Nov 27 2007

Vegetarian Children – Raising Kids in a Vegetarian Home While Allowing for Choice

Summary: You became a vegetarian by choice. Perhaps your children should have that same choice.

I first tried being a vegetarian during my senior year of high school in 1984. I was living in Mesa Arizona at the time: a place of extremely wide, straight, flat streets punctuated by strip malls with names like “Poca Fiesta”, “Fiesta Village” and “Fiesta Mall” (I swear I’m not making this up!) I lived in a planned community called Saratoga Lakes in the Dobson Ranch area which was literally a cattle ranch back in the day before it was paved over with suburbia. So just about everything around me (my home, my school, shopping centers, parks, streets, etc) was less than twenty years old and most of it less than ten years old. My entire neighborhood and school district was less than 7 years old.

We had very few “local” businesses. Pretty much everything was a chain store. Natural food stores just simply didn’t exist anywhere in the valley. Same with vegetarian restaurants.

My reasons for trying vegetarianism were not related to any moral or ethical issues about killing and eating animals. I didn’t then, and I still don’t now, have any ethical problems with the killing of animals for food as long as the animals are raised in healthy humane conditions and their deaths are as quick and trauma free as possible. No, my reason for trying vegetarianism was a quest for better health. Over the years I had noticed a pattern. Eat meat, get heartburn. Not always, but it was the only food that repeatedly caused problems. So why did it take me seventeen years to notice this pattern and do something about it. Conditioning is the culprit. Continue reading

Nov 13 2007

Get Thee to a Potty! An Unorthodox Solution to a Child’s Persistent Pooping Problem and Toilet Training Issues.

Summary: The day I finally snapped and made my child beat years of constipation and overcome her anxiety around pooping.

It’s funny how children can be simultaneously advanced and behind at the same time. My daughter had such a split around toilet training. She was a kung-fu master in peeing but a lowly apprentice in pooping.

Physically my daughter has always been ahead of the curve. Crawling, walking, riding a bike, swimming, it really didn’t matter, if it involved gross motor skills she got really good, really fast. So it was not a surprise when she first taught herself how to pee on the toilet at about 20 months of age. Shortly after it was just not peeing in the toilet, but wiping herself, flushing, and then coming out in the living room to grab another diaper and putting it on herself while standing up. It was quite amusing actually. By age three she was in underwear 24/7. However popping was a separate issue.

Early on, at about 18 months old, my daughter had an unfortunate incident with constipation. When she finally pushed the poop out, it hurt. For someone who was only a year and a half old, the lesson was clear: pooping hurts, so next time don’t let the poop out.

Thus began the Great Pooping Wars of 2005-2007. To avoid the pain of pooping that my daughter felt was inevitable, she would hold in her poop, thus ensuring she would end up constipated. So when she finally pooped, it would definitely hurt. It was a self fulfilling prophecy. Continue reading