Angel Face and I have been going to Story Time twice a week at the bookstore.
I thought it would be a gentle, non-threatening way to introduce her to the company of a group of children around her age – something (else) completely new to her.
Here’s how it works: Moms, Grandmas, and a few Dads, here and there, gather in the back of the store with their young charges, who range in age from two to about five. Everyone stakes out a spot on one of the chid-sized benches or the floor. The Delightful Ms. Lyn comes in at 10:30am, does some stretching, foot-stomping, get-your-wiggles-out stuff with the kids, then reads three age appropriate stories (15 minutes, approximately). Then she has a craft project for them.
(Here’s where the Rant comes in)
Now, I’ll admit, it’s been more than a few years since I spent time in the company of toddlers and their parents, but not that many years…Exactly when did it become an accepted practice to ply your children with snacks to get them to sit still for a short while?
The moment these kids get out of their winter coats, the snack bags come out of the purse. They munch and crunch the entire (short) time. And, no, Samantha’s Mom, I don’t care if those are organic marshmallows, or carrot sticks, or Teddy Grahams or Goldfish or whatever!
What are you teaching these kids about food? Or, for that matter, about basic behavior?
“Mom says stay put. That means a treat.”
“Mom says Shhh! That means a snack.”
Instead of “Sit still, and listen, or we will have to leave early.” Instead of, “Because that’s how we behave in public. That’s why.” We have, “Shhh! Here. Have a cookie.”
Seriously? Are you the same people ranting about Childhood Obesity, and claiming it’s all the fault of Evil Advertising and Ronald McDonald?
Here’s the deal, Younger Parents and Grannies Who Can’t Be Bothered To Discipline: When you feed a child, whether it’s a meal or a snack, make that the ONLY thing you are doing at that moment. No television. No toys. Certainly not while someone else is speaking, reading, singing or otherwise performing in public… Don’t let them develop the Mindless Eating habit. (You know, that’s the one that makes you say things to yourself like, “Hey! Didn’t I just open this bag of chips? The game’s only half over…”)
They’ll thank you for it later.
Oh, and while we’re talking about feeding kids, how ’bout growing some food with them?
We ARE in a book store, after all…
NOTE: There are supposed to be more photos to go with this, but they don’t seem to be arriving in my in-box from my phone…If they ever emerge from the ether, I’ll add them in.
Or, I’ll take more at the next Story Time…
Note #2: She LOVES Story Time!