By Lisa Hauf
Children teach you the importance of picking your battles. Sometimes — okay, many times — the battle is simply not worth it. I remind myself daily the other team may score but the overall win comes much later in life.
Last week was a prime example of what may have seemed like a loss for the parents but was truly a win. Who would have thought cookies would be considered a win?
My two-year-old boy is like any other toddler — trying to learn about life and figuring out what is okay and what isn’t okay. My husband and I take daily gambles on when we should stay firm and say no or when to simply give in. One of the many struggles between children and parents can often be food. We strive to teach them healthy eating habits, how to sit nicely at the table and candy is not an option for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
My husband is the one who often gets our two-year-old (also known as Boss Man around the house) a snack in the morning before daycare. Mind you, he does get breakfast at daycare, but this child wakes up hangry. His choice of food seems to change with the seasons. He was on a toaster strudel kick, and then waffles, now he likes these breakfast dogs with sausage and pancakes wrapped around them. Are these the healthiest pre-breakfast choices? Probably not, but he is a healthy and active toddler who is eating and growing, so I’m okay with it. I also know from experience, what they eat at age two doesn’t necessarily determine what they will eat when they are nine.
Back to picking our battles. Last week I walked into the living room and Boss Man was eating cookies for a pre-breakfast snack. I looked directly at my husband and said, “Really? Cookies for breakfast!” He simply reminded me that we must pick our battles. Little did I know, Boss Man first requested medicine for breakfast. Yes, you read that correctly. He wanted medicine. My husband decided cookies were better than Tylenol and counted the cookies as a win. I would concur, it was a true win for the parents that morning!
Some days seem more like a victory than others. When they choose to eat an apple or eat all their carrots, those are the days you feel you are doing something right. Other days, cookies can simply feel like a win and I’m okay with that.
Hauf is the NDFB Director of Public Relations. She and her husband have three young sons.