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Eating And Sleeping

    The truth is, we lack the understanding that generations held before us. Sometimes parents are afraid to discipline because they are afraid their children won’t love them, afraid they will disappoint them, afraid of meltdowns.  Maybe we actually overreact and over discipline because we are tired from surviving. And maybe, in its simplicity, we are just too tired from our busy lives to find the right words or actions and to get up and follow through. However, all of these scenarios come with devastating consequences. 

      Children today are out of control (or in control- depending on how you look at it).  We are not doing a very good job at raising human beings with quality character, and with standards that we and generations before us were effectively raised on.  We had to eat what was on our plate, we got a spanking or were grounded if we got in trouble at school (parents today will defend their child instead of the teacher who is trying to do their job), we were told to play outside (forced to use our imaginations, muscles and resources), we didn’t talk back to adults (without consequences) and we didn’t expect a $300 purse or $200 pair of sneakers at age twelve.  

Today, we’re told that in order to protect a child’s fragile self-esteem, we must tread lightly and cater to her needs.  We may stroke our child’s ego all day every day but the rest of the world won’t.  There is also the opposite side of the spectrum, where parents are down right abusive, calling their children names, slapping them out of no where and instilling an unhealthy fear instead of a healthy reverence for parents and authority. So what is this doing?  We’re setting our child up for failure as an adult.  We must take a step back, use what worked from past generations and yes, discipline but discipline with balance!  Let’s walk through this- starting with the discipline of eating and sleeping. 

Wisdom has built her house; she has hewn out its seven pillars, she has prepared her meat and mixed her wine; she has also set her table.

Proverbs 9:1-2

    This Proverb is really about inviting us to wisdom’s table, and less about the dinner table. But wisdom begins with knowing how to take care of yourself and your children.  One of the main areas in which we have let our children take control is at the table. Children today eat dinner rolls for dinner instead of a balanced meal because the dinner rolls are easier. 

    The Bible talks about what people ate from the beginning of creation and trust me, it is nothing like what we are putting on our tables today.  The ancient grains that can keep our bodies so healthy: millet, flax, spelt, bran, have been stripped of their nutrients and bleached white.  The majority of food choices on our grocery shelves are filled with unhealthy ingredients. For the first time EVER statistics show that children of today will have shorter life spans than their parents. This is mainly because of food.  Unfortunately, the foods that God provided to nourish and heal our bodies do not come in a box.  (Do you see a pattern when it comes to God?  There are no “quick” solutions.  Doing something right usually takes time and patience and the same goes for making sure our children are properly nourished.) 

“Let all who are simple come in here!” She says to those who lack judgement. “Come, eat my food and drink the wine I have mixed.”

Proverbs 9:4-5

Word to the Wise: 

The family meal is probably the most neglected activity of today’s family!

 I believe this one simple tradition has lost its importance, yet is so important in keeping a family connected through this busy rat race.  We need to come together a few days a week to talk, laugh, debate and catch up with one another.  There is statistical proof that daughters will not be promiscuous, simply if they have a few meals with their father a couple times per week.  

    There was a time when dinner was on the table at 6:00 and everyone in the family sat down to eat it.  Today, we have made this cultural tradition the last thing on our “plates”.  We are the managers of our lives, yet we are slaves to work schedules, sports schedules and deadlines.  Instead of talking to the boss about family values and re-working our work schedules, asking the football coach to practice after dinner or running our businesses in such a way that we are home for that important mealtime together, we run to the McDonald’s drive-in and let our kids eat whatever they want, whenever they feel like it or can fit it in.  

Make it a priority to eat together four or five days a week.

Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning.

Proverbs 9:9

Scary Stats And Facts

    Now that Mom, Dad and kids (hopefully) are all eating together, let’s discuss what’s on our plates.  I am going to share with you how important nutrition really is for the whole family.  We all talk about “choosing our battles” with our children.  If there is one battle you will want to pick and win with your children, it is what they put into their mouths.  Kid’s taste buds will either mature or they will stay immature on salty, over-processed food.  If their taste buds do not mature, they are doomed to make unhealthy choices as adults.  The good news: it is never too late.  The bad news: the longer you wait the more “addicted” they become.  And your child does not have to be obese for this to be a problem.  Your child might look okay from the outside, but if she is not eating enough fruits, vegetables and whole grains it is affecting her inside.

    How is it that past generations didn’t have the obesity epidemic that we have today?  Disease, obesity, learning disabilities and childhood/adult cancers are on the rise because of our environment and our food.    

    Educating yourself about what you’re putting in your body will start to open your eyes on the affects of processed food. What I found being used to grow our food and its effect on our bodies and our earth was eye-opening, to say the least.  I could go on and on about why nutrition is so important and why the natural, organic way is the best way, but instead, let me share some facts with you 

*“Food is our single biggest source of exposure to environmental toxins,” says Gaynor, M.D. (Gaynor Integrative Oncology).

*“During childhood, when the immune system is still developing, there’s a great opportunity to set the stage for improved health and resilience,” says Joel Fuhrman, MD author of Disease Proof Your Child.  “A healthy diet and lifestyle can help kids avoid common childhood illnesses, like colds, ear infections, and allergies, as well as ensure greater resilience against disease later in life.”      Grandma may not have known about the bad effects of bacon, red meat and too many carbs, but she didn’t have to.  They may not have had the healthiest diets back then, but at least their food was not laced with pesticides, chemicals and hormones.  Grandma didn’t cook processed food from a box or drive through a restaurant to pick up her food.  It was made from scratch.