Divorce, Single Parenting, Dating, Sex, & Self-Recovery

Candy Crush in Co-Parenting: Here Comes Halloween

Halloween, the Real Candy CrushLet’s get straight to my complaint: sugar is poison and a highly potent drug. Your kids are susceptible to its powers. I mean, who’s not susceptible to chocolate? And when my kids arrive with large bags of candy, three weeks before Halloween, I need to have a talk with their mom.

I have a love hate relationship to candy. I love it. I hate what it does to my brain, my cravings, and my body. But in my little nuclear family, I am the only one with a weight problem. I work to keep from getting fat. So when my then-wife would bring home junk food for the kids, and the costco bags of candy, I would not be happy. For me personally it felt like an assault. Maybe it wasn’t passive aggressive, but it wasn’t healthy parenting either. I control the candy in my single-parenting life. For myself first, but also for my kids.

So, almost three weeks before the holy grail of candy, Halloween, for my kids to show up at my house with literal bags of candy… well, I am not pleased. And I’ve had a few too many sweet-tarts at the moment, so I’m cranky too.

Why would you EVER buy your kids a 12-pak of Dr. Pepper? Even when they profess their undying love for the elixer, and promise to do chores, homework, and brush their teeth “without a fuss” every single day.

“Please, dad. Please,” they plead in the store. And then the inevitable, “Why not?”

I’m not saying it’s bad to occasionally give in. But as a routine, having sodas and candy and junky food in the house is not good for your kids. And they have a lot less self-control than we do, as adults. At least that should be the case. When candy or ice cream is around, in my house, that’s not the case. I am an addict.

So… Here comes Halloween, and I think this year the kids are with me, for the first time in a long time. WHOOPEE. And they were already saying, “Yep, Dad, time to get some candy for Halloween.” But with me, they knew it was a joke, and didn’t expect it to happen. I’m not in control of what happens when they are with their mom, but I get from them, that it’s not a big deal.

Sure they know candy and sugar is bad for them. And my ex-y has been great at explaining to our son, who suffers fairly severely from seasonal allergies, that sugar hurts your body’s ability to deal with your stopped up nose and achey head. AND THEN SHE BUYS THEM BAGS OF CANDY. WHAT?

Okay, so my two kids and my beautiful ex-wife do not have weight problems. In fact, in some cases I’d say it’s the opposite, we have to make sure they are eating enough. An occasional candy bar, or slurpee isn’t going to trip the scales for any of them. So that argument isn’t valid for them. But it sure was for me.

I’m still getting better about food, but I’ve eliminated candy, sodas, and junk food almost entirely from my house. And I’m working to become a better cook, for myself and my kids. Our health depends on it.

So we enter Halloween season with bags of candy. And I guess this is an opportunity to continue the discussion with them about candy, health, and brushing their teeth. But it should be a holiday and not a season of sweets. I’ll talk to their mom about these early bags. Bags! Of! Candy!

I’ll be positive about it. I’ll let it be the babysitter’s fault. But I can’t just let it go. I owe it to myself and my kids to stand up against what I know is a bad idea, regardless of body fat composition. Their mom and I are on the same page about sugar, but we’re on different planets about the availability and consumption of it.

Sincerely,

The Off Parent

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