It is one of our great privileges to be an ongoing resource to our Bradley Method® students. Here is a question that came my way that I wanted to share today:
Hi Krystyna! Help! I’m in need of some advice. We live in a small town where everyone knows everybody and it’s been great for so many reasons. The problem I’m having is keeping people from giving my kids candy. It happens daily. Sometimes several times a day. At church yesterday I happened to walk up just as my two year old was choking on a piece of hard candy. There are a million old ladies at church with hard candy in their purses. In fact, after a very scary 10 seconds, I was able to get the candy out of his little throat just as another old lady is handing our other son a piece of gum. I just about dropped the F-word right there. How do I, very nicely, tell these sweet old ladies to stay away from my children. Our older son is always asking for candy too, so that doesn’t help. He knows he can get it anywhere. It’s driving me crazy. The lady at the post office today handed them both a lollipop as I was getting the mail. I’m at the end of my rope. Any advice? Thanks!
When faced with situations like this, my first line of defense is humor. I struggle with seething rage when I perceive a threat to our children, so I have had to learn to laugh first, then respond.
There are a couple of things you can say with a smile:
- “Oh, you can’t give him that candy unless you are planning on taking him home with you….you know how sugar makes them fly off the chandeliers!”
- “Stop right there (Hands up where I can see them, etc.), or I’ll have to call the granny police! Candy before lunch and he’ll be going to toddler jail!”
The other approach is just a matter of fact if you can pull it off without an angry face:
- “Oh thank you, we can’t accept that right now – we are on our way to have lunch/snack/dinner and I do not want to ruin their appetite”
My last suggestion is to tell well-meaning gifters that your children are allergic to the ingredients in the candy. Read over this information, and you can probably make a good case that your children are allergic to the dyes in the candy: http://feingold.org/6certified.php
It is a tough place to be when people want to be kind. I try to remember that they are operating from a place of love, especially in the situation like our student was facing. By remembering to respond to their love with my own love, it makes it easier to replace my angry face with a smile.
How have you kindly said no to people who are giving your children unsolicited food or treats?