Responsible Parenting

Responsible drinking, responsible gambling, wherever we look there is a marketing message about behaving responsibly.  But what about responsible parenting?

Last weekend I went to the Capital FM Summertime Ball.  It was a belated treat for my daughter's coming of age as a teenager.  We went with some friends and it was a first for all of us. Wembley was packed to the rafters with teenagers and their families, some camped out on picnic blankets in the mosh pit. "Get your hands in the air!!!" was the popular riposte of every act that rocked the stage and I am sure it wasn't only my stamina that was pushed to the max.  If you weren't taking part, quite frankly you were at the wrong party.

This was not a B list concert.  Over 7 hours we were treated to la creme de la creme ...in our daughters' minds and ours actually.  Little Mix, The Vamps, Ariana, will.i.am, Jess Glynne, Tinie Tempah were just some of the class acts on offer, as well as a surprise appearance from Dizzee Rascal.  The concert flowed seamlessly and @ £90 a ticket it was real value for money, with each act on stage for between 20-30 minutes.  I would highly recommend it to anyone with music loving kids in the house.

Camped out for so long it was difficult not to take notice of the people around you and one thing struck all of us whilst we were there and had us chatting over our champagne in the rare breaks we did take from the stadium to draw breath.

It was eating or rather over-eating.  Now I realise I may be sticking my neck out here as it is a thorny subject, but even the children were commenting.  We were in the first row in the stands and at the end of our row was an obese middle-aged man with his teenage daughters who were also tipping the scales at overweight.

My view is very much live and let live, however, this family did not stop eating. Doughnuts, Burgers, Chips on repeat, all washed down with gallons of fizz and I don't mean champagne.  It was quite simply never ending.They say the apple never falls far from the tree and this was a case in point.  We were at a concert with, as I said everyone on their feet dancing.  The atmosphere was electric.  BUT not once did this man stand up other than to collect more food for his daughters, who at most just stood up.  Clearly the father has made his decision in life but with childhood obesity reaching such high levels And WHO declaring it the most significant public health challenge this century, there is clearly in my opinion a role for the parent to monitor their children's eating habits and if necessary bring it under control sooner rather than later.   These girls were gorgeous but they clearly didn't need the quantity of rubbish food they were eating.  There was an opportunity for the dad to step in and say no.

In the early stages of our relationship my now husband was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes and classified as obese.  To look at him you would not think that was the case.  Yes he was bigger than average but to the untrained eye obese was not a term you would use.   He had rowed to a high level as an adolescent and still exercised regularly.  Yet his blood sugar was out of control and  he was quickly whisked off to see a series of specialists to help him address the problem.  After endless consultations there was no denying the fundamental issue which was that his diet was rubbish.  As a bachelor holding down a senior job, dedication to his welfare had fallen by the wayside and as a result of endless takeaways and litres of fizzy pop he was now a certified diabetic.

For the first year of our relationship we lived on a low GI diet.  It was great for my waistline and his.  He lost two stone and reduced his waist measurement, which was the real indicator, by three inches.  At his next health check he was struck off the diabetic list and heralded as a diabetic success story.  He had combated a popular dietary ailment and reversed his status to "normal".

Maybe as a result of this experience I am now more judgmental of people's diets than the average person.  I know the damage first hand that a diet of rubbish can do.  Quite frankly my husband had no excuse other than pure laziness for his condition but as a parent it is possible to prevent our children ending up in this situation.

We all know it is tough being a parent and saying no is without doubt the hardest part of all, but sometimes "no" is the kindest answer in the long term.  There is no need for our children to be facing obesity at a young age and we have an obligation to guide our children with their diet in the same way we would with their drink consumption or their use of social media.  Anything less is irresponsible parenting.

What do you think?  Let me know your views.

 

A Mum Track Mind

 

This Mum's Life

 

Mummuddlingthrough

 

A Cornish Mum

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17 Comments

  1. June 30, 2016 / 5:03 pm

    I can definitely understand your point of view on this, with a son with Type 1 Diabetes who did nothing to cause his condition and has to live with it every day with no current hope of a cure, it does frustrate me when people seem to just throw their life away.

    I also hate how all diabetes is tarred with the same obesity and bad diet brush by the media and word of mouth, a proportion of Type 2’s even only have it as they are genetically predisposed, obviously Type 1 is never caused by lifestyle and then you do get the ones who literally throw their health away with junk food excessive eating and not doing anything. Its beyond frustrating, and I feel so judged sometimes for giving my son Lucozade in public to treat a hypo, so I try not to judge if I see a small child being given a fizzy drink… who knows why they are having it?!

