Pizza. All I knew was that he needed to be fed, with good nutrients so I always made sure he had the right intake of veg but having said that his behaviour never really seemed affected by sugars and preservatives, lucky me. We were invincible or something, and back then I myself was insanely addicted to sweet things, and somewhere around then I got a little chub chub.
We recently watched ‘That Sugar film’ which was actually made by a guy from my home city of Adelaide (I’m so famous now.). I have always been pretty healthy, but more so now since losing 18 months of pregnancy baby weight in the last year and generally I eat well but night time comes and I turn into a wine and chocolate demon. I scrounge the cupboards and devour all things cocoa, and wine and even might send Batman out to get me them bad things. However the film changed my perspective a lot and made me think about the things it might be doing to my kids, my kids being 10, 4 and 3, are already intensely overly kid like but I wanted to see what cutting sugar out might do.
Within a day we saw a difference, within a week we said “wow, the kids have been so well behaved this week” and then connected as to why.
We had dramatically changed out all the packaged foods such as muesli bars (or those kinds of easy grab snacks) ‘healthy’ cereals and kid yogurts as well as the known sugar filled treats like cookies or muffins at the shops, to, you know, bribe them to be good with, which actually has the reverse effect.
Either way things changed:
- They stopped shanking each other with sharpened lego blocks every time they played.
- They listened a little better.
- They followed instructions a little bit better.
- We would go a whole (like…a whole) day, even days in a row without yelling or saying “What are you doing? Are you crazy?” or muttering under my breath“What the actual fuck” as much.
- They in general became humans, they seemed more focused, attentive to us, to each other and we found we enjoyed being with them more as a result, things didn’t seem as unmanageable as they had appeared to be.
- I also cried less and said “Fuck sake” a lot less. Win!
In general, we noticed a difference that has made this a permanent thing in our daily life.
One day after Wheels finished school we went for a coffee, the kids had been wonderful all day/week and they all asked for a cookie, I really reluctantly said “If you have to”.
BIGGEST MISTAKE I HAVE EVER MADE. almost.
Within 10 minutes? Maybe 15. Hell opened its doors and had engulfed my local shops in a smokey firey haze. We still had shopping to do that afternoon so I announced bravely that we would be leaving the coffee shop.
It went as follows (please keep in mind that prior to this they played at home all day as sweetly as iced donuts):
- Child A spent the entire trip running away and squealing. Screaming and kicking when restrained by his eldest brother, just generally causing a ruckus that caused people to stare like gazelles, he flat out ignored any pleas I made to subdue the beast within.
- Child B spent it screaming because she wanted to run too but was restrained to a stroller, which meant I had to walk around yelling in public at a child running away with another screaming hysterically like I was hitting her in the face with a fist full of hell.
- Child C watched his relaxing trip to the shops with him mum spiral into something that even the girls from ‘Geordie Shore’ would be embarrassed about.
- I readied my shanks to delve into the souls of 2 small children, I literally could not in anyway shape or form have made the situation any better if I had tried, the idea that I had completely lost control of my own children feels much like being the only one to see a ghost when you’re home alone.So much fear and loathing.
- I was hit, slapped and yelled at all within 30 minutes, by my angel children that love satan.
- I almost cried.
- I was probably most certainly a little embarrassed.
- I held back more tears.
- I had to hold in my intense desire to scream, to verbally abuse the demons that were once my children.( I am a wonderful calm loving mother I swear).
- And then we stormed home with me telling them the whole way that they were literally unbelievable. Then I dobbed to their dad and begged on my knees for sympathy.
Once we had returned home totally unsure, bewildered and shocked about what had just happened, my eldest and I looked at each other and said: “The cookies”.
Those crunchy but soft deliciously amazing fucking subway cookies.
Sugar not only is affecting our children’s health and behaviours, it is addictive and is causing thousands of children to be labeled naughty and leaves many probably diagnosed with behaviour disorders, when really all they may need is a diet change (do not hold me to or quote me on this highly under researched opinion) .
Sugar isn’t just bad for your kids, it’s bad for your own mental health.
Giving kids cookies, chocolates and treats that aren’t typically good for you is pretty much giving crystal meth for kids, pretty much. After consumption they will pick their scabs (see: Your soul), they will rage when they need more, they will hit, scream, laugh hysterically just like an addict. They may even steal, the light and hope for a better tomorrow from your eyes.
Sugar is bad. Do yourself a favour and look into it, look at those ‘healthy’ foods that the shops trick you into thinking are healthy. Look into the amount of sugars that are actually in these treats we feed our kids.
Look into the long term effects, the short term effects and decide, is it worth it?
For our family, it’s not.
I don’t not let my kids have sugar because it’s bad for them, I don’t give them sugar because it’s good for me, and maybe a little bit so they don’t get cancer.
I love my kids, but I love them heaps more when they’re not ‘high’.