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  • I am concerned about the kids

    After babysitting for my sister for a week, I feel absolutely terrified about the future of our country. Honestly, it seems like states are ranking extremely low in education and even though the school did not have enough money to keep P.E, they serve fries, burgers, and pizza every at lunch. Did I mention that there is apparently a soda and snack machine everywhere too?

    She has two kids who do nothing all day but sit at school, and when they come home they park on the couch and do nothing. They watch television, surf the Internet, or play videogames. I swear to you that I think the oldest one gets winded just walking from the bus to couch.

    I am scared that this is only going to get worse before it ever gets better, do you have any similar experiences? Any ideas on how I should try to approach the subject? I am sure that if I told my sister about it in a straightforward manner she would tell me to mind my beeswax. I would really appreciate any feedback from you that you could provide.

  • #2
    I have four kids, feel the way you do, and here it is from me, straight:

    Don't ever lecture the sister - I wouldn't want it, either, no matter how truthful. You just be the aunt/uncle (don't know which you are) who opens their eyes to good food tastes by quietly serving them delicious real food without any fuss. Just answer questions simply. Over time, they WILL remember, just because it is out of the ordinary for them.

    Then, just as quietly, find something enjoyable to do together that just happens to be outdoors. I assume you must love these kids, or you wouldn't be so worked up about them, but enjoying them as people must come first. Then, the love gets all smooshed together with all the fun stuff you do/did outdoors, and those happy memories of coincidentally moving around will hopefully get them outdoors in time. It might take quite a few tries to hit the magic spot with each of them, as they are different people, after all. If all else fails, try outdoor photography - technology combined with sunshine and fresh air!

    I remind you again - they are not your kids, so NO lecturing! You must lead by example and love. You never know what demons you are secretly in combat with: everything from mommy's bad habits to the government food plate being taught at school, to kid talk about body issues and then the media... so no talk. YOU be the lean, happy, healthy, friendly example in their lives. The rest is up to them - truly.
    I have a mantra that I have spouted for years... "If I eat right, I feel right. If I feel right, I exercise right. If I exercise right, I think right. If I think right, I eat right..." Phil-SC

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    • #3
      coming home one night, i ran into a neighbor who is a mom of 2 and keeps the whole family as lacto-ovo vegetarians. she looked harried and it was approaching 8:00. she was eating cheetos and told me her husband had called to say there was no food in the house so could she pick up something on her way? she didn't feel like cooking so picked up cheetos. for dinner. for herself, her husband and 2 kids under the age of 4. i begged her to take some of the eggs i had at home. "nah, that's ok." yes, i judged. let's hope that was a one-off?

      we were walking around an outdoor, outlet center in freeport, maine a few weekends ago and there were some teenaged girls entering a store right with us. one overweight girl was huffing and puffing and collapsed into a chair. "i don't think i can keep walking around much more." it was not yet noon and the stores had only opened at 10. the town is small and flat -- it's not like you have to scramble to ambulate. not long after, we saw them all on a bench eating fried dough. none of these girl were even 20. yuk.

      op: i don't know if your nieces and nephews remain of normal weight? if so, they all likely don't perceive the danger and the future.
      As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.

      Ernest Hemingway

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      • #4
        I totally think the health of future generations is in the crapper.

        But I also coach 30 female gymnasts between the ages of 8 and 16, all of whom are ripped and can do more pullups and pushups than all of the boys in their school, so there's that at least. I do what I can when we have our nutrition information talks.

        Sent via lightsaber

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        • #5
          i am always blown away by the strength of those tiny bullets.
          As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.

          Ernest Hemingway

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Mr. Anthony View Post
            I totally think the health of future generations is in the crapper.

            But I also coach 30 female gymnasts between the ages of 8 and 16, all of whom are ripped and can do more pullups and pushups than all of the boys in their school, so there's that at least. I do what I can when we have our nutrition information talks.

            Sent via lightsaber
            I conditionally disagree. I live in poor farm country, and the boys, at least, look good - they all either have a farm or get summer jobs at one, so get a lot of hard work in. And I have seen a lot of Mormon elders and sister missionaries from the mountain states, and they almost always were lean and strong. I think it depends what micropopulation you are seeing at any moment, but fit Americans are still to be found.
            I have a mantra that I have spouted for years... "If I eat right, I feel right. If I feel right, I exercise right. If I exercise right, I think right. If I think right, I eat right..." Phil-SC

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            • #7
              I agree with crabbcakes. Keep your opinions to yourself.

