I came across a story today about a woman in North Dakota who, instead of handing out candy, plans to give a letter to all obese trick-or-treaters! She says that she just wants to send a message to their parents.
Here is the content of the letter:
“Happy Halloween and Happy Holidays Neighbor! You are probably wondering why your child has this note; have you ever heard the saying, ‘It takes a village to raise a child?’ I am disappointed in ‘the village’ of Fargo Moorhead, West Fargo. You child is, in my opinion, moderately obese and should not be consuming sugar and treats to the extent of some children this Halloween season. My hope is that you will step up as a parent and ration candy this Halloween and not allow your child to continue these unhealthy eating habits. Thank you.” (emphasis added)
From the tone of the letter, it seem as though she has good intentions. She sees a problem with the children in her neighborhood and she is attempting to send a message to the parents. The article quoted her offering this justification for distributing the letter:
I just want to send a message to the parents of kids that are really overweight. I think it’s just really irresponsible of parents to send them out looking for free candy just ’cause all the other kids are doing it
To be fair, I’ve seen kids (and adults) eat what has to be well over 10,000 calories worth of treats on and directly following Halloween! Many parents seem to allow their kids to eat whatever they want, with very little rules in place, just because “that’s what you do around Halloween”.
Having said that, I still find it hard to believe that this woman feels justified in handing out this letter to kids that she has somehow decided have poor eating habits and need to have more discipline. I definitely don’t think that this message is going to be received very well, especially since most people in our society are far too sensitive to be able to take any form of criticism.
There is obviously a huge problem in this country with obesity, and since an obese child no longer stands out in this society, many parents don’t take it seriously enough. However, there are two things that strike me about this:
First, what criteria is she using to determine who gets the letter? Is she just going by which kids seem to have a little extra weight while wearing a costume?
Second, why doesn’t she just send this letter to every parent in her neighborhood? She can spend a couple of hours walking around and talking to some of them about her concerns. If they aren’t home, stick this letter in their mailbox. Of course, she should leave out the obese language if she were to choose this route.
I can’t imagine any of the parents who receive this letter tonight reacting in a positive manner. So even if she has a valid concern, all she will do is cause grief in my opinion.
What Do You Think?
- Was this the appropriate thing to do considering her concerns?
- How would you react if your child came home with this letter? Would your reaction change if your child read the letter and started feeling bad about himself?
- If you had (or maybe you have) a concern about the lack of proper nutrition in our youth, what would your approach be?
© 2013, Khaleef “Fat Guy” Crumbley. All rights reserved.