Wednesday, April 23, 2008

It's the Balance duh

When raising children, there is so many competing obsessions related to the child's well being that it really is a minefield. eg:

Food health - obsess that foods they eat are the healthiest possible.
Fitness health - make sure these kids get enough excercise.
Dental health - make sure that teeth are brushed, water is fluoridated etc.
Sun safety - sun exposure between birth and 20 yo means high risk for melanoma.
Money management - kids must learn to manage money early so they don't risk debt traps etc.
Social learning - obsess with kids able to interact one on one and in group situations.
Stranger danger - recognise dangers with strangers.
Abusive relationships - recognise dangers with non-strangers.
Academic learning - achieve as well as possible academically.
Clean room - learn how to manage one's own space tidily and usefully.
Smoking/drugs - Avoid the trap of getting hooked and counter peer pressure with solid knowledge.
Alcohol - moderation.
Disease - Up to date immunizations and good hygene.
Road safety - Bike helmets, seat belts, alertness.
Swimming safety - avoid the toddler killer of drownings.

So often one sees children of parents obsessing in one (say academia) and so obviously has ignored another (say, weight gain). The examples I have seen are endless, and some such as fitness are notoriously hard to balance with others such as sun safety for instance. It is quite easy to see as an outsider of the failures of these obsessions, often with some being overdone and others seemingly completely ignored. I urge everyone to aim for the balance - see which ones your children are weak in and concentrate on those for a while. Are we spending too much effort on diminishing returns? Walk the fine line, dear friends.


Dr. Clam said...

I have observed that my children interact infinitely better with other children in informal situations than at school. In the highly artificial school environment with its emphasis on mindless automaton drone behaviour, their non-conformity is thrown into stark relief: but without this adult meddling, other children are largely happy to accept them as they are.

(Sort of a non-sequitur, I know... my initial comment went off on a tangent between brain and keyboard...)

Marco said...

Well, my children seem to miss your children, and I get the feeling they had more fun at the reunion than we did.

Some more examples to demonstrate *real* out of balance obsessions. A health freak (personal trainer) that only drinks bottled water - Has severe tooth decay problems because of the lack of flouridation in bottled water.

Another example of a mother who researches skin cancer. Obsessive about sun protection but her daughter doesn't get enough excercise and is overweight. Too many barriers to fun excercise.

Another mother whose son is achieving well in the performing arts - Smokes and drinks at a tender young age.

Another who is very tight with money and is financially well off - Can't bring herself to spend money on healthy food choices.

I think we are doing well if we can avoid the major traps, but bad habits creep up on us and our children regardless.

Chris Fellows said...

Hiya Marco,

Can I get you to link to my latest rant to see if we can get it screaming up the search-engine rankks? ;)

Anonymous said...

Wow- that Googlebombing effort didn't seem to work. It was on the second page yesterday but now it is *gone completely*. He may hate technology but he does have a dastardly ability to manipulate it using his Jedi mind powers...

Marco said...

You're obviously not trying hard enough.

ps. Ronald Laura Is, I agree quite the anti-intellectual idiot you describe.

Chris Fellows said...

Thanks! You're a real pal. :D