To celebrate the end of the school year, my 7 year old’s teacher had the kids complete the second half of a little booklet. The idea was to show the kids how much their writing had improved over the course of the school year.
My daughter showed me the booklet and had a good laugh about how bad her spelling used to be. I, on the other hand, couldn’t move past the topic she chose to write about.
Candy deprivation. Hmm…
We’ve discussed the kids frustrations on this particular topic several times over the last few months so I shouldn’t really have been surprised. But reading a person’s thoughts and feelings on paper (especially when that said person is your young child) makes it feel more personal. You know?
It made me realize how much she thinks about this on a daily basis.
There is something else I learned. My daughter is the only person in her class who has never tried Jello. When she told me this I thought I’d point out to her that she couldn’t possibly know this to be fact, unless she had asked each person in the class individually (which I figured was highly unlikely).
Apparently, the teacher had asked the class to raise their hands if they had tried Jello and it turns out; she was the only one in the class who didn’t raise her hand. She wasn’t too happy about this.
My five year old shares his sister’s sentiments. He complains (often) that other kids in the class bring candy to school everyday and that it’s not fair that he is never allowed to eat some of the things they bring on a daily basis (e.g. fruit by the foot). My fifteen year old had the same complaint when she was a 1st grader. Some things just don’t change!
He recently wanted to save (and not eat) his gourmet jelly beans (made with no artificial colours or preservatives) for his lunch box so that he could show his friends at school that he’s just like them and that mummy gives him candy too! Sigh.
My childhood and the local sweet shop
I have some wonderful childhood memories that include visits to the local sweet shop. Some of my favourite sweets were cola cubes and flying saucers. Anyone remember these?
I don’t want my kids to feel deprived. At the same time, it’s important to me that I teach them to eat real food.
I announced this week that the kids were old enough to receive a weekly allowance ($1.25) and that they can use this allowance to try some of the things they are always begging me to buy for them. Needless to say, they were really excited at the prospect. My five year old had a serious question regarding the arrangement: Would I be allowed to say no to their choices? (!!!)
I may regret my decision, but I am hoping that it will be a good learning experience for them:
1. Some of the things they’d like to try costs up to $3 so they’ll have to learn to save for it, or do without.
2. I’m also hoping they figure out that some of the really “icky” candy isn’t all that great close up. My five year old had a ring pop once that was given to him by a relative. It created small blisters in his mouth and he wasn’t a happy camper.
This gives me hope.
I’d love to hear how you deal with these kinds of issues. Feel free to share your stories in the comments :)
Post photo credit: Paul Townsend