Unless there is something wrong with them, all parents want their kids to be healthy and eat well. With so many supermarkets and so many items on the shelves that are mostly processed, full of food colors, additives and lots of sugar, keeping your kids healthy is not easy. Not easy, but more important than ever!
In previous posts, I have written about healthy eating but I wanted to tell you about a technique that, when done properly, can make a huge impact on kids’ eating – the “shock treatment”.
When we lived in Singapore, we heard how this technique helped the Singaporean government minimize their crime rate. It was brutal, but it worked. In First Grade, at 6 years of age, kids are taken to the prison, to watch criminals getting whipped with a cane.
As foreigners, we were shocked at first that such young kids are exposed to rough treatment but after two years of growing admiration to the methods of the Singaporean government (they are the most efficient organization ever), I changed my mind. After all, the crime rate in Singapore is consistently declining when in the rest of the world it is rising, so they must be doing something right.
How to use shock treatment to get your kids to eat healthy
This is how it works: you use everything in your power to make your kids realize the consequences of eating junk. It is your responsibility to make sure they stay healthy, so you might as well get results.
Whenever you see a negative consequence of unhealthy eating, point it out to your kids. The younger they are, the more effective the treatment is. After a while, your kids will be programmed to think that it is better for them to eat healthy.
Shock therapy examples:
- You see someone without teeth or with black, broken teeth. Tell your kids “See this? That’s what happens when you eat too much candy”. Of course, this one can double as your prompts for “See this? That’s what happens when you don’t brush your teeth”…
- Whenever you see someone really fat, say, “You see, this is what happens when you eat too much junk”.
- When you go to the mall and see so many people buying diet pills and other powders, tell your kids, “These people work so hard for their money but have to waste it on diets because they eat too much junk”.
- When you stand next to the chocolate and candies isle or processed snacks isle in the supermarket and see a fat person buying something, say “You see, this is what happens if you spend too long in this isle”.
- Whenever you stand next to a junk food stall, draw your kids’ attention to fat people or people looking unfit or sick and say, “This is what happens when you eat hamburgers for breakfast, lunch and dinner”.
- When you go for trips and see people around you huffing and puffing and hardly able to walk, say, “You see, this is what happens when you eat too much junk. Your body is too weak to be active and do stuff”.
Make sure you do not talk about dying because of food. Food is not bad and it is very important not to pass messages that food is bad. The messages should be “too much junk is unhealthy”, “eating unhealthy is costly and it is always better to spend money of fun things” and “being sick is miserable and we can be healthy by eating well”.
Again, the younger the kids are, the more effective this is. When I try this on my 19-year-old, she smiles. For her, I am transparent, but she is a very healthy eater, so I know my shock treatment has already worked. You just need to do it enough times for them to believe what you are saying is true.
Go shock some sense into your kids!