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  1. #1
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    Default The 'boring' house!

    So, yesterday my DS1 (7 years old) went out with a friend and had an awesome time. He went to the cinema where they were given popcorn, frozen coke and lollies. They then went for lunch - chicken, chips and juice and even scored a few collector cards. He was thrilled.
    It got me thinking. Our house is 'boring'! We have very very limited sugar and any 'treat' type stuff is home-made. I only allow limited screen time and encourage my children and their guests (when they have them, but that is also limited) to play outside or board games.
    Did you grow up in a house that was pretty strict? How do you look back at it now? I try to tell DS1 that one day he will thank me for looking after his health. And I believe his good attention span and progress at school is linked to our limited screen time and good diet - but he just thinks we are 'mean' and boring and other households don't seem to be so strict. This is my experience also. I often feel like 'that' parent. Am I too uptight! I want my children to love their childhood, this is so very important to me, but I hate them having lots of sugar and too much screen time!
    Feeling a bit crappy about it all

  2. #2
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    The other house may not be like that 100% of the time though.

    90% of the meals I make are healthy. However when the kids have friends over, I am more likely to buy a bit of junk food and when we go to the movies we do eat lollies / chips etc.

    Could be that the food eaten yesterday was a treat for you DS's friend as well.

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  4. #3
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    As a parent looking back at my childhood I now understand a lot more about why my parents did certain things and how much hard work they put in to raising us, but I can equally look back and wonder ... WTF were they thinking, I'm definitely not doing that to / with my kids.

    I think moderation is important. What you described sounds a bit too boring if I'm honest, but what your DS did at his friends house is extreme (if that's a regular occurrence with them).

    I'd probably aim to perhaps give him small bursts of screen time so you aren't taking it away from him, but he needs to manage that time himself.

    Give him maybe 1 day a month of doing the sorts of things he did with his friends.

    I just think yes limit screen time and sugar on most days but maybe relax it a little.

    My parents were more on the boring side compared to my DH as my parents valued study and school work more and his family valued health and fitness and them playing sport. My parents were very strict and his were more lax and more fun, he seems to have far more happy memories than I do. They went on far more holidays they had more hobbies than us. My memories are more that only for our birthdays and Christmas did we do anything really exciting, DH had more excitement generally but we both turned out to be successful and healthy people, just he has better childhood memories than I do.

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    I think the outing your son had sounds like a really special play date and i wouldn't necessarily assume its like that at their place every day. It sounds like they went to alot of effort to make sure the kids had a special day. I personally think a special day like that is totally separate from day to day food / entertainment / activities routine. What a treat!

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    If it's bothering you and it's bothering him, maybe you could relax it a bit.

    I grew up in a very strict household. No tv at all during the week (and very limited on the weekends too), movies were only allowed to be seen during school holidays, food was very restricted (we only ever got the choice of sandwich or apple after school and even when we occasionally had orange juice it was watered down). Even when I left school I had a strict, early curfew.

    The result, I could not self-regulate at all - went completely off the rails, have a terrible relationship with food and am overweight etc. I also found it hard to relate to my peers at school sometimes as my life was so strict. I think moderation is definitely the key. It doesn't have to be all or nothing - maybe you could allow one or 2 days a month where you relax the rules a little.

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    Sounds like the environment at your house is very healthy for your children OP, but I think it's important to not be strict all the time (not saying you are, but in general).

    My parents weren't what I'd describe as strict, but they had rules and limits on certain things. I think they struck a good balance.

    If you're scared of being seen as the fun police, I would suggest loosening up a little on some things occasionally. Treat them to something fun like an outing to get ice cream I'm sure they'll love it.

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    Ps: i run a very boring household, we try to have a good diet foundation and promote outside play. Plus i am time poor so not much time for fun/ fancy playdates, i wish i could do them more often. Our current outdoor activity for the kids is a slip n slide, its so popular. I let them share a packet of chips or something if they have mates over, but day to day its more or less healthy non processed food.

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    Reading this thread has brought back so many memories.

    Back in the dark ages when I was a child, my parents were extremely strict on what food we were given to eat. We were the classic 'meat and three veg for dinner' family, lunches were always sandwiches, and breakfast was toast and weet-bix. No takeaway, no sweet cereals, no biscuits, and cake only on our birthdays.

    We did have a once a week treat though. Mum kept a jar of smarties and a jar of jellybeans way up high out of our reach, and once a week we all lined up to receive our rations - six smarties and six jelly beans in the colours we liked best! I will never forget how 'rich' I felt walking around with my 12 lollies in a little jelly mould after they were doled out to me!

    I don't have kids yet, but if we are ever so lucky that the IVF works, I think I'll be just like my Mum was. I want my kids to appreciate the little things like I was taught to do.

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    I think most kids think everyone elses families are more exciting than their own.
    For me if I took dd and friend out for a day like your son did that would be a very rare treat normally held for a birthday or something.
    Normally when dd has friends over they play in there room or outside. I will sometimes put a movie on when they need some quiet/rest time. And I will provide them with pleanty of healthy food and a special treat at the end if they have all been good.
    I will admit though that I do let dd watch too much tv but things are about to change which she will not like.

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    My kids will often say after a play date why can't every day be like that.

    we often make a special fuss for weekend play dates. Doesn't mean it's like that all the time.

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