Yes, there’s another story in the news about a Mom who is suing McDonald’s because they have toys in their Happy Meals. Here’s her rationale:
“I object to the fact that McDonald’s is getting into my kids’ heads without my permission and actually changing what my kids want to eat,” Parham said in a CSPI statement announcing the lawsuit.
McDonald’s had this to say:
“When CSPI [Center for Science in the Public Interest] refers to America’s children as ‘an unpaid drone army,’ you similarly denigrate parents and families, because they are fully capable of making their own decisions. You should apologize,” the statement said. “At McDonald’s, we listen to what our customers tell us. For the past 30 years they have told us — again, overwhelmingly — that they approve of our Happy Meal program. Three decades provide a lot of listening time. That’s why we are confident that parents understand and appreciate that Happy Meals are a fun treat, with right-sized, quality food choices for their children.”
Has this mother never heard of the word “NO”? Honestly, it’s the one thing we have as parents to change the things our kids can and cannot have. A simple “NO” does the job quite well.
I understand that getting kids to eat healthy foods all the time is a struggle. It’s hard for adults to eat healthy foods all the time. At least it is for me! As parents our goal should be to get them to eat healthy most of the time. We understand that perfection isn’t an easy thing. Why can’t a McDonald’s Happy Meal be a sometime treat?
Parents have the right to exercise personal responsibility and control the things their young children are exposed to, the things they eat, the places they take them. Parenting isn’t something that is supposed to be happy and light. Often it gets uncomfortable and we need to deal with it. Everything in life isn’t easy, especially parenting!
Here’s my advice for this mother. Turn off the television. Don’t let your kids see the commercials for Happy Meals. Don’t take them to McDonald’s at all. If they still clamor for Happy Meals, you simply say, “NO.”
No. No. No. No.
Practice saying it with me. It gets easier and easier. The more you say it, the better it rolls off your tongue.
Parents should also be prepared for the first “no” to have no effect. Be prepared to say it repeatedly. For an hour. For a day. Be prepared to keep saying no. Because saying “no” to a Happy Meal to a toddler is an easy one. There are harder and more important things coming up as your kids get older.
But don’t take your weak parenting skills and turn them into a lawsuit. Looking for money? Looking for publicity? That’s when you sue a fast food company because you are incapable of parenting.
I’m getting tired of parents taking the easy road. That’s why school-age kids are terrors in the classroom. If you’re not saying “no” to them when they are young, they aren’t going to start responding to it once they get into school. Teachers have to say “no” a lot, maybe they could give lessons on that to parents.
I have to point out that I agree with Sarah Palin (gasp!) here…
Some, including former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, said watching what kids eat is the parent’s duty.
“Should it be the government or should it be the parents?” Palin said in recent speech. “It should be the parents.”
Of course, it should be the parents! I don’t want the government coming in and telling me how to parent my children. Especially when it comes to feeding them properly. Meals are the one thing I have a handle on and I’m not giving up that role to anyone else!
What do you think?