So you know where I’m coming from I’m married and have an 8 year old son and a 5 year old daughter (Updated February 2018).
I’ve come across way too many obese, entitled, spoiled yet victimized kids in my life for it to be an isolated issue. I don’t think these kids are just in New England either as I’ve seen some videos of young men and women on YouTube that make me question whether there truly is a future for the United States.
Now, I say that tongue in cheek as I know my kids will be raising the standard, but seriously, we’ve got kids eating Tide Pods.
As a man, I focus more on the masculine youth and the life story of boy going soy has been written by many.
So I ask myself, objectively as I can mind you, “Why is my son at a healthy weight, proud to be a boy, athletic, and intelligent while a majority of his peers aren’t??”
As a father your children require you to invest your most prized assets, your time and attention; they need presence, not presents.
I cannot change the school system, not single handedly at least, all I can do is push for my kids classes to have the necessary equipment, money, and understanding that I will be involved and I will not accept mediocrity.
Something else that is in my control is the skills, values, and information that is pumped into their head when they are home.
- A present father does not expect the government to take responsibility for his child.
- A present father views public education to be supplemental to what he teaches at home, both academically as well as physically.
This understanding has led to me taking a few actions that not so long ago would have gone unnoticed, but in our ‘advanced’ day and age these acts have become unorthodox.
- House rule, if the sun is out, my kids are outside.
- No TV unless it’s raining or it’s night time and we want to watch a movie as a family, we cancelled cable over a year ago.
- Writing, coloring, and reading a part of their daily routine
- Processed snacks have been removed from my home and I do my best when we’re at friends and family’s.
- I’ve removed all fast food. In fact, there was one time where we were behind on time and I’d forgotten to feed them before bringing them to my parent’s for a sleep over and I offered to get them a Happy Meal. They responded with, “We don’t eat fatdonald’s that’s bad for you” Never Again.
- I enforce and maintain boundaries (that are constantly tested) such as asking to be excused from the table when done eating, saying please and thank you, tone/talking back, etc.
This is how I grew up and it is something that I will forever appreciate my father and grandmother for.
The result of my “overbearing”(yes I’ve been told I’m overbearing for giving a shit about my kids health) has been two very healthy, active, and competitive kids. My son is pure sports, workout, and outdoors stuff. My daughter is this beautiful artistic girl that wears tutus and has her Barbie in her stroller, but she low crawls through mud and loves hiking (I always end up carrying her at the three mile mark) as well as chasing down her brother.
This didn’t just happen; it is the product of two hard working parents who aim to give our kids experiences over things. This is where the time and attention comes in.
I built my kids an obstacle course this past weekend by getting some free tires from Town Fair Tire and arranging it in a way that it lines up with their swingset. I then ran them through the actions they had to take and watched them fall on their faces on the tires, run around the house, do their pushups, etc. (sorry for the rant, they make me proud).
It isn’t all fun outdoor activities though. Do you know how much patience is required to listen to your child try to read through something? I lost my composure one day when my son refused to read ‘pinch’ and kept saying ‘pink’ because he’d learned that –ch sometimes sounds like a ‘K’.
The investment is worth it and it teaches you how strong or weak your ‘frame’ really is.
This brings us to the issue we’re facing. While my wife and I are teaching our kids about living life, a majority of parents have their kid plugged in front of a screen, eating fast food weekly, and desserts are an expectation not a treat.
My lean active kids are in the minority, which makes them look bad because they are the ‘different’ ones. Childhood is not a disease; it’s just that the standard of active healthy kids has fallen so low that normal child behavior has become ‘unnatural’.
A majority of fathers would rather not dedicate the time required to set their children up for success by going through the hard work required.
Be the father who sets the example by exercising and including his children in exercises. Instead of a family trip to the movie theater or out to eat, go hiking and teach them about the wildlife. So many people think they are in shape because they aren’t on the show ‘My 700lb Life’.
Your children are going to follow your example, not your advice.
Don’t get so focused on self absorption that you lose sight of your kids. They need to see the world with the perspective of reality from the onset. Your sons need to be confident, competitive, humble, always improving boys. Your daughters need to be confident woman who earn their respect and never look to advance through their looks. Be the man you want her to end up with some day and the man your son wants to be.
Don’t live in the fantasy world where an overweight child is not an unhealthy one. Poor lifestyle choices in youth are more difficult to break as they age and yes, the chubby 9 year old is going to face confidence issues, organ issues, and be more prone to sickness and injury due to the excess weight.
Ask yourself this, when is the last time you sat down with your kid and had him/her write something (a letter to their hero or whatever), when did you last hold a ‘homeschooling’ session where you tested their knowledge, or when is the last time you taught them about proper exercise, diet, and healthy habits???
You can’t deflect all child rearing to the woman as she simply doesn’t have the male perspective needed nor does she have the time. Children need to be exposed to a healthy balance of the masculine and the feminine.
When it comes to parenting, do what is right and not what is popular.
Set the example and understand that yes, your kids will be influenced by their school friends and teachers. Build their core values around doing what is right and seeing the truth and not what they want to see. A majority of fathers are weak and a majority of kids are fat, dumb, and lazy.
In order to fix the kids, fix yourself.
Our children are the only hope for improving the standard from which society operates.
Acta Non Verba,
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