Not being Jamie Oliver, a scientist or even a dietician doesn’t mean I don’t have a bit of specialist knowledge to share when it comes to the sweet stuff. If you don’t mind your child having the occasional chocolate bar, bowl of rice crispies or McDonalds as a treat, please do watch your timing.
This week I have had to deal with a couple of children high on sugar in class. They’ve come straight from a chocolate bar and an energy drink in the car and are almost impossible to calm.
When a child is high on sugar they fidget, giggle, catch the eyes of other children, snigger, hum or whistle, talk under their breath and drive us all bananas. Other children achieve less, but the child who is high achieves virtually nothing.
The tragedy is that it takes an experienced teacher in a good frame of mind to deal with a sugared-up child. The trick is to remain calm and twinkly and to try to avoid getting stroppy with them. It helps if you really like the child (I do very much) as it is so easy to lose your cool and for the joy to seep out of the lesson.
So please don’t let this happen to your child. There is a time for the sweet stuff but it is absolutely not before a session of classroom-based learning. Offer water, savoury breakfasts, a hearty packed lunch or simply a savoury snack in the car if you’re off to see a tutor.
It isn’t easy – the sweet stuff is everywhere when you are pushed for time and anxious to stave off your child’s hunger pangs. Breakfasts are particularly tricky, when getting the family out of the front door on time is such hard work. Plan ahead, make a cheese omelette or stick a round of cucumber sandwiches in your bag.
Don’t expect it to be easy. We parents who really care about education have to work just that little bit harder than those who don’t see it as such a priority.