Parenting Is A Struggle, Here Are 2 Of Ours

Parenting is a journey full of lessons, and most of them are for the parents.  It is pretty much like being in a school where everyday is a pop quiz, and you did not do the required reading.  Thankfully we get to grade our own tests on this journey and while we have gotten some of the questions correct, we have definitely gotten a few wrong, and routinely struggle with a few others, FOOD and FEAR to be specific.

Food.

Our 9 year old daughter Makenna is a garbage disposal when it comes to food, she will eat almost anything put in front of her.  Our 11 year old daughter Kayle is a completely different story.  One of the pickiest eaters we have ever met.  We thought she would be a little less picky at this age but we were wrong and expanding her menu remains a constant struggle.

We are always balancing both of their plates with a variety of options and know that some day taste buds will change, menus will get bigger, and we will get to say we told you so.  Until then, we keep trying and disguising.

Fear.

Fear is a natural and necessary thing when growing up, and learning to deal with fear at a young age will help them face unsettling and challenging situations in the future. Easier said than done though. Whenever our kids are put into a situation where we can tell they are scared, we support them ensuring they understand that fear is ok, and do our best to encourage them to overcome it. Where we have to be careful sometimes is getting upset if they let fear win, or using bribery to get them to do something we know they can easily do. A recent paddle boarding adventure is a perfect example of us doing both.

Kayle has paddle boarded a bunch of times on her own but this was her first time in open-ocean. She was freaked out which is understandable since the ocean is an intimidating place, but we knew she would love it if she just did it.  Well, she was not having it and we felt like if she did not do it then, she never would.  So we used an ice cream stop as incentive and sure enough, she did it and loved it.  However, we quickly regretted the bribery thing.  Yes it got her on the water, and yes she loved almost every minute of it but that may not have been the best approach for the long-term.  We would rather her just chosen to overcome that fear in order to accomplish something she knew she wanted to do.    We will see what happens next time.

We learn a little bit more everyday BUT that is what parenting is about. If you are reading this and can relate, know that you are not alone.  Struggling is part of the journey.

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