一場由養樂多而引起的討論-A deep discussion caused by Yakult
我不鼓勵我的孩子甚至我們自己吃添加糖，但是我也不反對我們偶爾吃添加糖，只要平均每天吃的量是遠低於建議標準。其實單從每天一瓶養樂多的含糖量來說，是低於美國心臟協會建議的每天添加糖的攝入量。那反對養樂多或者是糖的媽媽們的顧慮是什麼？ 是擔心孩子們控制不住自己而多吃？是怕放開了這個規則後，孩子們會更懂得怎麼談判其他規則，日後更難帶？或是真心覺得養樂多就如毒品一樣，孩子一旦開始喝就會很容易上癮然後無法控制？甚至更深層的自我反思問題：孩子喝養樂多，對您自己來說意味著什麼？ 控制孩子喝養樂多，對您來說代表了什麼？ 您自己希望從這"控制養樂多攝取行為"中得到什麼？
- 觀察和了解您的孩子真實氣質個性，您的孩子是比較喜歡探索還是喜歡先觀察？ 反應強弱？情緒波動大小？ 堅持度高低？活動量高低 等等，這樣，在溝通過程中，或者在處理這些"界線談判"中，可以根據孩子的氣質個性來採取有效溝通策略。
- 尊重孩子。孩子想喝養樂多，背後是有他的需求原因，尊重孩子意味著我們要去了解這個背後的原因：是為了嘗試這個味道？ 還是希望和其他小朋友一起的感覺？ 還是因為天氣很熱，剛好有一瓶冰的養樂多來解暑？還是單純的喝的這個感覺，可以讓他覺得開心。請記住，尊重不代表任由孩子做任何他想要做的事情。
Last week, I participated in a parenting salon. During small talk, I discovered that most mothers' number one enemy is no longer "children watching TV" or "children going to bed late," but Yakult! Because of the enemy of Yakult, the participating mothers naturally formed an "anti-sugar combat team."
"I don't let my child drink Yakult, but he argues with me that 'every one of my class is drinking Yakult, why can't I?"
"We went to a birthday party. The inviting parents prepared a lot of Yakult and put them on the table for the children to drink at will. I feel so stressed!"
"My child is not allowed to drink Yakult or eat chocolate before the age of 6."
"I try not to give my kids products with sugar. But it's tough. The older the kid is, the harder it is!"
In addition to taking care of the household tasks and the child's daily diet and arranging and accompanying the child for school and extracurricular activities, the mother must also understand various nutritional standards, control the child's sugar intake, and handle his emotional up and down! Moms, we are so busy!
Is a bottle of Yakult that bad? Is sugar so bad? To better understand the topic of Yakult and sugar, I started my fact check.
- According to the definition of the US Food and Drug Administration, "added sugar" refers to the sugar added during food processing (such as sucrose or dextrose), food packaging as a sweetener (such as edible sugar), syrup and honey sugar, and sugar in concentrated fruit or vegetable juices. But they do not include the natural sugars found in milk, fruits, and vegetables.
- According to the American Heart Association's recommendations, children between the ages of 2 and 18 should consume less than 25 grams or six teaspoons of "added sugar" a day to keep the heart healthy.
- The National Health Agency in Taiwan recommended that proper sugar consumption is a percentage linked to the daily calories required.
For children with moderate activity levels from one to six years:
- Children aged 1-3 have a daily intake of 16.9 grams or about four teaspoons of added sugar - (based on 1350 calories required per day)
- Children aged 4-6 The upper limit of daily added sugar intake is 20 grams or about five teaspoons for girls and 22.5 grams or about 5.5 teaspoons for boys.
- Here are the sugar amount found in a few typical children's drinks at convenience stores in Taiwan, according to their food:
- Yakult (100ml) contains 13.6g of sugar
- Unsweetened low-fat yogurt (small bottle of 206ml) with 9.5g of sugar
- Strawberry-flavored yogurt (small bottle of 206ml) with 16.2g of sugar
I do not encourage children or even adults to eat "added sugars." Still, I do not forbid my children from eating added sugars occasionally, as long as the average daily consumption is far below the recommended standard. The sugar in a 100ml bottle of Yakult is lower than the daily intake recommended by the American Heart Association. What are the concerns of moms who oppose Yakult or sugars? Are you worried that the child cannot control himself and eat more? Or are you afraid that after letting go of this rule, your child will learn how to negotiate other rules better and be more challenging to control them in the future? Or do you feel that Yakult is like a drug, and children will be quickly addicted once they start drinking? An even deeper self-reflecting question: What does it mean for you when your child drink Yakult? What does it mean for you to control your child drinking Yakult? What do you hope to get out of this "controlling your child's drinking Yakult behavior"?
Every mother has her standards of upbringing, her children. As long as the mother can accept the standards set by herself happily, the children can also voluntarily take the adults' measures for themselves. That is a happy ending for everyone. However, each child's personality is different. How can the child be 100% obedient to the rules without any disagreement set by the adults for him on the child's grow-up journey? As adults, we have been there as well: during our childhood, we can't obey our parents 100% voluntarily without any dispute or question! We want to control the situation; the child does not want it, then the tug-of-war begins. The child feels that freedom is restricted or even disrespected; the mother feels that child is still too young and needed to be educated and disciplined. It is challenging to deal with these ground rules for a child's health flexibly. As parents, we don't want to hurt the relationship, but we can not accept our children to drink Yakult or eat sugars. Then what can we do?
- Observe and understand your child's temperament and personality. Does your child prefer to explore or observe first? How strong is the reaction? How often or easy is his mood swing? Persistence level and energy level. So that in the communication process, or in dealing with these "boundary negotiations," we, as parents, can apply effective communication strategies.
- Know your bottom line or "lowest expectations" for this matter. For example, it is acceptable for your child to drink Yakult once a month, but not more than that. Or how much sugar can your child eats daily, weekly, or monthly, which are acceptable to you?
- Respect the child. The child wants to drink Yakult. There are reasons for his needs. Respecting children means that we have to understand the reasons behind this: does he want to try the taste? Or does he want to be the same as other children to feel belonging? Or is it because the weather is too hot and there happened to be a cold Yakult bottle? Or the feeling of simply drinking can make him feel happy. Remember, respect does not mean letting the child do whatever he wants.
- Aiming at the child's actual needs, work with him to come up with a mutual solution. Another way of being respectful is to invite the child to participate in the decision process. The decision is not necessarily the best choice for you or your child but a choice agreed upon for both parties.
- Finally, when possible, before going to the supermarket or before going to the birthday party, tell your child the purpose of going out, possible encountered situations, your expectations, and then discuss potential solutions with your child. For example, you need to go to the convenience store to pay bills, and you know that your child will ask to buy Yakult when he is in the convenience store. Before going to the convenience store, you can communicate with your child and say: "Baby, we are going to the convenience store to pay the bills, so we will not buy other things, including Yakult. You may ask to buy Yakult, but I will refuse you so that you may cry. What can we do then?"
- After trying every possible step, the child is still crying, even lying on the ground, demanding to drink Yakult, and you don't want to give up your bottom line. You can only take him away from the stimulation origin (Yakult) and then accompany the child's emotions. After he calms down, reflect on the event with him when he is ready.
Of course, there will be various other methods to solve such a problem. Children will react differently to each situation and require different ways of handling it. Although there is no hard and fast way to deal with it, truly understanding and respecting children can be the essential step. Take a deep breath, and think it will pass eventually; let's take one action at a time.
Moms, relax! Believe in yourself. You have done an excellent job!
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