How old were you when you first heard of the concept of being “hangry?” Maybe it was a friend that joked about it, or someone you were dating. Maybe you’re just hearing about this portmanteau of hungry and angry for the first time in this email. Oh yeah, that’s so true.
There was a time in your life, whether ten years ago or ten seconds ago, that you didn’t understand what it was. You didn’t realize that the reason you were frustrated or grouchy had very little to do with whatever was happening around you and everything to do with what was happening inside you—or not happening as it were. Maybe you forgot to eat lunch. Maybe you’d been working outside all morning and really worked up an appetite and you didn’t refuel…and then you were taking it out on other people.
Well, guess what? That’s how your children feel all the time. As we’ve said, food solves most of your parenting problems. But kids don’t know that! They’re not aware of why they feel what they feel. In fact, most of the time they’re not even aware of what they feel. So you have to be patient, you have to be forgiving, and you have to be helpful.
You also have to use this as an opportunity: “Hey, have you noticed that when you’re hungry you get upset? Or you act a little crazy? Well, that’s how our emotions work.”
Food has always been its own language. It turns out that it can be a translator too—helping us understand ourselves when nothing else can.