In the news yesterday I caught to inflammatory headlines Processed food linked to lower kids’ IQs and Early introduction to solid foods leads to obesity. GIVE ME A BREAK.
Listen, let me give you a simplified introduction to statistics: One to One relations that are purely causal, especially in medical studies, are nearly impossible. Do you know who buys a lot of processed foods? Poor people. So, how do you know that the processed foods are the only link to lower IQs. YOU DON’T. There are so many factors that determine a child’s IQ, you can’t connect any one thing. SO WHY FREAK PARENTS OUT WITH THAT HEADLINE? And the other one? The early solid foods = obesity one? Imagine this scenario: A child is born with a strong reaction to hunger. They scream a lot when they’re hungry. The average parent introduces solid food a little early just to STOP THE SCREAMING. Do you see what happens? It’s the strong reaction to hunger that leads to BOTH things, the early introduction to solids AND the obesity.
Basically, if we don’t want our kids to be obese? We have to do the following things:
- Introduce solids LATE in childhood
- Make sure they sleep well
- Don’t let them watch TV
- Don’t feed them High Fructose Corn Syrup
- Make sure they eat breakfast
- Don’t let them work a stressful jog
Journalists seem to LOVE the headlines that make us parents the MOST INSANE. If you watch the news someday you’ll see it there too. They’ll tease a headline that tells us what quick fix is going to make sure our children grow up to be happy, healthy, well-balanced adults. Coming up next…Could the lunches you pack your child cause them to murder innocent people in 10 years?.
GIVE ME A BREAK.
It just makes me so angry. There are not perfect formulas for parenting. Try to feed them healthy foods, make sure they get exercise, read a little, and don’t watch TV too much. Teach them about kindness and respect. Love them with all of your heart when you aren’t wishing you really could ship them off to boarding school. Parenting is NOT an exact science. We do the best we can with the tools we have. Sometimes our kids turn out okay, but most adults have some issue they’re dealing with. None of us are perfect. Is that our parent’s fault? Maybe we can find a connection, but let’s face it. WE ARE ADULTS. We can’t blame all of our problems on one thing our parents did. Too many other factors and also? WE ARE ADULTS. We can’t blame our issues on our parents all of our lives. SO, why do we assume any problems our children have as adults are our fault?
BECAUSE THESE HEADLINES MAKE US CRAZY.
I know there is NOTHING we can do about it. These headlines grab us and make us read the articles because we will do ANYTHING to try to keep our children from obesity, or professional failure. But these articles never really tell us anything we don’t already know on some level. But we read them anyway. We can’t stop ourselves. I guess the only thing we can do is teach the budding journalists in our homes that INFLAMMATORY HEADLINES MAKE MOMMIES AND DADDIES INSANE. Maybe if they group up to write those articles they’ll bed their publication to lead with a less annoying headline. Like:
It Seems That One Of The Multiple Factors Affecting An Adult’s Well-Being Could Possibly Be Indirectly Linked To One Of The Hundreds Of Decisions You Make As A Parent.
I know. There is no way in hell any publication would run that headline, is there? We’re just going to have to live with these headlines, aren’t they? Read the article and filter out the useful information and throw away the stupid absolutes they throw at us. ::SIGH::
Well, at least I feel better putting my complaints out there too. And maybe I can come up with my own inflammatory headline:
People In Charge Of Creating And Publishing Inflammatory Headlines That Make Parents Pull Their Hair Out Are Prone To Obesity, Heart Disease, Cancer, Malaria, Ebola, West Nile, and Ugly Hair.