I never did like co-sleeping, and baby slings never worked for me. I may have nursed on demand, but when that baby was done, I was quite happy to let him have his tummy time on his own while I did the dishes. I encourage my kids to climb those cliffs and come home dirty and to wander around outside on their own.
So I definitely wouldn’t call myself an attachment parent.
But the common consensus seems to be that anyone who agrees with rules prohibiting nuts in schools must be a hovering, bubble-wrap packing, breastfeeding-til-middle-school type parent.
I am not.
A few days ago, an 18 year old woman had an allergice reaction and died. While she wasn’t carrying her epipen, doctors say they wouldn’t have helped her anyway.
So when I started caring for kids (even before my own were born), I was happy to keep things as nut-free as possible when needed. Here’s why:
It’s life or death.
When a child’s life is on the line, you want to bet I’m going to do everything in my power to protect that child. If that means buying peanut-free foods, then that’s what I’ll do. They aren’t any more expensive, and more and more manufacturers are getting on board with providing those options. It’s not hard.
Kids need to learn to eat things other than peanut butter sandwiches anyway.
My kids are the pickiest eaters on the planet, just ask anyone who knows them. But if they choose not to eat the food I’ve packed, I’d rather they go hungry for a few hours rather than put someone’s life at risk. Seriously, it’s only a few hours til they get home and can eat whatever they want.
I’d want others to do the same for my kids.
If my kids had a severe allergy to anything, you can bet I’d be making sure others knew it. Yes, I would teach them to be careful too, but I would expect those around them to be considerate as well. I also expect that things like drugs and guns would not be allowed around my children for the same reason.
Kids learn compassion and selflessness by putting the needs of others first.
When my daughter eats peanut butter for breakfast, she knows that she’ll need to scrub her hands and face and brush her teeth extra well before going to school or church. When she was younger, she’d often have to change her shirt too. As a result, she often chooses something else to eat. Is that a bad thing? No. She’s choosing to not put others in life-threatening situations. I’d say that’s a good thing.
What other parents choose to do isn’t under my control.
So whether the parents of a child allergic to nuts raises them to check each food carefully or ask every single time isn’t up to me. What is up to me is what I do, and what I teach my kids to do.
I’m choosing to teach my kids empathy and respect. I’m choosing to not teach my kids to treat others with a “my rights are more important than your life”-type attitude, but to honour and respect the lives of others. In the grand scheme of things, if that means only having peanut butter on Saturdays, that’s a tiny price to pay.
What about you? Is your child’s school nut-free?
What has the general reaction been to the “No Nuts” rule?