The Comment of the Month. . .

. . . was left by Andrea:

Something just occurred to me: the act of putting kids at a smaller, separate “children’s table” and feeding them subpar food instead of what all the grownups are eating is just what we do to pets. People more and more are treating their kids the way they treat their dogs — as something to be fed the minimum nutritional requirements, to be relegated to being fobbed off to a corner away from the activity, to be produced when there’s a need to brag that you have something cute to pet, to be paraded about like an object, and to be talked down to in a simplistic tone. In other words, a child is just a primitive, barely living being that is an ornament to an adult’s life, not a person in their own right.

I think this is a brilliant insight. I haven’t looked at the issue this way but this makes total sense. Chicken nuggets even look like oversized dog food.

Thank you for the great comment, Andrea!

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4 comments on “The Comment of the Month. . .

  1. Well, as a parent of two boys (16, 11) this is my take on the kids’ table. When we visit the UK and have the family over, the cousins all sit together on their table and talk kids stuff. They have a great time, can act silly, tell jokes, be themselves.

    If they sat at the adult table, they would get bored, fidget and want to get down asap. As it is, they are happy to do their thing chatting with each other.

    They don’t get kid food, they eat the same as the rest of us. Well, my kids do, my sister-in-law has excessively fussy girls and she often panders to their tastes and brings over food from home (which annoys my mum a lot) to add to the good food.

    When the cousins are not there, my boys eat at the table normally and join in the conversation.

    Maybe this is unusual, but it’s normal chez moi, and I don’t know any parents (apart from my brother’s family who live in the UK) who feed their kids crap at a kid table while they eat well, but I do live in France.

    So there might be whole swathes of daft parents who treat their kids like pets, but there are also many who don’t.

  2. A great insight indeed.
    My own story: As a very young autistic child, I *hated*, and I mean *hated* cafeteria food, the standard chicken nuggets and burgers and other crap. It was disgusting. I refused to eat it and preferred to starve. I choked and had to go to the nurse’s when a teacher tried to force me to eat it once. So I started packing a lunch for myself as soon as I was tall enough to reach the kitchen cabinets and prepare myself a peanut butter sandwich or a skirt steak or leftover chicken.
    Serving crap is bad for all children, but for children with food sensitivities or with sensory issues, it’s a serious slap in the face. To hell with the clueless defenders of the McNugget. The only thing that food is good for is when it’s 4 AM, you’re an adult who has had too much to drink, and the only place that’s open is the 24 hour McDonalds. :)

    • “The only thing that food is good for is when it’s 4 AM, you’re an adult who has had too much to drink, and the only place that’s open is the 24 hour McDonalds.”

      - This is pretty much the only context in which I ever entered McDonalds. :-) Except the times when I really needed to use a bathroom. :-)

  3. While some kids like listening to grown-up talk about politics or business, the majority of kids prefer having fun with their peers. When my extended family has a holiday dinner, the kids’ table has child-oriented party favors – the Thanksgiving dinner child’s party favor was a toy reindeer music box than played a tune and then produced a jelly bean from the appropriate location on its hind end. Huge hit.

    Re: food: Many kids like “fancy food”, but some kids may want just a plain pork chop or chicken breast without a lot of frou-frou sauce on it.

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