Monday, April 7, 2008

What vodka can't fix CANDY can

The first day of kindergarden the kids were a mess, crying clinging, etc, and every teacher wanted to be the one to win the kids over with candy, especially little Frankie.  He clung the longest and took three pieces of candy, and an extra hour to separate. Weeks later after the kids had adjusted with who know how much candy they were given while we weren't there, they caught a cold.  The teachers said we weren't dressing them warm enough, and that we were probably giving them too much candy.  I didn't even know about the community drinking cup policy at that time (don't worry the "Americans" kids now each have their own cups, but little Frankie often forgets about this).  Upon the kids return the teachers started with the candy again to win the reluctant kids over.  
When visiting or having guests, candy is the standard host gift, chocolate to be exact, and it is often opened before the meal even begins.  It is set out immediately after the meal is finished and replenished later when coffee is served.  If children are cranky or embarrassed, candy is the solution, local children usually don't have any limits or boundaries placed on their candy consumption.  Because of this young children have to have rotten baby teeth pulled out, or capped, and their permeant teeth are damaged before they come in.  
Tooth brushing is not standard practice, nor are dental visits except of course for the extraction or filling.  One of the kindergarden teacher has been suffering for over three weeks now with a rotten tooth, she is so fearful of the dentist that she would rather suffer a fever and the constant pain.  Long term affects of this are seen in grandparents with gold teeth or missing more teeth than they have.  As far as candy goes the consequence are not thought out too well. 
In the supermarkets there is usually twice as much space devoted to candy as there is to vodka.  There is a company called Grand Candy, that pretty much has a corner on the market, and everything from the wrappers, to the stores, is bright and festive.  Often candy is not enough it has to be Grand Candy, to be real candy.  It is hard for the kids because they want it so much, and it is offered to them so much, and everyone else is doing it, that they often fall into the societal trap.
We have until now kept our candy dish up high and hidden from the children, but now it is the center piece of our daily table.  Not that we might consume it but that the children would begin to learn self discipline around the tasty treat.  Judi and Peter, are beginning to understand this discipline, but little Frankie has yet to grasp the idea of boundaries in his candy consumption. He has actually developed into quite a fast consumer of the sweet stuff, in less than one minute that we were away from him at a friends house, he had six empty wrappers piled next to the bowl, one unwrapped in one hand and one unwrapped in the other hand.  
We have been through three series of colds all started by our own little Frankie, so as crazy as this candy situation is, please pray for us and little Frankie that we are able to protect both our teeth and our health!  

1 comment:

Janet said...

Hey Kazarian family -
You all sound like you are adapting great!! Sorry haven't blogged in awhile - have had an extra visitor with us for a couple of weeks. A baby - she is a month old. She has kept us all busy.
We even had some car trouble - and we were w/o our surburban for 1 1/2 weeks(UGH). We had a rental - but the only one available had only 5 seats. So we swapped w/ in-laws. We crammed all 6 of us in their crown victoria. And Joseph perked up and said "Mom, it could be worse. We could be stuck w/ a car like the Kazarians!" We all stopped complaining!

Love the updates - keep them coming!
love the shopping tips - Jonelle!

Hugs & Prayers & Blessings from the Kiessling family from Fresno, California