Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Good parenting /= Stressed parenting

Just more evidence that taking a breather and giving your kids a little room to play on their own is good advice:   A new study suggests stressed parents result in obese kids.

Why?  Well, the study suggests stressed out parents frequent fast-food joints more and are less inclined to plan organized meals.  Which makes sense.  Its hard to make food to feed two or three kids when you are busy ferrying them each to 3 sports or activities.

What can you do to stop the stress?  Stop trying to make your child the next Einstein or LeBron James.  Yes, you want to provide every opportunity available, but your child's genes set in concrete when sperm met egg.  No amount of after-school activities will make a child with a 95 IQ the next Stephen Hawking nor your short, slow child an NFL wide receiver.  Relax and enjoy who your child is, rather than worrying about what they will become.  Ninety five percent of your role in who your child becomes ended at conception; the remaining five percent just isn't that hard.

Which brings me to something my wife and I have talked about recently:  You have to give kids alone time to play and explore their world independently.  But more than that, you have to give yourself time.  Hovering over your child while worrying that if you aren't on top of them 24/7 they are somehow suffering doesn't help them.  It just makes you stressed out.

I personally was glad the story tried to dispel the myth that eating healthy is hard, time consuming or expensive.  While the story mentions that preparing healthy meals can be overwhelming expensive, it also notes the availability of low-salt, frozen and canned vegetables.  My local grocery store has recently had canned vegetables on sale for $0.89 and store-brand frozen vegetables for $1, with nicer brands at 4 for $5.  While the dollars can add up for three kids – trust me, I understand - that isn't expensive.  In a pinch timewise?  Nuke some

Eleanor Mackey, PhD, at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., says Parents are often stressed and have a hard time providing healthy options.  It can be difficult to raise healthy kids without adequate resources."  But the reality is that 3/$1 Cup Of Soups "souped up" with a $1 bag of peas and carrots would probably feed 3 kids for $2.  Neither time consuming nor costly.

So, you can feed your kid quick and cheap – and healthy!  

1 comment:

  1. I enjoy the wife conversation part, bu you forgot to mention she is a genius.