Vegan mom slammed by her family for giving her two-year-old son chocolate
While I haven't got any children of my own as yet, I can still recognise the main objective of parenting is to mould your screaming mess of an offspring into something society can accept and assimilate as one of its own. This usually involves teaching your son or daughter right and wrong, in your own unique parenting fashion.
While there are advocates for spanking and/or religion, I think the best way to impress upon a child is to live life by example, and hopefully just by imitating their parents, your kid ends up as a halfway decent person. But when as a parent, you're forced to compromise on those values for the sake of your own child, how much criticism should you really be subjected to?
Think about that question a little more as you read about the story of a vegan mother on the parenting site Netmums, who was caught in a bind when her two-year-old son ended up panicking during a family outing.
So here's the situation; Lois P is with her son - along with his sister and his stepfather - in a coffee shop, when mischievous toddler meets precariously-placed smoothie, and all hell breaks loose. "It was up his nose, in his eyes - literally everywhere.
"Naturally, he freaked out and practically screams the place down," explains this mum in a moral dilemma. "So the manager came up to us and offered a peice [sic] of chocolate to my little boy. Of course, the moment he saw it - the screaming stopped! I was stressed, feeling hugely guilty and just wanted to make him feel better, so I let him take it."
You can see how much the decision is tearing up this new mum, but here's the twist: she's getting a lot of aggro from her family for giving her son the dairy. As Lois P explains, her family "have always made it clear that it's a hassle catering for her diet", and they're not happy with her for giving her son non-vegan chocolate.
They've since made the conclusion that since Lois P seems to be "picking and choosing" when and where to give her son vegan food, they shouldn't have to go through the trouble of catering for them when Lois P and the gang come over for dinner. "Am I being unreasonable, or is my family?" asks Lois P to the Netmums forum, and there were some conflicting answers.
"You were faced with a moral dilemma, stick to your beliefs or allow a treat to console your upset son," says one mum. "I’d say you picked the lesser of two evils and did the right thing. As for your family, they are looking for an excuse to put a stop to what they probably think is vegan nonsense, they shouldn’t have jumped on you for one slip up, they need to respect your views."
On the other hand, another mum thinks that it was a mistake to raise a two-year-old as vegan in the first place. "To be honest I don't think it's fair or even necessary to force such an extreme diet upon a child, much less a baby! Vegetarian is one thing, but vegan? It's too much in my opinion," she explains, and I see where she's coming from.
Well, Food Envy readers, what do you think? Personally, while I understand her family's frustrations (cooking vegan isn't always easy), I also think that you've got to be sympathetic to a mother's plight when her child is screaming in a public place and she just wanted to calm him down.
Besides, it was just a piece of chocolate - it's not like she gave the kid an entire pizza or anything.