Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Picking my battles

There are three bags of round, fruit-flavored cereal in my cupboard. Three different brands, three similar color schemes, three very different tastes according to my daughter. She’ll only eat one brand, swearing life as she knows it will end if another brand passes her lips. I’m sure life as I know it will shatter if I force her to try. I think the bigger issue is having three bags of similar cereal…do I shop mindlessly??

My oldest son likes a separate bowl for salad. He could rinse his plate, freeing a spot in the dishwasher, but he likes having a clean bowl. I have quirks that make sense to no one else, who am I to deny his? In the grand scheme of life, what’s more important, forcing our views on our children or appreciating their individuality? Even if their individuality drives us crazy sometimes :)

These little issues, cropping up a thousand times a day, are the ones parents and children continually fight over. They’re the ones that drive us apart, that make it so much harder to reach our children when the truly big, life-altering issues occur.

Children need to make choices, they need to have some power in their lives to promote autonomy, independence, self confidence. I’ve found that I have far fewer battles to pick, when I pick my battles wisely. So, I’ll take the extra cereal to work, let my students string fruity necklaces and marvel at my daughter’s highly developed taste buds.

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