There's been a lot of buzz about how the French parent and how their kids are better behaved. One of they key differences noted is that they don't let their children snack and therefore, they eat better in restaurants and at specific mealtimes. When Andy and I first read all the buzz about a year ago, we agreed but thought - well sometimes you just have to let your kids snack if you're out and about and your kid doesn't eat normal kid food (sandwiches really). But lately, I've taken another more specific go at French parenting and the results have been fantastic. So much that I am just waiting for the American trend to follow the French with their uninhibited armpit hair.
Before we even attempted the French ways, we first realized we had to control our son's sugar intake. Just like his dear mother, he has a lot of energy and any bit of sugar (and probably caffeine in the future) wires him beyond normal 2 year old hyper. His stamina and reaction to chastisement doesn't help the situation. He thinks it's hilarious when our voices are raised and we get mad, so we've tried our best to stop (because he also mimics us and yells "don't do that Mommy!" when he's upset or yells "no!" at us). Afte reading another article about how the French try to adjust the foods their kids eat, I thought about what Jordan had been eating lately. We kept attributing his bad behavior to the transition during the move and messed up sleep schedule, but then I thought about what he had been eating lately.
Junk food while we were moving. Carbonated drinks cuz .. well just cuz we are having it. Cookies cuz everyone welcomed us into the neighborhood with some! Snacks because we were constantly out and about trying to get stuff for the home. Oh my.
I first began adjusting his breakfast meal. I stopped giving him Trix or Apple Jacks (which he LOVESSSS and still asks for) and instead his week's breakfast so far has consisted of Raisin Bran, Chex Mix, boiled eggs with garlic toast and multigrain toast with Nutella and bananas (sugary but still less than the sugary cereals). There might not be a great control in my experiment, but I'm calling it a success. He actually listens when you say 1-2-3 or big boy timeout (timeout sitting at the bottom of our pantry closet with the door closed which is quite dark) and hasn't been incredible difficult like he was the past few weeks. He can sit down to read or color albeit it anywhere from two to ten minutes top. He gets thirsty or hungry before lunch around 12:30 (when he's absolutely famished) and has some water, grapes, or a tiny bit of snacks (we use the stackable Mr. Brown's snack variety pack which only allows us to pack a tiny bit of each snack). So far he's sat down to eat lunch now strapped into his booster seat so he can be tall like Mommy and Daddy (a persuasive technique that has really benefited us) and eaten multiple entire meals with fruit and water. As reward, he sometimes gets a few Nila wafers after or some goldfish, but since he's already eaten his main meal, he's pleased with a few and the sugar intake is controlled. And, if I wait until he's truly hungry at lunch, he really wants to eat. He asks over and over, "eat Mommy?" and willingly leaves any "fun" he may be having so he can eat or drink when hungry or thirsty.
To further support my hypothesis that Jordan is sensitive to sugar... yesterday, Jordan didn't nap, but he quietly played in his room and ate a big lunch and dinner, both of which were not too artificially sugar infested. He was excited to eat watermelon, cantaloupe, beans and ground pork with cheese in a hamburger bun. Man... the French are pure genius. Oui oui.
Now if only I could grow my armpit hair without everyone looking at me funny.