Sunday, November 1, 2015

Halloween Candy: Keeping The Monster On A Leash

I've written a lot about the evil monsters that take over our children when candy inhabits the Colony home.

The greed.
The bickering.
The fighting.
The constant begging for the sugary substances that have a hold on their very souls.  

(Have you seen the Zombies on the Walking Dead scratching and reaching for the humans just inches away from reach through a closed gate or car door?  Yeah, that's what happens to me these kids!)

And then there's the Colony mom who can't handle having the sugary sweet goodness in the Colony house so she feels the need to eat every. last. bit. of. it. with little to no self-control because "we do NOT waste food in this house!" (see how I rationalize?!)

It's just not a pretty sight!

So last year we began to implement a new rule for the massive amounts of this sugary monster-infested stuff that overtakes a Colony of kids on a Halloween.

1 - You may eat as much candy as you want while we are out trick-or-treating.  No strings attached.  Eat away! (because we all know that it is impossible to keep track of all the kids and all the candy, especially when you are just trying to keep track of ALL THE KIDS!)

2 - You must be willing to succumb to the mom and dad tax at any time during the duration of trick-or-treating. (If you are a parent and have children you MUST begin implementing mom and dad tax.  That means you get sips and nibbles, bites and snippets of yummy goodness whenever they are had by the littles.  It is just part of being in the family.  And it teaches sharing and generosity, of course, ha!)

3 - When we get home you may pick 5 pieces of candy that you may eat during the following week for snacks or treats.

4 - The additional candy will be made into gifts for friends, family, and homeless kids/families.  And whatever is left over will be donated to programs that ship it overseas for soldiers serving our country.

5 - I give them each $1 for giving their candy up with a happy heart.

Since last year was the first year of implementing this rule it didn't go over as happily easily as we had wished.  There were tears.  Lots of tears.  The monster had seeped into their very pores without even being consumed!

But this year was an entirely different story.  Before we even made it home 2 out of our 5 kids had picked out their 5 favorite pieces and then handed out all the rest of their candy to their friends who had gone trick-or-treating with us.  And the other three went straight to the kitchen table, upon arriving home, to sift through their stash and gladly brought me the rest.  It was SO easy.

All that makes me so happy inside.
But here is what made me the most proud...

...the past couple of years has been spent focusing on our bodies and the effects that food (and life choices in general) have on our bodies.  The "temple", the "tent" that God has given us.  We talk about how our bodies are supposed to be used to glorify God.  We talk about things that HELP our bodies reach that potential, and things that HINDER our bodies.  What makes our bodies strong and our minds focused and sharp?

We would be naive to think that we could shelter our kids from all the candy and soda and UN-natural things that come along with being a kid (and the birthday parties they go to and the school friends that bring them stuff, or the special things we do as a family...and HALLOWEEN!).  And I kind of appreciate the learning moments when my 9-year-old wakes up at 2am throwing up bright orange Cheetos from over consumption and a lack of self-control (or because he snuck 3 too many bags...ahem...).

So we embrace the teaching moments of poor eating choices and explain WHY the eczema has flared up, and the emotions become unruly and the "freak outs" begin to rear their ugly heads and why the tummy aches until late into the night.  Moderation is key.

And that is why Zeke, my sweet 9-year-old who struggles in a huge way with compulsive behavior and self control, only consumed 5 pieces of candy last night.  FIVE.  (That's less than the lady who calls herself his mama!)  And was the first to hand over his leftovers after picking his five to keep as he told me, "I'm just really seeing what this kind of stuff does to me and I don't like it."

He is learning.
And that makes this whole journey (of keeping our bodies healthy) worth fighting.
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