Star Wars: A New Mission

Family life

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Little E – now nearly four – came home from nursery school yesterday talking about how one of the boys in her class really likes Darth Vader. Or Star Fader as she insists he is called.
“And what does Star Fader do?” I asked her, hoping she hadn’t heard anything too traumatic about Jedi knights and whatever else goes on in a film I have never watched all the way through.
Her answer? “He always eats all his fruit and vegetables.”

Phew, I thought to myself, relieved by her response. Silly me, obviously that is what Darth Vader is most famous for. I can just imagine this little boy’s mum, at her wit’s end, trying to encourage her lad to eat his greens by telling him his hero of the moment does so too.

It reminded me of the time my nephew told me he didn’t like milk. “That’s okay,” I said. “Why don’t you have a babychino instead?” referring to the warmed-up, frothy milk served child-sized cups in most coffee shops. Needless to say, he loved it. One dad I know told his son there were no sprouts on his Christmas dinner, just baby cabbages. He’d been crying about not liking sprouts but ate all of his baby cabbages. Another child refused to eat peppers because she was upset about the thought of eating Peppa Pig. Her family now have red carrots, green carrots and yellow carrots instead.

I could expand by going into a full-on exploration about whether it’s wrong to lie to our children but I’m not going to. For me, this is merely encouraging creativity. Little E had conjured up a whole personality for Star Fader, someone whom she has probably only seen on the t-shirts of her little friends. Who am I to spoil that childhood innocence? And if it makes a child’s diet healthier in the process, then that can only be a good thing.


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