What’s your inner child asking, and how are you responding?
I’m not busting [only] on my five-year-old Caleb. I’m certain my other two kids did this too when they were five. (Excuse me, Caleb would be quick to correct me. He’s five . . . and a half.)
The other day he asked his mother if he could have chocolate milk as a treat. (Frankly, I pounded chocolate milk as a kid. It wasn’t a “treat”, it was a staple.) My wife responded with “No, we don’t have any.” To which he responded, “Oh.” End of discussion.
But this same scenario doesn’t always end so peacefully and understandably. Here’s how it’s gone down in the past.
Caleb: “Can I have some chocolate milk as a treat?”
Us: “No, you’ve had enough sugar for today.”
Caleb: [Nuclear meltdown ensues in an attempt to get us to give in.]
So, back to your inner child.
Have you ever wanted a treat, but didn’t have one in the house? How did you respond? Most likely you just thought, “Oh.”, and went about your business.
But what happens when you want a treat and you know there’s one in the house?
The grown-up in you says no, but the inner child doesn’t like that. After all, it’s in the house. Why shouldn’t they have it? So, the struggle begins.
Your adult self says no, your inner child screams yes. This goes back and forth until someone wins. And, because you’re an adult . . . your inner child wins.
Why? Because, in the end, you’ve no adult to answer to but yourself. And frankly, when parenting ourselves, we can be a bit of a pushover.
So, how can you “keep the peace” between you and your inner child? Don’t have whatever it is you don’t want your inner child eating in the house.
Do some parenting and get it outta your house. Throw it away. Outta sight, outta mind . . . and mouth.
If there’s food in your possession, you or someone you love will eventually eat it. What foods do you wanna have around you? Foods that are conducive to your goals or foods that will be a roadblock?
What those foods are is for you to decide. You may able to have ice cream in your freezer for weeks, while someone you love would need it under lock and key. Likewise, maybe you could eat enough peanut butter in one sitting to send an entire school of children into anaphylactic shock, while someone else would be satisfied with a spoonful.
Make healthy eating easy and convenient and unhealthy eating difficult and inconvenient. Grab a garbage bag and/or compost bin and purge your kitchen of sabotaging foods. (And if you’re concerned about wasting, are the items you’re throwing out actually food? If it is, donate it. If it’s not, would you rather “waste” it in the trash can or in your body where it’ll be stored as fat?)
Once you’ve cleaned out your fridge, freezer, cabinets, and pantry of these foods, prepare a grocery list of healthy foods to replace those you’re getting rid of. Because, if there’s healthy food in your possession, you or someone you love will eventually eat it.