Ah fruit loops…..I have memories of those as a child. What on earth does this have to do with divorce and kids?
I use this example in my courses and when coaching and mediating with parents. What do you have control over?
If the other parent wants to feed your child fruit loops ten times a day, what will you do about it? What can you do?? The answer is not necessarily what you want to hear…..
You can share your desire for your child to eat healthy and well and that you don’t believe fruit loops are a good choice but what will happen? The other parent will..
A) Say “Oh gee thanks I had not thought about that, maybe I should get rid of the fruit loops and add in more broccoli.”
B) Say “How DARE you tell me how to parent our child. All you ever want to do is boss me around.”
You know your own situation well so you know what they will most likely say. Sometimes we do get surprised but not as much as we would like.
What can you do?
You can always control what you do in your household as far as what the child eats, when they go to bed, how much TV they watch, etc. of course within reason. As they get older this becomes harder but with younger kids, you can certainly aim to give them a lifestyle you want them to have – if healthy eating is important to you, then you teach that to your child. Our hope is that children do take in healthy habits their parents teach them. Stay your course, do NOT get caught up in what the other parent is doing SO much that you are affecting your child.
What is ideal? I love to see consistent schedules across households, consistent food choices, consistent routines as this helps the child know the game plan at each home. This also cuts down on kids manipulating and they learn this at young ages!
Moving forward: Control what you can control in your household. Throw out those fruit loops if YOU believe they are bad. Include the healthy eating you believe in and keep teaching your child about the importance of that way to eat. Kids will learn and they will take in those great values as they grow up. It really can happen!