Teach your Children Well

“You, who are on the road must have a code that you can live by.
And so become yourself because the past is just a good bye.
Teach your children well, their father’s hell did slowly go by,
And feed them on your dreams, the one they fix, the one you’ll know by.
Don’t you ever ask them why, if they told you, you would cry,
So just look at them and sigh and know they love you.”

And so went a famous song by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young when I was growing up. It brings poetic insight into the difficulty of bringing up your young and doing the right things for them. I hasten to mention that our intentions are usually right lest someone take umbrage at what I say next. The World Health Organization recently did a study that showed that our children are consuming up to forty spoons of sugar a day.

Our entire eco system is designed around a reward mechanism to incentive children to do what you want. “Come play with me, I will give you a chocolate.” “If you do this, I will give you toffee” and so on. Children are advised on what to carry for food and this includes french fries, biscuits etc and the worry is that if you don’t pack these items into the tiffin box, the child will eat from others and annoy them. If a child goes to any public place, any adult wanting to interact with the child will quickly resort to the bribe of a chocolate or toffee to please the child.

We all know that children live by the code “monkey see, monkey do.” Therefore its not hard to see why all children gravitate toward the least path of resistance and pick habits that the masses would. When a child puts a sugar loaded biscuit or a trans fat loaded potato into his or her mouth, the reward mechanism in the brain is so strong that you can literally feel the brain responding by saying ”stupid what were you doing eating all that other crap when you can eat stuff like this.”

Our children start young and by the time they are five or six are already veterans of unhealthy eating. When we as adults find it hard to resist that sugar loaded reward, you can’t really blame the child for succumbing.

“So teach your children well, their fathers hell did slowly go by. “

And feed them your wisdom, not your fears, the ones you know, the ones you swear by,

“Don’t you ever ask them why, if they told you, you would cry,

So just look at them and sigh and know they love you.”


Ritesh is a born again health enthusiast and holds a Certificate in Physiology from Harvard Medical School and a Certificate in Nutrition from Tufts University.