    Sorry for my rambly comment lol thanks for linking up to #PicknMix

    Stevie x

    • July 1, 2016 / 1:01 pm

      Stevie, my mother comes from a very large family and many of her siblings have Type 1 Diabetes, it is by far the toughest end of the Diabetes stick. I have nothing but praise for those like your son who live with it and for parents like you that devote themselves to caring. I hope over time more will be able to be done to combat it and make the day to day life of those that have it more bearable. Thanks for sharing your experience. #PicknMix

  2. June 23, 2016 / 2:47 pm

    Totally agree! As parents, we need to lead by example. We all have our weak points (mine is a naturally tendancy to be pessimistic) but we need to (at least strive to) conquer those bad habits so that we don’t pass them on to our children.

    • June 24, 2016 / 12:08 pm

      I wonder if in some instances it is just lazy parenting. Sometimes it’s so tempting to go for the easy option, rather than take the issue in hand. Thanks for reading and commenting Lucy.

  3. June 23, 2016 / 1:45 pm

    I totally agree with you. Don’t get me wrong – I love a huge slice of choc cake, but I think we need to be role models in all fronts as much as we can be to our kids (without killing ourselves!) and that definitely includes eating. I have a friend whose son literally lives off crisps, chips and fizzy drinks all day long, every day. He is 3. I am like….WTF! It’s just a time bomb….thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub with this post x

    • June 24, 2016 / 12:04 pm

      Wow that is scary at only 3. I have a friend whose son is battling a weight problem after years of her letting it go as he grew up. It’s so sad. #coolmumclub

  4. June 23, 2016 / 12:59 pm

    I agree that parents do have the responsibility in shaping good eating habits and encouraging a healthy lifestyle. I have a family member who has also been able to control his diabetes just through diet and exercise and that is a real achievement. That family member is a role model to ME too, not just the kids. Thanks for sharing with #bigpinklink

    • June 23, 2016 / 1:07 pm

      Your relative’s and my husband’s experience is proof of the importance of a healthy diet. It is a shame though that some parents put their children in that position and don’t take the situation in hand sooner rather than later. Here’s to more inspiration. Thanks for commenting. #bigpinklink

  5. June 23, 2016 / 12:39 pm

    Yes. Totally agree. I’ll tell you my bug bear: oversize EVERYTHING! We used to eat 25g bags of crisps. Now it is normal for one child to eat 40g +. When the girls buy a birthday present for someone, they buy sweets and chocolate – the chocolate bars are HUGE, oversized is the marketing tool now. I hate it at Christmas when you get the metre of Jaffa Cake type promotions. All of this is causing our kids to think that big is normal. You become accustomed to anything growing up and unfortunately for them and us as parents, right now it is big portions. Frightening. Alison #coolmumclub

    • June 23, 2016 / 1:01 pm

      You are right Alison, hadn’t thought about bigger packaging and portion sizes. Remembering back to the concert the burgers had two pieces of meat in them whether you asked for it or not and the hot dogs were double the size. The food industry has a role of responsibility in this too. Thanks for commenting. #coolmumclub

  6. June 22, 2016 / 9:15 pm

    I find it awful when I see this happening, and it’s the parent’s responsible to stop this happening. However as they do themselves, I think they see nothing wrong it in. I believe the UK has high obesity levels, and more needs to be done to tackle this to prevent health problems in later life, and also to promote healthy eating. Thank you for sharing an important post, I hope you all had a great time at the concert, and thanks so much for linking another post at #fortheloveofBLOG this week. Claire x

    • June 23, 2016 / 11:10 am

      Parenting is so much a case of leading by example and I know it is tough to be perfect all the time but with childhood obesity at such high levels and so much in the media about the importance of tackling it, it is astounding that some parents just carry on oblivious. Thanks for commenting. #fortheloveofBLOG

  7. June 20, 2016 / 9:37 pm

    I completely agree with you, I find it so sad to see young children very overweight and parents not leading by example. It is irresponsible in my opinion. The trouble comes, when they reach 16 and you cannot really tell them what they can and can’t eat any more. They kind of need to learn that for themselves then, I think.

    • June 21, 2016 / 2:10 pm

      Hi Suzanne, it is staggering that even though we are surrounded by healthy eating messages on a daily basis that some people just seem to ignore it. If you can set them up early enough with a good diet the rest should follow naturally. Of course none of us are perfect and sometimes an emergency situation may call for a deviation from the norm but the rest of the time there should be no excuse. A very dear friend of mine is facing this scenario with her 17 yr old, after years of saying I must sort out his diet, it seems the moment has passed and she now worries for him when he moves away. It is tough.

  8. June 20, 2016 / 9:21 pm

    It’s so important to teach and model proper eating for our children. The healthy lifestyle will stick with them into adulthood. That’s such a great testimony for your husband to have reversed his condition. 🙂

    • June 21, 2016 / 2:07 pm

      Hi Barbara, I totally agree, if we can start them off young then the battle is won. Not sure where it all went wrong with my husband as his family are complete health freaks. I do use my usband’s past scenario as an example of what can happen with bad eating to scare my children sometimes. Sometimes the stick approach can be effective. Thanks for commenting.