              I have three kids. We homeschool. Right now, at 11am, my two eldest kids are outside in fresh air, feeding our chickens, running around the yard, and climbing in their swing set (baby is nursing). My kids are all normal weight to thin, and enjoy a steady diet of bacon, eggs, beef, and fruit (we are working on more veggies). Despite this, my kids do spend a few hours a day watching tv or using electronics.

              I would be annoyed as hell if someone told me my kids were unhealthy because of their screen time or the bacon they eat. I have a vegetarian friend with kids who constantly implies that meat is unhealthy and she would never feed her kids beef. She knows very well what we eat, and I want to punch her every time she says it.

              That said, my vegetarian friend's kids are also lean, extremely active, and seem healthy. In my area of the USA, the majority of the kids are lean or normal weight. A small fraction is overweight, and an even smaller number is obese.
              Female, 40 yrs old, 5', 120 lbs (post-pregnancy)
              Went Primal January 2, 2012!

              Paleo Cooking for Cavekids cookbook

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Crabbcakes View Post
                I have four kids, feel the way you do, and here it is from me, straight:

                Don't ever lecture the sister - I wouldn't want it, either, no matter how truthful. You just be the aunt/uncle (don't know which you are) who opens their eyes to good food tastes by quietly serving them delicious real food without any fuss. Just answer questions simply. Over time, they WILL remember, just because it is out of the ordinary for them.

                Then, just as quietly, find something enjoyable to do together that just happens to be outdoors. I assume you must love these kids, or you wouldn't be so worked up about them, but enjoying them as people must come first. Then, the love gets all smooshed together with all the fun stuff you do/did outdoors, and those happy memories of coincidentally moving around will hopefully get them outdoors in time. It might take quite a few tries to hit the magic spot with each of them, as they are different people, after all. If all else fails, try outdoor photography - technology combined with sunshine and fresh air!

                I remind you again - they are not your kids, so NO lecturing! You must lead by example and love. You never know what demons you are secretly in combat with: everything from mommy's bad habits to the government food plate being taught at school, to kid talk about body issues and then the media... so no talk. YOU be the lean, happy, healthy, friendly example in their lives. The rest is up to them - truly.
                This!!!


                Sent from my iPhone using Marks Daily Apple Forum

                Comment


                • #9
                  In the case of the specific, leading by example sounds like the way to go unless there is a serious medical condition.

                  In the general case, I think the health of kids is going downhill, but that's the national trend as a whole. Government has worked with Big Agriculture and for real change we need to change the culture. That's not easy and it doesn't happen with lectures. First, people have to decide that the extra effort in food prep and cooking is worth it, and then they have to be able to devote the time and money to it.

                  That said, I do think computers, TVs and video games need to be limited so kids are more active and using their imaginations more, and parents can definitely work on that. Not saying that all electronic time is evil, just that it needs to be a small part of the day, not the entire afternoon and evening.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I'm a mom and an aunt.

                    I don't take kindly to unsolicited advice (or veiled criticism), and I don't offer it to other moms. I particularly don't offer it to my sister. There are things that she does in her child rearing that I disagree with or think are not healthy, but that's none of my business.

                    When her kids are with me, I feed them what she sends (if anything), and they have unlimited access to fruit and veggies as well as deviled or hard boiled eggs. But, we try to go outside to have fun, or do something active in the house if we can't go out.

                    End of the day, you can only influence them when you are with them -- and outside of that, leave it be. They might discover that they really like a given activity with you, and then want to do that activity more.

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                    • #11
                      A few years ago I read a book (Eat to Live) that I thought my brother might enjoy. He read it and started eating a lot more veggies and since he does most of the cooking, the kids no doubt have eaten more as well. I wasn't trying to reform them, just was excited about the book at the time. Maybe you can offer a relevant book, cookbook, or video that you like in the spirit of sharing as opposed to being pushy about it. I give my relatives books on nutrition occasionally in hopes it might help them, but I don't "check up" on whether they adopt any of it. My feeling is, at least they can't say I never tried to tell them!

