Interesting how things get passed down the generations. 

Recently my daughter shared an art piece cooked up by one of my grandchildren. Below on a sheet from a notepad imprinted with "a hot cup of cocoa" was written in child style pencil, ". . . is disgusting! because it is too chocolatey". Below the note sheet on a colorful paper was an an assemblage depicting a cup of Cocoa with cotton balls for marshmallows and glittery steam swirls.

The thing that struck me, besides the choice of adjective, was the recollections it invoked in me. When my daughter was a little girl her mother used the term "disgusting" rather frequently. Or, often enough to be a trademark usage in my view. Mostly in referring to tastes of foods she didn't like. But, if I recall correctly, for just about anything she didn't like.

Turns out, I would become disgusting too. 

My young daughters picked up the word as part of their regular vocabulary. The older girl first pronounced it as "acusting". That particularly charming way kids have of uttering what they hear and/or can't quite pronounce may also account for all those precious names for the grandparents. 

Well, now the next generation is on the scene and, as you know what I am talking about, there's that disgusting use of the word "disgusting". 

I will share this post with my daughters. Funny how things get passed down. 


David D. Wronski said...

A friend writes:

"I grew up on a ranch in Eastern Washington. The commercial crop was wheat but we raised cattle, a Guernsey milk cow, chickens: " layers and fryers” and a large vegetable garden that supplied fresh produce as well as items canned, blanched and froze for the cold, dark days of Winter. If we didn’t grow it or raise it, we didn’t eat it. Therefore there was never a question of criticizing the food we had toiled to raise, harvest and prepare. When we had our own children I was determined not to hear from their lips “UCK” or “I don’t like that” which came from the mouths of my friends and acquaintances children.

"My boys were expected to take one bite, evaluate, chew and swallow. Then, and only then they would be allowed to say “I have not acquired a taste for it, yet”. Meaning that the next time it was served they would be expected to try, evaluate, chew and swallow another bite. My three sons are adventurous eaters, great cooks and have acquired highly refined pallets. Food is a gift. It should be savored or at least respected. How sad what was passed down was a legacy of negatives when so very easily it could have been a learning curve for the positive."

"My beliefs are firm and by all means share. Children who are not advised to widen their horizons are sad creatures indeed!"

David D. Wronski said...

Originally the post was just about how kids mimic their parents in the words they use. And, how a word like "disgusting" is totally misplaced; and should be reserved for only the spoiled, rotten, poisonous. Not, for a mild objection based on preference.

In my home when I was the resident Daddy we cooked from scratch and looked into the cuisines of other cultures. My two daughters were exposed to a wide variety of food options. Only once was there an objection. At dinner one evening the older girl announced, "I don't like it". I knew the was good, or at worst decent. Then the younger girl chimed in with the same objection. I sort of knew I might not have been really about the food. So I flatly said, "Who said you have to like it!" No contest after that. Ever.

There seems to be things we could get heavily into concerning modern parenting, and the general topic of how taste preferences are created.

Watching food shows featuring foodways from around the world, we well know that people eat just about anything. And, relish it. It's really about the attitudes we bring to the foods that govern a lot of our preferences. Remeber your first bite of Sushi? Of course, I would allow that some are just constitutionally not able to accept certain foods. Allergies, certainly. Autonomic revulsion; just won't go in. But, mostly I would say it's mostly about conditioning.

My one granddaughter at age 4 was enjoying her Mickey Mouse shaped pancakes with the diner supplied maple flavored sugar syrup. I order real Maple Syrup and suggested she try that. That kid absolutely refused, seeming to know at that tender age what the better choice would be. I remarked that she was a little young to have such clear cut definite choices. Again, I'm sure it wasn't about the syrup per se. Maybe just asserting her territory to make a choice.

And, then don't get me started about giving kids choices. That whole subject is so loaded with BS. "Johnny," mom says, "would you like this one or that one." Let's hope that Johnny at some point recognizes that it is mom stipulating the choices.