Rule against sweets-- Wise?

A friend restricts her 11-year old daughter's access to sweets, like a hawk she restricts.  The child isn't diabetic, doesn't have a health challenge made worse by sugar, etc. Of course the mother does this out of concern: there's entirely too much sugar in our diets, and it can cause health problems as one ages. !  BUT it seems the child has developed unhealthy behavior around this restriction that was put into place about 3 years ago.

Recently, the family visited a mutual friend (call her "B") who lives out of state.  B told me that the sweet-restricted child would pocket all the packets of sugar she could "swipe" when they'd eat in a restaurant (she'd do so when the mother wasn't looking).  Later, as they walked to their car, the daughter would show my friend B what she'd swiped.

When my daughters were younger I restricted TV watching, online activity, etc.  It backfired.  Now that I've backed off, things are easier between them and me.  What are parents doing regarding sugar intake, for example?  Thanks for your thoughtful input-- that's all I've ever received from this amazing BPN group.

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RE: Rule against sweets-- Wise? ()

I have a now 18 year old. Besides occasionally saying "that's enough with the treats" or "that's enough with the TV," I've never had any restrictions. My child has pretty much been able to self regulate; perhaps I would have had some rules if this were not the case but that never happened. We seriously have had to throw away Halloween candy after one year to make room in the bucket for new trick or treating. The only rule I am strict about is sleep; everyone in the house must get 8 hours of sleep. I believe that self regulation works best when people get sufficient sleep.

RE: Rule against sweets-- Wise? ()

Personally, I agree with you.  I have three kids and they are allowed sugar (and screen-time) in moderation and the older ones are mostly able to regulate themselves. They are allowed one dessert/sweet after every meal and will sometimes purposely avoid eating sweets during the day if they want to same them to have extra dessert after dinner.  I set certain rules when they were younger -- quotas of allowed desserts/sweets on weekdays and a bit more on weekends, and I allow unlimited (up to them) during parties or holidays.  As adults we all get to let go and indulge during special occasions and are a lot more moderate during other times, and I allow the kids the same freedom.  Saying this, my kids are always the ones to turn down cake that is not their favorite during birthday parties and are a lot more selective about their desserts. They are not sugar obsessed.  I of course don't know if the system works because they are not really into sweets or if they are so chill about sweets because of the system.  

Saying all of this, if that is your friend's kid, I personally would stay out of it.  Parents are so sensitive about this stuff and feel they are doing what is best for their kids and personally when I see mom over-do it on restricting sweets, screen time, etc. (and I see it a lot in the bay area) I don't say anything and keep my thoughts to my self.  I get super annoyed when other moms tell me that I should not give my kids a candy or that they should not be watching ipad because it is bad for them, etc. cause it is my choice how to parent my children, so i give the same courtesy to other and stay out of it. 

RE: Rule against sweets-- Wise? ()

Hmmm I wonder why you are asking this question when it seems clear what your own view is. Perhaps cut your friend some slack on her parenting style knowing that you probably only see part of the picture? Perhaps her pediatrician told her the daughter should lose weight? Who knows? Anecdotes on thes type of topics are so hard because what works for one family doesn’t for another. My view is that some kids are born hungry and will seek out sweets A LOT. Other kids are born fussy and shun food a lot. If you have a hungry eater, you have to have boundaries around what they eat and can’t let it be all junk or they will get very overweight which isn’t fair on them. But you have to be fair and consistent which I think includes some sweets and not let your kid get an eating disorder. If your friend is doing the latter as you imply then of course that isn’t healthy! 

RE: Rule against sweets-- Wise? ()

My first boyfriend grew up macrobiotic. No extremes in diet. No eggs. No sugar. I have yet to meet someone who loves sugar more than him. He ate everything he was denied as a kid and in excess. I resolved to never forbid any food for my own kids. So far so good.

RE: Rule against sweets-- Wise? ()

We restrict sugar since 4 years- my child is 10 years old now.  We started due to behavior issues.  I’ll never regret it.  I make everything from scratch- and never use cane sugar.  I do make everything g so my kid has all the kid type experiences of foods like brownies etc... we just use honey or coconut sugar.  

My kid doesn’t hoard sugar packets.  I do know cane sugar is highly addictive so once eaten it’s downhill from there if another “sugar world” isnt created.  One has to make other options- or else it’s whatever is there.  It’s lots of work but worth it like I said.

good luck!