                      It's weird to me because I have been on a hunt my whole adult life to solve various health issues, so have been interested in any reasonable information. It's so obvious that nutrition is vital, but most people are like, "I can't be bothered," then they give a litany of their health problems.
                      Age 55, post-menopausal, primal since August '12 with some dairy, lots of seafood, following PHD and the 5 Leptin Rules. Taking ThyroGold, eating RS and zero wheat with great results. My Primal Journal

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Mr. Anthony View Post
                        I totally think the health of future generations is in the crapper.
                        I couldn't agree more.

                        According to this article, 70% of Americans are taking at least one prescription medication:

                        Study: 70 Percent Of Americans On Prescription Drugs CBS Atlanta

                        With one-fifth taking 5 or more.

                        A generation raised on processed foods, little physical activity (video games don't count) and a fear of all things germy are raising a generation of kids that will be even worse.

                        Over 50% of Americans are overweight, I don't see those numbers going down for the next generation of adults.

                        How many adults are raising their kids like this:



                        Instead of like this:



                        The future health of the kids is directly tied to the current health and lifestyle of the parents.

                        If you want to impact the future health of the kids, change the parents and to be honest, I see little hope in doing this.

                        We have a society that seems to foster weakness to the point of rewarding it in some cases.

                        I look at movies such as "Wall-E" and "Idiocracy" as more documentaries of our future than fiction.

                        Depressing......
                        Randal
                        AKA: Texas Grok

                        Originally posted by texas.grok
                        Facebook is to intelligence what a black hole is to light
                        http://hardcoremind.com/

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          It's true that kids follow.

                          DS loves to do kettlebells, but mine is too heavy, so he made some at the kindy (out of art supplies) and faithfully uses them in the AM when I do. We do yoga together and hi does qi gong with his father. He wants to lift weights, but obviously isn't allowed at the gym, which is why he does the kettle bells with us.

                          He's currently practicing his capoeira, and running between that and play dough. We'll be going out to the park later today (the one that a lot of other children go to), and we'll do a hike to get there (this park is big. . . so we park at the far end, hike to the opposite end through the trails, and then play at the park and hike back).

                          Interestingly, all of the children at hawk's current school and his next one are quite fit. It's the four-season "play outside" that's part of the equation.

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                          • #14
                            Zoebird - good point about four season play! My kids play in all weather, too - they just dress properly for it. They go out at 10 at night on weekends in the winter and build snow tunnels for 2 hours, and play in the summer rain (no thunderstorms, folks - just rain), stomp puddles in wellies in the fall and spring, and everything in between. The only kind of weather I don't allow them to go out in is obviously dangerous weather like tornado warnings, hail, lightning storms, and the like that afflicts Ohio.

                            Also - "dirt" is not a four letter word in my household. I actually encourage getting dirty. I got rid of the previous owners' precious wall-to-wall carpeting and chose easy-to-clean floors for this country house. I have personally seen parents who actively discourage hard play in favor of keeping designer kid duds and their interior decorating pristine. As for me - the health of my kids comes before showing off.
                            I have a mantra that I have spouted for years... "If I eat right, I feel right. If I feel right, I exercise right. If I exercise right, I think right. If I think right, I eat right..." Phil-SC

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              True.

                              I just ask DS not to get too dirty before school -- because when he plays, he gets dirty/muddy (I have a pair of jeans that had so much sand/mud in them, you could stand them upright and they would stay that way. I never could get them clean), and his hair looks like a rat's nest. I do not want to appear to be a parent who neglects her kid. So, he has to go to school looking at least decent in his clothing (a little dirt on the knees is not a problem).

                              One of my favorite photographs of him was his first mud puddle experience -- he was about 1 yr old at the time. I showed him how it 'worked' and then he got stuck in. I haven't really been able to remove him since. LOL Also, he's hilarious. He'll strip down to nothing on the front patio of our apartment building so that he's not as muddy going into the house. It's an absolute riot.

                              Our family even went out on 'polar vortex' days for a nice walk and some park time -- but because we didn't have *all* the clothing needed, we kept it pretty limited.

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