A lot of my childhood was spent, testing those rules, but for the most part, I conformed. Something you do, when you have a UNCOOL mother.
The age of lawlessness ?
Times have changed. It seems the rule is, ANYTHING GOES. It is ALL ABOUT ME.
This free-for-all attitude, penetrates every aspect of our lives, influencing people’s behaviours
- on our highways and byways – it is okay to shoot a red robot, as long as you don’t get caught.
- on social occasions – even if you said you would attend the function, it is okay not to show up.
Unfortunately, this behaviour also creeps into the home. Not deliberately of course….. but home life is FLEXIBLE. Dinner happens, but the timing varies, so does the location and who is in attendance – because life is HECTIC.
Small kids NEED routines
The fly by the seat of our pants lifestyle, is probably not good for any of us.
But for small kids, this is a recipe for obesity.
Household habits make a home
Researchers from the University of Guelph, selected 121 low income families, all with little ones aged between 2 and 5 years, to participate in a special programme. Officially the programme was a weight loss intervention, but the families who agreed to participate were not in the know, as far as they knew, it was a programme designed to help create a HAPPIER HOME.
The families were divided into two groups :
One group received educational material and encouragement to adopt family routines/ rules around
- Adequate sleep
- TV viewing
- Family meals
The other group received educational material about childhood development.
Six months later….
Routine families had skinnier kids
The children in the families who received the educational material centred around adopting the healthy routines,
- were sleeping more, on average 45 minutes more a day.
- watching less TV, on average 1 hour and 6 minutes less on the weekend
- And….. the kids were a little skinner, BMI had dropped by -0.40. In kids this is at least a dress size.
Interestingly, the educational materials did little to change family meal frequency.
Not just about the food
Experts emphasize the food angle in childhood obesity, but there is more to the story than
Impose an early BEDTIME and then be THE ENFORCER.
PS. You don’t have to be 5 years old to get benefit from an early bedtime. As an adult, if you don’t include sleep in your diet – you won’t lose fat.
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