Sweets for my sweet, sugar for my baby

Yesterday I went to a birthday party for a 4-year-old.    Seeing as it is not my immediate family and  I loathe the expense and materialistic one-upmanship nature of these parties, my friend (now ex) deliberately misinformed me and said it was a family affair.    I suspect  that knowing swapping my precious,  stressless , quiet Sunday  for a day filled with young children was definite no no,  he was deliberately was vague about the whole thing.   Now I remember an age when parties consisted of  sausages on sticks, cheese and pineapple, ham sandwiches, salad and fruit.  The only sweet thing in sight would be jelly or a cake.    Check the photo out above – sugar rush city or not?  Not a healthy food item in sight.  Even some of the games consisted of  sugar useage!

I also remember my Mother making me greet all my guests, saying hello, saying goodbye and thanking them for coming.  I was also  made to write thank you letters for presents given to me – and at the time I resented her for it.  But you know  being on the receiving end of a child who doesn’t acknowledge you when you walk through the door,  does not say goodbye, does not thank you for presents when you’ve gone to the trouble of spending time looking for or making it for them, makes me realise how much I love my Mother for drilling some manners into me.

We are so lucky to live in a society where the majority of our children are healthy, are able to eat well and have a good education.  But as the sugar kicked in, the kids became more and more hyper and the tears start to fall,  my thoughts strayed to the children I have encountered in less well off parts of the world.   Way too often I see young children selling/begging  on the streets day and night, bare-footed, dirty, thin and  dressed in rags.   These children have so little, yet I also see smiles, laughter, kindness and  generosity with each other.

Maybe we should be more vigilant about encouraging unhealthy lifestyles and buying into the it’s all about me culture.


39 thoughts on “Sweets for my sweet, sugar for my baby

  1. Well done, wench! By the way, is a wench anything like a damsel? In any case, a wonderful posts. Makes me want to give you a sweet kiss on the cheek.

  2. Thanks for the like! I can’t say how often I come up against this sentiment. So many children from well-off families have no idea what it is to struggle, I’ll take one of my students in any part of the world I’ve been to over a spoiled brat any day!

  3. I agree. Birthday parties for children have become a train wreck, each one attempting to outdo the previous event. I also applaud your mother. It seems like your mother and mine attended the same mother training school. 🙂

  4. It is so unfortunate the one-upping and the sugar packed parties! Thankfully, I have only had to experience a couple of these thus far. Most of the time, family and friends throw parties that are actually quite healthy / fun oriented and I get to experience the good instead of the bad. I know that I get strange looks from some when I explain that when my child has his first birthday, he will not be getting a giant cake packed with frosting, sugar, and fat in order to shove his entire face in . . . just because some think it looks cute. :shrugs:

  5. Right on! I love how you articulated this post. It’s a shame this is t norm for a lot of western kids. Who are often then labelled with behavioral issues. Which is actually food related mania!

  6. Talk about contrast – it should really make us stop and think – have seen some kids birthdays party from Hollywood on TV and it’s terrible to see the money they put down on their kids party – when there is so many needed all around the world.

  7. Having made three separate trips to Haiti last year your blog post really hit home. My wife and I are working hard to instill the same manners and discipline with our 5 and 4 yr. old you mentioned in your post. I’m constantly reminding our kids about the children I worked and played with while in Haiti and just how rough the conditions are. It is ridiculous just how spoiled we are in the west. Thanks for sharing and bringing awareness.

  8. Your points are excellent & I was brought up the same way. Also, birthday parties weren’t an annual event. They were special. A selection of special sugar treats is ok but I imagine the parents of the kids who attended wouldn’t have been too impressed at ending up with sugar hyped kids afterwards.

  9. Great post. My grandson was headed down the path of blowing into our house without so much as a hello until I pulled him back one day after this started, enlightened him on a proper entrance to the grandparent’s home (or anyone’s) and he has seen the light! It’s always a hug and a kiss when he comes in now 🙂 It just takes a little instruction.

  10. Hurrah! Very well stated! The problem is that parents think they are doing their kids a favour by giving them what they want, without giving any thanks. They can’t see into the future when their relationships will fail because of the “all about me” attitude. 🙂

  11. I love your post. You cover two important subjects. Spoiling our children and obesity. I agree with all you have said. Your photos are beautiful.


  12. As a mum of two, who had also lived in less well off parts of the world, I heartily endorse your thoughts today! I have tried very hard to raise my kids counter culturally and they don’t always thank me for it so I hope one day they’ll look back, like you, and appreciate it. I do all the things your mum did,lol! We always have proper old fashioned parties and jelly is always on the menu!!

    • I raised my three kids that way, and at times they hated me! They actually had to do some work around the house and farm, when none of their friends did. But now, as adults, they thank me, and your kids will too. 🙂 They know how to work, take care of themselves, and take pride in their accomplishments rather than in what they own..

  13. Wow what a fantastic blog and photos… and how I agree with you on the changes of party styles… in my time it was a cool drink and a piece of cake, the rest… games and fun, and greetings and letters of thanks for what you received. Today I see massive amounts of money being spent on presents, The one-up-man-ship unbelievable… it takes being better than the Jones to the next level…

  14. Yes, it’s very depressing seeing the extremes people will go to for a child’s party. There’s a sad one upmanship now too where parents compete to host the most lavish do.

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