The Will Part III
“Children should be taught to distinguish between ‘I want’ and ‘I
will’ ” (Vol. 6, p. 128).
Want and need are two different things, but often confused, especially by children or dieters. Think about the last time you decided to diet. Maybe you decided to give up sugar for a week and as soon as you made the decision you suddenly wanted/needed a piece of chocolate cake. Which was it? Want or need? Of course any rational adult knows is a want not a need. But let’s say, you weren’t thinking rationally and you decided to give up protein. As soon as you made the decision, you began to crave a beef and bean burrito or a hamburger. Is that a want or a need? At that moment it may have been a want, but after a day, it would be a need. Bodies need protein.
Hurt children often confuse want and need even more so than healthy children, but both do so. A hurt child will neglect his needs and ignore the signals in his body crying out for rest, healthy foods and water. Instead, he switches to survival mode, stealing treats, overdosing on candy, running on empty, and walking around slightly dehydrated. Parents must be aware and make sure these kids are eating and drinking healthy food on regular intervals.
I had a problem with my youngest sugaring up at church and coming home not hungry. A friend of mine told me to get some protein in him to balance out the sugar. It helped, but did not change his church habit. His Sunday school teacher was not his main sugar supplier. He went on the hunt for it, prowling around the adult classroom until he hit the donut mother load and ate until fully wired. Needless to say, his will is weak when it comes to sweets. He does not distinguish want and need.
My solution? Keep lots of fruits, yogurt, and healthy snacks at home. We eat healthy meals including salads, brown rice, veggies and good fats. We have been label reading, talking about nutrition and I say, “you want that, but your body doesn’t need it.” Saying those words are not a magic pill. Studying and talking about nutrition may eventually sink in, but for now I have to monitor what he is eating while he is at home and give him sweets on my turf. I must be his candy-conscience, his protein-provider until his will can distinguish between ‘I want’ and ‘I will’.