Teaching Kids About Hunger

Because Hubby has a good job we’ve always considered ourselves extremely blessed. Our bills are paid, there’s food on the table and we live in a nice house. We have warm clean clothes and we even have a few bucks left over at the end of the day to buy treats.

One of the things Hubby and I worry about is the sense of entitlement that children have nowadays. Our boys are very good and sweet, but they’re just as susceptible to the “gimme’s” as any other child. How do we combat that? I’ve tried showing them pictures online of malnourished children before, but they pointed to the distended bellies and said, “Those kids are fat, not skinny.” It just didn’t connect well.

Tonight I was reading Twitter and came across a link from @mike_wesley. It’s a video about “food, hunger, and taste” that will knock your socks off. Have a tissue handy!

We had the boys watch it and I think they finally got a small glimpse of what we’ve been wanting them to understand for some time. They asked some very good questions and seemed to genuinely understand that hunger is real.

I’m very pleased to have been able to show it to them and start laying the foundation for some understanding (and hopefully future compassionate action) in their hearts.

What do you think?

Earnest Parenting: help for parents who need to teach their kids about hunger.

The editor-in-chief of Earnest Parenting, Amy is the mother of two sets of twin boys. Yes, they drive her crazy, but they also make her laugh occasionally. Amy enjoys writing, quilting, reading, and working on her burgeoning cyber empire.

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  • KY's Commonwealth Eye Surgery May 14, 2009, 7:34 am

    You people are doing a wonderful job for your kids.
    Parent should teach their kids about hunger, misery and other hard aspects of life.

    Thanks for such a brilliant post.

    Reply
  • Baby Gear May 14, 2009, 9:15 am

    Teaching about hunger is different things and showing photos is totally different. I am afraid that such kind of photos can leave negative feelings on him.

    I mean to say that you should taught them and make them understand what is good and what is bad. We are parents and we are like wall to them and protecting them from everything until they understand and mature enough.

    If there is hunger in the world than why should my young child of 5 – 13 years should care about this. For such thing we are here and we will contribute.

    Let them enjoy their childhood when they will grow up with your good manners she will take care of world as well.

    Till than let them enjoy under this open sky … and let them fly with their imagination.

    Its always nice to visit your blog. God bless you.

    Reply
  • Crissy May 14, 2009, 12:40 pm

    Amy,

    That was a very touching video and a great way to teach the children about hunger. You are doing a wonderful job at teaching them compassion. We’ve been do that by teaching by example. Since Micheal’s mom lives in the Detroit area we have seen alot more people asking for food hand outs. Even though we don’t have a lot ourself we do believe that if we can give something to someone more in need we do and most of the time the kids are with us and ask questions about why we are doing it. It is such a great way to teach compassion for those in need as well as learning to share with others. Recently at school, my daughter told me that one of the girls in her class couldn’t go on the class field trip because her parent couldn’t afford it so Loui asked if it would be okay to take her piggy money and give it to the girl. We told her that would be very nice thing to do but she was short so her brother gave her his money too. The teacher called later that day and said that several children had collected money so that the little girl would not miss out and was sending some of the money back home with several children because they had too much. It is amazing at how compassionate that little ones can be.

    Reply
  • Play Kitchens May 14, 2009, 3:38 pm

    I really enjoy your blog posts. I truly relate to so many of your ideas. You nailed it on the head when you said “entitlement”. Sometimes I get so upset when I see my kids showing no appreciation or gratitude for what they have. I try to explain it to them but they just don’t get it yet. Thanks for the video and this post. Keep up the great work.

    Reply
  • Amy May 15, 2009, 12:57 am

    KY’s Commonwealth Eye Surgery, I agree. Which is why I showed them the video. In this case, I thought it was a gentle way to introduce some reality without seeming like I was attacking or blaming the boys.

    Baby Gear I think I understand that you’re concerned about the boys getting hit too hard with reality too early in life. Point taken. And it is something Hubby and I have talked about extensively. The boys are wonderful kids. But they’re also very prone to thinking that they deserve the life they live. That then leads to some very unpleasant behavior that I just cannot let stand. Most of the problem stems from a disconnect between their existence and the reality that so many millions of children face daily. Showing this video in a non-threatening way was one attempt at correcting the disconnect. My hope is that I’ve made this correction gently enough that they still get to be kids but at the same time start learning some compassion for others.

