Saturday, January 28, 2012

A Nugget of Parenting Advice

For fun, a pop quiz:

Who pays for the food in your house?
A. Parent
B. Child
C. Family dog

Who makes the meals in your house or decides where to take the family out to eat (and how often)?
A.  Parent
B.  Child
C.  Family dog

Therefore, who is responsible for the diets of any minor children living in your house?
A.  Parent
B.  Child
C.  Family dog

You answered B, right?  Because if a child has spent the last the last 15 years eating nothing but Chicken McNuggets, surely her parents had nothing to do with it...

Now, I'm not saying it's always easy to get a kid to try new things (and I'm only talking about normal, generally healthy kids here, not kids with mental delays or other problems that can interfere with eating), especially when it comes to food items that look suspiciously like vegetables, but it can be done.  Last night Michael sat at the table for half an hour trying to whine his way out of eating a tiny strip of red bell pepper (which, it turns out, he actually liked).  A few nights ago it was brussel sprouts.  And tomorrow it will probably be cauliflower.  But he's going to try them whether he likes it or not, because frankly, we should all have to eat things we don't like now and then and learn to be polite while doing so.  It builds character.

Unfortunately, no one told this to the mother of the nugget-addicted teenager.  Mrs. Irvine claims she is "exasperated" by her daughter's unwillingness to try anything besides the over processed chicken dippers and their joined-at-the-hip side of french fries.  Yes, parenting can be sooo frustrating, can't it?  It's ever so difficult when money just keeps leaping out of her wallet and finding its way into a Mickey D's cash register.

I mean, really, who has been paying for these chicken nuggets all of these years?  It's not like any three-year-old can waltz into McDonald's and hand over a few bucks for a five-piece whenever he feels like it.  Mom would have to be right there coughing up the cash.  Which begs the question, what sort of mother would take her daughter to McDonald's day after day after day and let her subsist solely on a diet of this?

Yep, according to this facebook-photo-gone-viral, that is in-process Chicken McNuggets.  I can't believe I actually like the revolting things.  And I can't believe I just took my kids out to eat them.

Mrs. Irvine says she even resorted to starving her daughter to try to get her to eat something else (I'm hoping by "starve" she meant "offer her plates of regular food") to no avail.  Well, in my never-to-be-humble opinion, she didn't try hard enough.  Memo to the mom:  No normal kid is going to starve herself to death in the absence of a Happy Meal.  Offer a plate of healthy options and wait long enough and she will eventually eat something else.  Really. 

The problem here is not a stubborn daughter, it's a stupid parent.  And that's more damaging than any chicken nugget ever could be.


Courtney Wilson said...

When I showed Matt that picture he said "Maybe that's why they taste like celery instead of chicken."

Megan B ♥ said...

I saw that picture when it went viral (and figured it would end up here, ha ha ha!) and WOW, I don't think I can ever do processed nuggets again.... at least not for a few months until things like "soaked in ammonia" stop chanting unremittingly in my head. BLECH.