As a parent, I often think about what I can do to help my boys avoid struggling with the same things that I have struggled with and continue to struggle with throughout my life. I have a good life, and I am grateful that it is as good as it is. However, no one is perfect and each of us has our own list of things that we struggle with.
I have overcome some of the things that I had trouble with as a child. For example, I had some pretty intense sibling rivalry going on with my sister. As we grew into adults, my sister and I really got to know each other as unique individuals, each with our own strengths and talents. We realized that no good would ever come from comparing ourselves to each other, so we don’t. Instead, we celebrate each other for who we are. Since sibling rivalry was an issue for me, I make every effort to prevent it from becoming an issue for my boys. So far, they seem to be developing a good relationship, and I hope that they continue to do so.
One thing that I have yet to overcome is my attachment to eating sugar. A few months ago, I thought that I had overcome it. I realize now that although I had gotten more skilled at avoiding sugar, I still struggle with cravings for it and with getting back to avoiding it after I give in to one of those cravings. I am renewing my efforts to break the hold that sugar has on my body, and hopefully I will be able to enjoy the occasional sweet treat without sliding down the slippery slope into regular sugar consumption.
What does my attachment to eating sugar have to do with my kids, you ask? I do not want my boys to struggle with sugar addiction. It does not feel good, and it is hard to overcome once it takes hold. In order to give my boys the best possible chance at avoiding sugar addiction, I keep it (mostly) out of our house, and out of their daily diet. This is not easy, because sugar and sweeteners are in so many foods where you would not even expect them to be. However, I believe that any efforts that I have to make to buy, prepare, and serve food that does not contain sugar are worth it. My boys eat what I prepare for them, and for the most part they enjoy it. Many times, children will be happy to try new foods if the adults that are serving them have a positive attitude. We do enjoy sweets once in a while, like a slice of cake at a birthday party. After all, my husband and I are not trying to teach the boys to fear sugar, only to know its proper role in a balanced diet.
Photo by dhester on morguefile.com.