How we enjoy trying to change others! Strange how other people’s foibles appear so crystal clear to us and yet our own faults very often prove so difficult to comprehend! What’s that all about?
In my experience the more we try to push change, to literally beat people over the head with our beliefs and ideas, the less we are heard. Even when it comes to raising our own children.
Respect then and gentleness, play a part.
Twenty years ago when some of my children were growing up I was a zealot about food. I actually cringe now when I remember my attitude and behaviour. My eldest children believed circles of sweet pepper were sweeties and had never seen white bread or fizzy drinks. This was all very well until my eldest daughter attended a birthday party aged four. She whispered to me, after staring horrified at her white bread peanut butter sandwich, “mummy, it’s not cooked.” Her face when she was handed a glass of fizzing lemonade was priceless. Needless to say, my later children, although not fed a steady diet of junk, were provided with a more moderate lifestyle.
I’ve had friends whose children felt “deprived” growing up because junk food was seen to be “exotic” and “forbidden.” They were often the same kids who went crazy when they became independent enough to make their own choices!
So, setting a good example, being a little flexible, and talking about our ethics and beliefs with our children probably works best. When they understand why we don’t eat other beings, or why we enjoy fresh foods, cooked from scratch they form an appreciation for good, ethical eating. Hopefully they will take these ideas forward into their adult lives.
But, it must begin with us.
In the words of Mahatma Gandhi, “You must be the change, you wish to see in the world.”