Posts Tagged ‘ soda ’

A Vegan Parent Asks, “At What Point Am I Brainwashing My Child?”

Sunday, June 22nd, 2014

3 years, 7 months.

Dear Jack,

As we pulled up to the red light recently, you proclaimed from the back seat: “Daddy, you’re a veggie-a-saurus.”

I had to ask.

“Jack, what is a veggie-a-saurus?”

Your reply was sincere,  as always:

“I think it’s a dinosaur or something.”

Then a few days later as we were outside playing at your water table. After a few minutes of no real conversation, you sprouted this on me:

“Daddy, people don’t have to eat meat. Someone should tell them. Hey Daddy! Maybe they will drive and see a cow and then the cow will moo at them or something- then they would know.”

When I hear my son say something that clever, I can’t help but be proud.

But I do remind myself: As a plant-based family, we still represent the minority of American families who live this way.

That means as your Daddy, I must be quite sensitive to the mainstream’s view of our family’s alternative lifestyle.

Is it normal to teach a kid that that “soda makes people sick”? Because that’s what you say whenever you see a soda delivery truck.

And you learned it from me.

Is it normal for a 3 and a half year-old to know that the human body does not require the protein or nutrients of animals in order to be healthy, as long as they can get those nutrients from plants (veggies, fruits, grains, beans, nuts, and seeds) instead?

I don’t think so.  But you know that. And you learned it from me.

Of course, I learned it from the documentary Forks Over Knives, and also from the fact that I personally haven’t eaten any meat in 2 and a half years or any animal products (including eggs and dairy) for more than a year now.

Ultimately, am I brainwashing you?

Maybe so.

And I’m okay with that.

Granted, if as you get (much?) older, and you just really wanted to have some meat, I would be… understanding.

However, few American children are like you, having never really eaten meat before.

So it’s difficult for me to imagine why a boy who loves animals so much, and who understands that proper nutrition can came from plants alone, would ever want to eat an animal.

The concept of “eating an animal” to you is probably just as bizarre as someone who eats chicken, beef, pork, and fish to suddenly consider eating monkeys or horses.

Oh well, I have to assume that if I am indeed brainwashing you as a parent, there are plenty of other forms of it out there too.

Asking the question of whether I’m “brainwashing” you is sort of one of those “morality is relative” issues.

Some parents teach their children to fear Democrats… or to fear Republicans.

Some teach their children there is a God, or no God; while others raise their children in an unpopular religion that other mainstream religions say is a cult.

For me personally, to officially cross the line of “brainwashing” would involve negatively categorizing a whole group of people for not believing what we do.

I have taught you that “soda makes people sick,” not that “people who drink soda are wrong.”

I have taught you that “we don’t have to eat animals,” not that “people who do eat animals are wrong.”

What I feel I am doing is teaching you why we live this way, but at the same time not teaching you to stereotype that majority of our nation who doesn’t believe the way we do.

Yes, you will be probably be slightly different among your peers; as you already are at your school, for being a vegetarian.

But here’s a secret, if you are indeed brainwashed by me, you’re not the only one who has been “brainwashed” in some way by a parent. In fact, find me a kid who hasn’t been; because I’ve yet to see it.

 

 

Love,

Daddy

 

Note: This is an opinion piece of the author and does not reflect Parents magazine or the medical establishment.

 

Add a Comment

Tags: , , , , | Categories: The Dadabase

Daddy, We Should Pour Soda Over The Heads Of The Bad Guys

Sunday, March 9th, 2014

3 years, 3 months.

Dear Jack,

Friday morning as we were on our way to school, sitting at the red light, you looked over and saw what you assumed was a tanker truck delivering gas to the gas station.

“Actually, that’s a soda truck. Soda makes people sick. It’s not healthy for people to drink it,” your health nut dad explained.

Your immediate response:

“Daddy, we should pour soda over the heads of the bad guys.”

Now, maybe if an outsider somehow heard that conversation, they might suggest it’s a prime example of a parent brainwashing their child.

I don’t know, though. I don’t know if it’s common knowledge that drinking soda leads to diabetes (type 2), like it is common knowledge in our family. Fortunately, Diabetes.org recognizes this on their website:

“The American Diabetes Association recommends that people should limit their intake of sugar-sweetened beverages to help prevent diabetes. Sugar-sweetened beverages include beverages like: regular soda, fruit punch, fruit drinks, energy drinks, sports drinks, sweet tea, and other sugary drinks.”

Plus, I don’t know if this is common knowledge either, like it is for our family, that diet sodas are no better for a person who is trying to avoid cancer or disease. Even WebMD doesn’t outright deny or dismiss these claims:

“The most recent headlines have raised concerns that diet sodas boost stroke risk. Diet and regular sodas have both been linked to obesitykidney damage, and certain cancers. Regular soft drinks have been linked to elevated blood pressure… Observational studies like these can point to possible concerns, but they can’t prove that sodas do, or don’t, pose a health risk.”

