“Everyone that we know is just giving out candy?” – Jerry Seinfeld
When you were a kid, did your parents look through your Halloween haul for scary things like needles and razor blades?
You had a paranoid mom, too, right?
A control freak?
It’s funny that we worried about something that probably wouldn’t do much harm. It wasn’t enough to keep me home when everyone is handing out candy, though!
Sure, you’d get a nasty cut, but you probably wouldn’t chew more than once and you certainly wouldn’t die. Totally worth it.
Just the thought was enough to change the way you think, though.
According to the CDC, from 1975 to 1996, four kids in America were killed by cars EVERY Halloween. KILLED!
How many kids were killed by the candy terrorists? Probably none (click here).
Want to be safe? Be in control!
We are worried about plane rides but not car rides. Why? We load our kids in the Sienna every day, so it must be safe, right? It’s us behind the wheel controlling their fate, or so we’d like to think.
I can’t do anything to keep the plane from crashing into a mountain, though.
Or the Indian Ocean…
Growing up, we always wanted to be first in line, all-time quarterback, and to have a later bedtime. Winning, whether it be a game or an argument, is about control.
Having control over a situation makes me feel safer, like I have some say in my destiny. Having control gives me the feeling that I can sway the outcome in some way. Having control ensures that I won’t be forgotten.
When cigarettes were at their height of popularity, we didn’t connect the dots. We smoked them because we liked them, were addicted to them, and there were no perceived health consequences to doing so.
Once we figured out that smoking actually does cause cancer, many of us stopped and it became less and less common. Why?
Because we could see the cause-and-effect relationship. We stopped because smoking wasn’t a contributing factor but it was the cause of lung cancer. The dots were easy to connect and it was reported to us by people we trust.
We could control the effect by eliminating the cause. It’s pretty straight-forward.
Remember how much candy you and your friends ate after trick-or-treating? What was the consequence? I’ll tell you because it was the worst thing imaginable. You ran out of candy!
There was no perceived consequence because you didn’t feel any different the next day, other than a slight tummy-ache. There were no cuts. No trips to the emergency room. No blood tests or x-rays. No immediate consequences (unless you puked!).
There was only deliciousness. Sweet, sweet, deliciousness. At least, that’s the way I saw it.
We certainly weren’t concerned with how fat we’d get! We were kids! The Bears have a better chance of getting to the Super Bowl!
We were invincible! Sure, sugar will make us gain weight and rot out our teeth; everybody knows that. I can’t see it happening, though, so that means it won’t happen to me!
I’m in control of that.
And, it will never happen to my kids. It takes time and some witchcrafty science, so it’s easier to look the other way.
Besides, giving my kid a treat right now gives me more street-cred than being the meanie that wouldn’t take him out for ice cream after school. Screw the long-term consequences!
Fat, sick, and nearly dead
How many people do you know that are diabetic? Did you ever wonder why we are so fat? Our kids are, too!
I can name one or two classmates that were big when I was in school. They were the anomaly. They were different and that’s how we remember them.
I’d bet I’m not the only one.
I’m sure that I hadn’t even heard of diabetes. Where my kids go to school, being overweight is practically the norm. So what gives?
I’ll tell you. It’s the refined starches, sweeteners, and bad fats that go into junk food. I can hear you already: “oh – so you’re one of those organic, idealist types that think you know everything and that industry is evil.”
Not quite, and don’t be too quick to judge. I know that people are reluctant to make better choices if there isn’t an immediate consequence to their actions.
I also know that little boys aren’t supposed to have tits.
These are the facts: continuous consumption of sweeteners and white flour products (i.e. candy, pastries, desserts, and soda) means chronically high blood sugar, not to mention weight problems (click here).
Chronically high blood sugar means chronically high insulin (the hormone that brings blood sugar back down by storing it as fat). Chronically high insulin means your body gets used it, so you need more and more sugar to trigger more insulin. That’s diabetes.
That will kill them.
Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em
So keep it up. What did Wimpy always say? “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.” We’re interested in short-term gains; immediate satisfaction. We’re teaching our kids to be the same way.
Health be damned.
I have an idea! Let’s skip the hassle of lingering health problems and make the solution more concrete.
Let’s put cigarettes in their candy-sack. Be the cool parent!
Besides, if they’re going to die of lung cancer, you don’t have to worry about what they eat. It’s a win-win!