Is Your Child’s Education Impacting Your Diet?
“Demanding obedience is not educating.”
I was at an in-service lecture for teachers yesterday afternoon and this was a nugget that the speaker shared.
“There is no carrot or stick big enough,” she said, “to give children the opportunity to think for themselves.”
As any good mom parenting in the twenty-first century knows, children today don’t do well with micromanagement. Well, truth be told, probably no kid ever did, but nowadays, this belief is more prevalent than ever.
When a teacher is constantly telling a student what to do and what not to do in every given situation, she may end up with an obedient student who follows the rules and maybe even gets straight As, but that’s about it.
She will not end up with a student who has learned how to problem solve, who recognizes how to use her own judgement in different scenarios, who comprehends the thought process for making correct choices.
When we give our children the chance to think for themselves, we are essentially granting them a fair shot at life.
And when we don’t, we’re basically depriving them of the possibility of discovering their place in this world.
When we micromanage them, “we’re just putting them on a diet.”
Her words, not mine.
And I love the analogy.
Because it’s a great way for us to connect with the concept of intuitive eating.
Obviously, we want to position our children to have the most advantageous opportunities and to offer them the appropriate support and guidance to help develop them as individuals who trust themselves to make their own decisions – in their service of G-d, themselves and their communities.
Why would we, grown, mature, society-contributing members listen to someone else dictating to us exactly what to eat and what not to eat, how much to eat, when to eat and how to eat?
Why would we, grown, mature, society-contributing members listen to someone else telling us that we must follow their rules if we want to have healthy bodies?
Whether that someone is a dietitian with a restrictive food plan, a nutritionist who refuses to consider our unique circumstances or a health coach whose Instagram tips we religiously implement.
What happens when we decide to go off on our own?
We’ve been so conditioned to follow someone else’s rules that we’ve lost touch with our own bodies and have a hard time recognizing our bodies’ needs and wants.
What Intuitive Eating offers is guidelines.
No hard and fast, right or wrong “rules” that are easily and constantly broken. Rather, they are principles that outline an approach to reestablishing a healthy relationship with our own feelings, emotions and desires.
Consider for a moment your personal version of the Carrot and the Stick as it pertains to food.
Maybe your Carrot is treating yourself to a new gym bag or pair of sneakers or even that dress you’ve been eyeing for a while if you lose ten pounds… And maybe your Stick is dropping money into a pool with fellow dieters who commit to losing a certain percentage of fat or their cash will be lost forever…
Whether you’re a Carrot or a Stick person (or both!), it’s time to recognize that these are just incentives. Positive ones and negative ones, but they’re surface responses.
They’re a great way to inspire obedience, but they don’t train you how to eat in a way that feels good and right to you.
By giving yourself permission to explore Intuitive Eating, to take the journey to a healthy relationship with food, you’re allowing yourself to serve your body in a way that most benefits YOU.
Not someone else’s pocket and not society’s arbitrary standards.
You owe it to yourself to give yourself the kind of education that your child deserve!