But over time, like smoking cigarettes, regularly drinking soda is the sort of like playing Russian roulette.

The way I see it, it would be an act of mercy to pour soda over the heads of the bad guys. Better on them, than in them.

Honestly, I would be very upset if I found out that someone let you drink soda when I wasn’t around. That would be extremely offensive to me; even if you only had a few sips.

Aside from the overdose of sugar, and the mysterious chemicals, there’s also the caffeine to take into consideration.

Caffeine is the most unregulated, psychoactive drug in the world; not to mention it’s addictive. An article from The Journal Of Young Investigors: The Premier Ungraduate Science Journal puts it this way:

“According to a study conducted by New Scientist magazine, 90% of North American adults consume some form of caffeine on a daily basis, making this legal, psychoactive substance the world’s most widely used drug.”

As for you, you just drink water all day, then almond milk with dinner.

Soda is not for drinking. It’s for pouring over the heads of bad guys; at least, according to you it is.

You’re nicer than I am, though. Again, I think making the bad guys drink that stuff would be a lot worse.

 

Love,

(Your health nut) Daddy

 

Note: This is an opinion piece of the author and does not reflect Parents magazine or the medical establishment.

Top image: Shutterstock, Evil Soda.

Bottom image: Shutterstock, Soda Cans- Sugar and Caffeine.

Add a Comment

Influence and Individuality

Friday, September 10th, 2010

Thirty-one weeks.

Parenting is one of the few institutions where brainwashing is not only allowed, and a given, but it’s also sort of the whole point.  Like a duo-dictatorship, two people (the parents) have so much influence over another human being (the child) on so many levels.  Freedom of religion?  Nope.  Freedom of speech?  Not so much.  The rules that matter are enforced by the parents and accordingly, the child learns his or her moral code and adopts his human culture largely from how the parents choose to raise him or her.

Will I be a strict parent?  “Strict” has such a negative connotation these days.  It evokes thoughts of having rules for the sake of having rules, yielding a teenage kid that is either so nerdy that he thinks getting to stay up until 11:00 at night to watch Battlestar Gallactica is an idea of a good time, or he’s so rebellious he gets a DUI and a huge tattoo by the time he graduates high school.  So I’d rather not use the word “strict”, but instead “consistent and practical”.  Like my parents were to me.

I have always been very close to my parents; I knew I could talk to them about anything and they would listen, without being judgmental or condescending, yet still guiding me in the right direction.  They gave me a little responsibility at a time, and when I proved I could handle it, they gave me more.  I never had a curfew, nor did I need one.  But had I responded differently to the responsibility I was given, I know for a fact the rules would have been stricter, as they would have needed to be.

I think it’s funny when I hear parents of young kids say, “Well my Brayden won’t eat what I cook him.  He only eats chicken nuggets and pizza, and he only drinks Coke from his sippy cup.”  I smile and laugh with them, shaking my head like I know how it is, when really I’m thinking, “It’s not up to your kid!  It’s up to YOU!  YOU’RE the parent!”

Just like I’ve heard other parents say, “I’m not going to force any religious beliefs on my kids.  They need to figure out what they believe on their own.”  (Which is always a clear indication that parent has no solid religious beliefs, otherwise they would pass them on to their children.) It will not be the case for my kid.  He will know who Noah and Abraham and Moses and Jesus and Peter and the Apostle Paul are.  He will know the importance and relevance of John 3:16.  Just like my dad read to me from my kid’s Bible every night, so will I do for my son.

And when he grows up, I will have influenced who he is.  Yet still, he will have his own personality and make his own decisions.  Truly though, that’s how it was for all of us.  Even if one or both of our parents were out of the picture, they still influenced us- negatively or positively.  So I am choosing to make a conscious, solid, positive influence in his life.  And I will be very deliberate in doing so.

Here’s what The Bump says about Baby Jack this week:

Baby’s energy is surging, thanks to the formation of white fat deposits beneath the skin. (Have those kicks and jabs to the ribs tipped you off yet?) Baby is also settling into sleep and waking cycles, though — as you’ve also probably noticed — they don’t necessarily coincide with your own. Also this month, all five senses are finally functional, and the brain and nervous system are going through major developments.

http://pregnant.thebump.com/pregnancy/pregnancy-tools/slideshow/how-big-is-baby.aspx?page=21

All pictures with the “JHP” logo were taken by Joe Hendricks Photography:

Blog- www.photojoeblog.com

Website- www.joehendricks.com


Add a Comment