Dear Mouthy Housewives,
My parents are staying with us over the holidays and although I’m happy to have them with us and my children adore them, I’m not happy that my mother tries to get the kids to drink soda.
I’m not a health nut, but we do not drink soda and I see no reason to give any to my 3 and 5 year old children.
I’ve talked to my mother about this in past years (she brings the soda with her, and doles it out as a special treat) and she said that she doesn’t know what the big deal is.
She thinks I’m being the food police. What do you think?
How can you possibly be the food police if what you’re monitoring is your children’s beverage intake? Or is the beverage police a unit of the larger food police force? And is Sipowitz part of that particular task force? Because I’m still not over seeing his butt on NYPD Blue.
I do know that as a parent you have a right to determine what your children get to eat and drink. And your mother doesn’t get to overrule you.
I don’t blame you for nixing soda in your home. It has absolutely no health benefits and there’s a lot to show that it’s bad for children. (If it’s part of their daily diet. A once-a-year soda, even once a month soda is probably ok.)
Your mother may think that it is more than ok and that you are depriving your children of their constitutional right to sugar and carbonation. She can think that all she wants but she can’t substitute her values for yours and make decisions for your children.
It is also not ok for her to disregard your wishes. What if she decides one day that your children need to wear matching Christmas sweaters with reindeer appliques? Then what are you going to do?
You should talk to your mother again, perhaps in advance of her visit. Let her know that although you appreciate the time she spends with your children and you value their relationship, you are concerned about the studies that have been coming out regarding sweetened beverage consumption and childhood obesity and diabetes. If you need more ammunition, blame New York City (everyone else does) and their anti-soda posters.
I suspect that your mother may be trying to find a special treat that she can share with grandchildren-a forbidden fruit, so to speak, that will win them over. Suggest to her that spending time doing a favorite activity (singing Justin Bieber songs? Playing Trouble?) would be a lot better for the children’s health and the grandmother-grandchildren relationship in the long run. And if she still insists on the forbidden fruit, consider persimmon.