I’m like a Jedi Master when it comes to my children’s moods, and what impacts their moods on a day to day basis. One time, when the kids were starting to act up, I turned to my wife and said, “There is a disturbance in the force!” She looked back at me not knowing what the hell I was talking about and then I said, “I mean the kids probably had too much candy.” The wife isn’t the biggest Star Wars fan. Candy is the first controlled substance that your children deal with on a day to day basis. I have used and abused the power of candy on many occasions. Some of my attempts were successful while others turned us to the dark side.
Candy is literally a controlled substance in my house. The children do not, nor will they ever, have unlimited access to sweets. If you have children, you know why. Kids love candy! I must control the candy and sweets or we will literally have a mob of candy addicts walking around looking for their next fix. Now, I have used candy before as a tool to help me achieve things with the children. However, most of those attempts have ended up as utter failures.
One of my uses for candy was to snap a cranky child out of their grumps when they woke up for naps. I used this heavily for about two months and it was working really well. I went to get a grumpy kid up from their nap and then sit them down with a small amount of M&Ms/something sweet. It really worked. It popped them right out of their bad moods and the candy rush put them into a better mood. That’s until it became expected. What happens when you run out of candy? Or, they get used to these little sugar fixes and want more. Now the “Dark Side” kicks in and all of that sugar you were using to pull your kid out of a crappy mood is being applied as anger towards you. I underestimated the power of the Dark Side!
The other problem with candy is if you have multiple kids. You can never give one person candy without giving them all candy. When you give them all candy, you end up with a house full of crazy children running around and talking loudly. Sugar is really an amazing substance when it comes to children. However, in about 1 hour the candy crash cometh! And with that crash comes the Dark Side of Candy. There are temper tantrums, crying for no reason, arguing over toys, throwing themselves on the floor, basically any awful behavior you can think of. You now regret ever giving your kid candy. This is why you control the candy. This is why they cannot have more candy even though they are crashing in a fireball of sugary glory and screaming for more candy. Candy must be controlled, but candy is everywhere.
Think about this; how many holidays involve candy? Let’s start during our candy break which is the beginning of August to the end of October. My oldest’s birthday is at the end of July. Last opportunity for candy until Halloween. Once we hit Halloween, it’s game on buddy! Halloween starts the massive candy avalanche. The Halloween candy lasts them until Thanksgiving where they are served pie, ice cream, cakes, cupcakes, and more candy. Then there is Christmas, which is another jackpot candy and treats holiday. Let’s not forget that in between these candy holidays are other kids birthdays where they have cupcakes at school or go to birthday parties with more sugary cakes and candy. My middle daughter’s birthday is in January so more candy there. You think you are clear but oh no! Here comes Valentines day in February to punch you in the nether regions once more! Then the Easter Bunny comes to bless you with his wonderful chocolate statues and candy eggs. After that comes Mother’s Day with more cake and ice creams, then we move into the end of the month with the Memorial Day get togethers and more cake, pie, cupcakes, and ice cream. Then comes my third kids birthday right after memorial day with another cake and candy event. You hit June and get a slight reprieve until the Fourth of July where we have more food events and cake, cupcakes, apple pie, and ice cream all infused with candy.
The sugar assault on my children is never ending. So I begin to loathe all of these sugary things to some extent because I know how it affects my children in a poor way. I feel like the “American Way of Life” and our diets have become a quick trip to raising kids into diabetics. Diet is a key word here. Lets just talk shortly about that.
A diet is “a sum of foods consumed by a person or organism.” A treat is “anything that affords particular pleasure or enjoyment.” I also define a treat (in regards to food) as something you don’t have all of the time. If you eat ice cream every night, it is no longer a treat. The ice cream is part of your diet. If I drank beer every night, it is now part of my normal diet. If I give in to this constant bombardment of sugary treats, am I not giving my children a diet of sugar? If they have have sugary treats three to five times a week is it still a treat? Is a diet of sugary snacks and food appropriate for children and their proper growth? We all know those answers.
This year I will struggle again with the children and the sugar onslaught as it approaches. Halloween is the first offensive in the sugar war and sugar comes out strong in this offensive. I have to mentally prepare myself for the war that is coming. It’s exhausting and I’m not innocent either. I get dragged into the sugar mess too. My workplace is at home. Imagine if you had all of this candy sitting on top of your desk at work. Well that’s what it’s like for me at home when the candy holidays are here. The candy is everywhere in my workplace and the lure to the “Dark Side” is strong.