    Crissy please hug your sweet children for me. What a wonderful gesture! I’ve seen my boys do kind things as well when they’ve been given the opportunity and it warms my heart. That makes up for the other times when they’re not quite as empathetic.

    Play Kitchens, thanks! I don’t know any other way to teach gratitude than to model it and to show the boys how blessed they are. If they have no point of comparison, how do they know how good life is for them? Seeing the video did make an impact at the time, and again the following day when some rather ungrateful comments were leaving someone’s mouth. I just pointed out that they KNOW better after seeing children joyfully eat garbage and that ended the complaining.

    Reply
  • office space philippines May 15, 2009, 3:00 am

    That’s very nice of you two. I know your kids will be at their best when they grow up because you raised them well.

    Reply
  • Justin May 15, 2009, 9:34 pm

    I feel bad that I’ve never actually paid much attention to this until I watched the video. I’m wow-ed.

    Reply
  • instant payday loans May 16, 2009, 4:50 am

    Depends how you brought up your kids. I always prefer to be a good friend of my kids and understand them at the mind level of a child. This really provides me the right approach to move ahead with my naughty kids.

    Reply
  • Army Shop Surplus May 17, 2009, 12:50 am

    @ Baby Gear

    I am 100% agree with you baby. Seems to me that you have consider everything about your kids.

    Although this is the first time, I am adding my comments here and as we are from Army back ground than you can expect how strict we are. But when it comes to kid we take it bit ease.

    For me kids are like moist soil and you should give a perfect shape to them while they are on their early stage. Once moist evaporate you will never be able to give them shape. Remember this.

    Thanks Amy and thanks everyone for such a nice reading.

    Reply
  • tara May 18, 2009, 4:41 am

    this video have really brought into my attention how to handle hunger of kids

    Reply
  • frank bother May 19, 2009, 5:28 am

    hunger is extremely much in kids so be carefull mommies

    Reply
  • Nan May 19, 2009, 5:10 pm

    Wow, this was powerful. The boys and I just watched it and had a lively discussion about Inequality, Waste, Zimbabwe, Aid Organizations and Politics! We see hunger here, so it’s something they understand already.

    Reply
  • office space ortigas May 20, 2009, 3:38 am

    Teaching kids about hunger is not that easy for them to realize that eating nutritious food is very important to healthy body and minds.

    Reply
  • Mercola Health Blog May 21, 2009, 3:31 am

    Very good video. Hope there are more parents out there like you. Also, you might want to start teaching your kids the value of giving back to others, such as through charity and fundraising events. For example, Running for Hungry Children fundraiser in Chicago recently.

    Reply
  • Law Firm Makati May 25, 2009, 9:36 pm

    It is a very good way of showing importance of food and to have awareness regarding hunger. You are an inspiring parent. keep it up!:)

    Reply
  • Social Networking Philippines May 26, 2009, 1:48 am

    Great!..As our children will know the essence of this kind of problem today as well as they understand it’s not easy to live with the threat of experiencing, the physical sensation of hunger.

    Reply
  • Video Production Birmingham May 26, 2009, 12:23 pm

    great info – 100% agree with you.
    x

    Reply
  • basins May 27, 2009, 6:42 am

    I think its too important to teach kids about sifinicance of food and teach them about the nutritions food is good. Its not so easy but this experience make them strong and healthy.

    Reply
  • delson has a law firm in manila May 29, 2009, 4:40 am

    It’s better at young age your toddlers learn how to appreciate the essence of their food. This video is very realistic, actually most of the third world country have these common scenario.
    Great post! this really shows how are you concerned with your kids.

    Reply
  • Neo May 30, 2009, 1:04 am

    Thanks Amy
    I feel great and honored as you replied to my comment. I’m a regular visitor of your blog and I will leave comments in your blog.

    Thanks

    Reply
  • Color Printing June 12, 2009, 1:25 am

    It’s great that you’re teaching your kids about hunger and how lucky they are that they get to eat complete meals every day, have snacks, get proper nutrition. At a young age, they need to know how lucky they are, and by setting an example and by making an effort to teach them about hunger, you are making the right steps towards instilling in them the right morals.

    Reply