Will my kid be teased for being vegetarian?
As Featured in the December 3, 2011 Ask Daft Daddy column in the The Orange County Register :
Do you remember that old U.S. Army television commercial back in the 1980s where their slogan was, “We do more before 9 a.m. than most people do all day”? As a new dad, I feel like I’m in the U.S. Army with everything I have to do every morning – only I’m in worse shape than Dewey Oxburger.
I’m so busy with wee Mac in the morning that I rarely get a chance to shave and shower before I go to work. I look like I belong at an occupy Wall Street rally. The other day I stopped to tie my shoe outside a Vons, and someone threw change at me. But if looking like Rubeus Hagrid every day is what it takes to keep wee Mac happy, then just call me the Keeper of the Keys.
So without further ado, let me get to the Daft Daddy mail bag:
Dear Daft Daddy: I’m a vegetarian and so is my husband. I know I can give my baby all the nutrients she needs on a vegetarian diet, but I am a little worried about how she will cope when she is older and at school. Will the other kids tease her for being “different?”
– Claudia from Fullerton
Dear Claudia: Jessie Spano was a vegetarian, and I don’t recall any of her classmates at Bayside giving her any trouble for being different.
The truth is, the majority of vegetarian children for the most part are treated normally by their classmates. Sure they might make comments here and there, but put downs and intimidating behavior are not much of an issue. Believe it or not, it is more likely that an adult would single out and criticize a vegetarian child for their dietary lifestyle than another child would. But if her classmates do start teasing her, tell her to date the captain of the wrestling team. Hopefully his name is A.C. Slater.
Dear Daft Daddy: As a mom of three daughters, I find I’m constantly struggling with getting my girls to listen to me and follow directions. At times they gang up on me and either ignore my pleas to “get dressed” or “stop doing that” or they are defiant and do the opposite of what I say. How can I get them to respect my simple requests?
– Christine from Huntington Beach
Dear Christine:Your responsibility as a parent is to help your child become self-reliant, respectful, and self-controlled. Although relatives, schools, churches, and Tommy – the bartender over at Nieuport 17 – can help, the primary responsibility for discipline rests with you, the parent.
When it comes to teaching respectful communication to your children, you pretty much have to show them by example. Only give and accept respectful communication, while at the same time never give or accept disrespectful communication. Also, try using positive reinforcement and rewards to encourage respectful behavior.
If none of that works, ask Tommy – he’ll know what to do.