Oh, the dilemmas of a parent ... This morning’s dilemma — there are several a day — is concerning sweets or candy. Olive has just started at a new preschool and now takes a school bus to kindergarten. It’s a small bus, actually an MPV, and she has close friends on the bus, and a very kind driver and a ‘bus aunty’ to look after the kids. The problem is the bus aunty dishes out candy to the toddlers every day and even helps the little ones unwrap the sweets. We consider this rather odd but evidently we are alone. We only allow Olive to eat sweets as a treat, she has to understand they are not things to consume daily.
So, what do we do? After two days we asked the bus aunty not to give our daughter sweets and this morning Olive alighted from the bus looking very sad and said Aunty So and So didn’t give her a sweet but all the other kids received one. OK, I can see we made a mistake there. It must be pretty traumatizing to be excluded like that. Do we plant a banana grove and offer to supply the bus aunty with fruit for the kids? Do we tell the bus aunty she can give Olive a sweet but she must ask Olive to put it in her pocket to take home? We could then make a game of collecting all the sweets at home in a jar and just give her one on special occasions? Or are we just food Nazis and we should allow, even encourage, our kids to eat junk food?