April 10 2012

Spineless Parents Feed The Food Nannies

Julie Gunlock

On Easter Sunday, my children ate a lot of candy.  They ate candy at breakfast (after tearing into their Easter baskets).  They ate a little at lunch.  And they finished the day off with a few peeps, jelly beans and mini chocolate eggs.  It isn't our normal routine, of course, but Easter is a special day for children. It is one candy and confection-filled day out of the year. 

Yesterday, my children woke up and were shocked--SHOCKED!--that they couldn't have candy for breakfast.  There were tears, sobs, fists banging on the table followed by my threats of punishment and eventually a few lectures about how we need to eat our good and healthy food so that our bodies are strong enough to put out all the fires and rescue all the cats from the trees (all three of my boys plan to become firefighters, natch). I reminded them that we have a routine of eating oatmeal and milk in the morning, a lunch of sandwiches, chips and fruit and a sensible dinner.  Eventually there was quiet, somewhat sad resignation to the fact that the candy glut had ended. 

It made for a rather unpleasant morning but I was prepared. I've gone through this before with my three very young children.

However, for a certain group of spineless parents, this routine of teaching kids good and balanced eating habits while also allowing them an occasional treat is just too difficult and they want to punish all of us in order to make their parenting responsibilities easier. 

So, just who are these spineless parents?  Who can forget the case of Monique Parham who sued McDonalds (well, it really wasn't her, she was just a puppet for those well-funded irritants over at the Center for (JUNK) Science in the Public Interest, or CSPI) because the fast food company had the nerve to place a toy in her children's happy meal (I wrote about Ms. Parham's case more fully here).

Thankfully, Ms. Parham's case was dismissed last week, but CSPI made its point in bringing the suit in the first place: Parents simply are not capable of teaching their own children good eating habits.  In the CSPI’s opinion, parents are too addled, distracted, poor, dumb and irresponsible.  Therefore, food choices must be limited to those items approved by the CSPI.

And while it is a victory for commons sense that Parham's frivolous lawsuit was dismissed, spineless parents continue to crop up around the country and they want to limit your and your child’s food choices.

For instance, in the tony Park Slope neighborhood of New York City, a certain group of parents are outraged that an ice cream truck is trolling their neighborhood.  Why the outrage? As one sniveling mother put it, she "should not have to fight with [her] children every warm day on the playground just so someone can make a living!”  My goodness, this poor woman with her charmed, carefree, take my kids to the park every day kind of life. The horrors she faces.  What a brave, brave soul to face the daily challenge of telling her son he can't purchase a Creamsicle, a Sundae Cone, or an ice cream sandwich. 

I bet this poor woman has do down an entire bottle of Sancerre every night just to take the edge off!

People should understand that the food nannies feed off these silly notions.  These spineless parents are helping to promote the narrative that parents need help from the government because their job is just too hard. 

If you know a spineless parent, get them help.  Provide them an easy to read book on basic parenting skills.  Give them a DVD of the first season of the Super Nanny.  Take them to your house where they can see actual limits placed on children, consequences for bad behavior and (gasp) punishment…in action!  Teach them how to say the word "no."  Practice with them: No, No, No. Do some role playing to help them get over their fear of three-year-old ice cream lovers.

Strong, independent, liberty-loving parents have a duty to help spineless parents.  We must preserve that cherished childhood tradition of begging your mom for a dollar for the ice cream truck…only to have her say NO!

 

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