The habit of paying attention (or not) and the role of eating in forming it (or not)

Dec 4, 2009 by

Would you say your child is usually:

• Focused on what she is supposed to be doing at any given moment?

• Fully present or mind elsewhere?

• Interested in what you or teachers present to him?

• Bored and disengaged by school work or healthy meals?

• Easily distracted and has difficulty in paying attention?

• Ready to do what it’s time to do?

Maybe it’s not just those preservatives and food additives that are causing attention deficit in kids. Whether you child generally pays attention and is interested in what’s going on or whether instead he is habitually inattentive and bored can be largely a matter of training and habit. Functioning in a continual state of distraction instead of focus can be the result of conditioning.

It depends on a few simple differences in tactics, including at the dinner table.

In what ways are we building the habit of not paying attention in our children through…

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The Good Eater

Dec 6, 2008 by

“He’s a good eater,” I hear parents say. A father once told me that his child “did great with the food” on a trip to Europe. “She’s not bad about trying new vegetables.” “Good job! You ate it all.” Extra points for cleaning the plate.

Do these evaluations suggest that eating good food is a satisfying delight or that it’s a praiseworthy act of self-denial? The body is created to crave and enjoy the food it needs, as the mind is made to go after knowledge. Because of children’s genuine need for nourishment, both mental and physical, we have only to give them opportunities to naturally treasure what’s good for them.

If we don’t enjoy what’s good for us more than what’s bad, something’s wrong. As Aristotle asserts, the point of education is to learn to take pleasure in good things. What happens when something…

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