Hey there mamas.....I'm hoping you might be willing to lend me your expertise. My daughters are 7 and 4....and I'm hoping to get some wisdom from some mamas that have already been there done that with where I am. I apologize in advance if its long, but if you make it through and have any words of wisdom....I sure would appreciate it!
I'll try to keep it as brief as possible with very little history. Divorced, a year out, amicable, almost friendly but distant. My family is here, we are close, spend lots of time there. Ex-husband is a good dad but not attuned, doesn't discipline, no rules, typical "dad" stuff. I'm really struggling with encouraging a healthy diet and healthy decisions for my girls. I KNOW they are only 7 and 4...and I don't think I'm expecting too much. I'm not a complete health nut....we go out to eat, we eat fast food, we like to go for ice cream. I have terrible eating habits and I'm trying *really* hard to make that better, adn at the same time instill some good eating habits and healthy decision making for my girls BEFORE its too hard for them. I think I do a good job of balancing healthy without making treats that forbitten fruit at home.
The problem lies when they are at their dads, and then we go to my mom's.....and it's just everywhere. I'm trying to lessen the artificial coloring, I try to keep treats as TREATS....they are only treats if they are occasional items. When you have candy/cookie/ice cream/sugar every day they cease being treats and just are expected and commonplace. Their dad gives them something sweet every day after school. We eat at my mom's several times a week and we rarely get out of there without sweets, though sometimes when I am there with the girls and not the extended family. When my sis and nephews are there forget it. In order to counteract that, I feel like I am always saying no to anything fun. I don't want to make it the forbidden fruit....but it seems to be leading to an environment of hiding and sneaking. Only with regard to treats.....and I just don't know how to deal with it.
I don't want them to have none, not even close. But I really think its inappropriate and too much to have a couple pieces of licorice after school, and gatorade, and then have chocolate milk with dinner and then have cookies or popcicles or ice cream after dinner. Every day. I think its just excessive. If I absolutely have to I can email my ex and appeal to his good sense and see if he will be supportive...but I'd like to try to deal with it with me and my two girls in our environment as much as possible. He might listen, and he might take a little bit of it to heart, but it won't last and it will change the dynamic....and yes, I know this, because we were married for 8 years. I know exactly what his reaction is going to be and it's just something I don't want to deal with if I don't have to.
So thanks if you made it......did you have to deal with sneaking and lying? How did you balance all the outside influences and encourage your kids to make the right decisions for your family values without making things "off limits" or forbidden? If you have some healthy advice that would be great...but partially I'm seeing this as an ongoing issue that I'm not dealing with well and was hoping all you seasons veterans might have some advice for me....whether its sugar or TV or video games or language or.....whatever. I figure you have the advantage of hindsight being 20/20 and seeing what worked and what didnt.....
TIA if you can lend some words of advice!