Can I have a biscuit? Can I watch more TV? Children are constantly pushing the boundaries that parents set for them and it sure is difficult to keep drawing the line and say ‘no’ or ‘have a piece of fruit’. It would be so easy to be the ‘nice’ parent, give the biscuit, let them watch yet another tv show, stay up late – your kids would love you and think that you are the best!
Often our heart is in conflict with our head. Our heart says, another biscuit? What harm will it do! Go on, give it, they will think you are nice and wonderful. Our head says, biscuits are an occasional food, not the best healthy choice, you need to say no and offer a piece of fruit instead or a cracker with cheese. As hard as it is, it is the right choice, the good choice. But they won’t like me saying no, or the offer of fruit. They will pout, cross their arms, maybe stamp their feet and whine louder. They will love me more if I give the biscuit.
As parents we are all faced with choices numerous time – choice that put us into either being the ‘nice’ parent or the ‘good’ parent. Being the nice parent is easy and usually popular with your children. Being the good parent is harder and usually unpopular with your children. But its the ‘good’ parent that only offers healthy foods as its healthy foods that growing bodies and brains need so that they develop and learn. The ‘good’ parent has a bedtime that is reasonable based on age, and has to say, its time for bed now, finish up so that their child can learn, remember and focus at school the next day.
Its the ‘good’ parent that knows that brushing their teeth is a big investment in their child’s future health, that having a bath, washing hair, keeping their bodies clean takes more effort but is necessary for the health of their child. Good parents know that limiting sugary, unhealthy food is again what growing bodies need. Choosing to be the ‘good’ parent may not be popular with your child, but it is the adult that has the knowledge of what these choices mean a child doesn’t think through why they need to clean their teeth or go to bed and what that means for tomorrow or the next day, week or month of their life. Being the ‘nice’ parent is easier but its the ‘good’ parent that sets their child up for future health and success.