Jasmine has some friends over for a sleepover tonight. It has created somewhat of a dilemma for me. She's been to a few sleepovers recently and they all seemed to be completely unrestrained in terms of food and bedtime. I think letting eleven year olds drink cola late in the evening and then stay up watching TV (unable to sleep after all that caffeine, I imagine) until the early hours of the morning is unwise, but maybe I'm just an old fuddy duddy. I don't want to be a complete wet blanket! They seem to gorge on fast food and sugary drinks from the moment they arrive onwards. One of Jasmine's friends (and her parents) is very overweight which I think is sad to see in a young child, what chance does she have of having a healthy bodyweight as an adult? I know a sleepover is a special occasion, but still.
So I'm trying to walk the line between allowing "fun" food and not pouring sugar down their throats. I'm cooking a proper dinner, but they can have chips and chocolate and homemade popcorn for supper while watching one or more movies later. Some sugary drinks and juice, not unlimited amounts, and no cola! They can stay up late, but not too late (still to be negotiated), and no doubt will lie awake talking and giggling for a while. I gave them afternoon tea which included meringues I made myself, so it wasn't exactly healthy, but later they were in the bedroom eating lollies (candy) which someone else must have brought along.
I seem to be quite strict about some things compared to other parents I know. I don't let my children watch movies that are rated well above their age group - like I was shocked at someone letting their six year old watch Jurassic Park, that movie gave me nightmares as an adult! Another parent was surprised I wouldn't let my young children play a semi-violent video game (World of Warcraft), considering I play it myself. Um, I'm not a child?! The age rating labels are for a reason! My children only have soft drink as a special treat at parties or at a restaurant. As a family we have fast food around once a fortnight or less (I might have it more often if I am out at lunchtime). My chocolate stash is out of their sight and reach. In the case of food, I should really give myself the same rules I give my kids, but at least I try to look after them. They have plenty of treats, but are both a normal healthy weight and I'm trying to keep it that way.
Diet: Poor, I guess. Meringue with cream, and for dessert after dinner a small crème brulee. Actually surprisingly little sugar in that, but a lot of cream! But real food for meals.
Mental health: Ok.