Recently I've really been thinking about my parenting, especially as Little K is so aware of everything, and seems to be at the age where she fights me on just about anything and everything. It seems in life, when we begin to focus on something, little life lessons appear every where. Isn't it so true that what you focus on appears every where. It's like when you become pregnant, you suddenly see pregnant women all around you, or when you get glasses, every one around suddenly has glasses. I've been reading a ton about how comments and thoughts we hear as a child can really impact the way we live as adults. The way we respond to situations, and our confidence in ourselves can be molded at such a young age. As my awareness has strengthened in the passed couple months or so on my parenting style, so much is coming forth in this area. Weather it is my own personal experience, friends experiences, or Little K. While we are all humans and can definitely say or do the wrong thing, it's great to be aware of our approach, and how we discuss certain situations to our children. Every parent is doing the best they can, with the tools that they are give.
When Little K was born, I started to think about what I really wanted for her, what I wanted her to learn about when she was young.
Food was a big concern.
Everyone struggles with food at points in their life, but I am particularly terrified of her ever having an issue with food in any sort of way. As a person that has had my own experience and issues with food in passed, this was big for me. I did my research and spoke with our doctor and came up with a plan of how to introduce foods to her when she was 6 months old. While I strongly believed that helped build her foundation, she eventually turned 2 and everything changed. Before 2, I thought I had it all figured out. I wanted her to eat what we were eating. I didn't want to have to make her something different every meal. She ate everything and anything. It made me so proud, as this is something that was extremely important to me.
When 2 years old arrived, she started refusing to eat things. I was so upset, but I never pushed her to eat things, I just encouraged her. Well needless to say, I do have to make her separate meals at times, or change her meal a bit. Like I said before, I don't want her to grow up having a problem with food, so I went with it. Jimmy and I talk to her about how certain foods help her fun faster, help her do more somersaults at gymnastics etc. Well her vegetable intake quickly became cucumber, carrots, and tomatoes and nothing else. She still had the spinach pancakes that I made her--remind me to share the meltdown story when she realized i put "leaves" in her pancake :)
Fast forward months later, as I had gotten over the fact that she wasn't going to sit with me and eat kale and spinach on a daily basis, I still, as you know, eat healthy daily. This is something that I have to do for me to feel good. I need it to be the best mom I can be. When I eat crappy food, I feel crappy--bottom line. I sat down a couple of weeks ago to eat one of my egg poppers. Click here for the recipe. I couldn't believe it when she sat on my lap and asked for a bite. I thought she was going to spit it right out with all of the veggies. She took a bite, and what do you know, she said "mmmmmmm, Can I have my own, Mommy." Of course I jumped right up and heated her up one of mine! She ate almost the whole thing minus a couple of bites.
You see, we can tell our children to do things, but until they see us mimicking that behavior, it isn't likely they are going to listen. If I told her to eat her veggies, and she constantly saw me eating junk food, she probably would resist more. Children are watching every second. They are picking up on everything we are doing as parents. Man, that's a tough pill to swallow. Do we have to be perfect? Of course not!! We want them to see us fail, but you know what? We want them to watch us push through the struggles. We want them to see us eat healthy the majority of the time. Not because it will make us fat if we eat junk, but it will make us feel good. Our children are watching us every move, so much more than they are listening. Choose well for you, but don't forget you have a constant audience. Be what makes you happy, be what makes you feel alive, and take care of your body--it's the only one you have!
And so I leave you with this.