The other day K and I had a passionate discussion over dinner. I don’t want Waleed to have to deal with weight issues, said K. I nodded in agreement, healthy food, organic when possible. You have to stick to what you believe, I said as I picked up my Five Guys burger and looked up to catch my son licking his lips as he watched me take a bite.
I want my son to be happy and to live a life of meaning and integrity. I thought I lived my life with integrity- my actions in line with my beliefs- but now that I have a son watching my every move, I realize this isn’t always the case, the contradictions beginning to surface like fine fractures along a sidewalk- not a problem at the moment but give it a few years and you just might trip and fall on the cracks of shifting stone.
It’s not just food. [This isn’t a knock on kids who watch TV but] I want him to avoid screen time for as long as possible. Granted, now that
BRAVO TV got cut off Waleed entered our life TV viewing has dropped as its relegated to his sleeping hours but we still watch it. And enjoy it. Mad Men. The Wire. Breaking Bad. K and I frequently discuss pulling the plug since the aforementioned shows are viewed via Netflix and the actual harm I find in TV is in the mindless channel surfing that can render you a couch potato and a passive participant in life. Yet each time we call to do the deed DirectTV offers more discounts, offers, and then K hesitates, well I do enjoy my sports and the decision is postponed for another few months.
Right now none of this is really an issue I can easily eat a brownie while handing him diced apples, eat a greasy burger while feeding him organic pizza and home-made french fries. But its all temporary- soon he’s going to catch on- and chuck that home-made fry in my face.
Parenting with integrity requires constant self-examination, self-restraint and self-discipline. And none of this is easy. I love sweets. I would eat sweets for breakfast-lunch-dinner if it were socially acceptable- and this struggle to eat better is not a new one it just feels more urgent because I’m his role model. If he sees me ingesting a mountain of ice cream rivaling K-2- chances are he’ll want to do the same once he can.
Little by little we’re making changes. K and I have given up soda [which if you know K, is huge]. We watch 80% less TV. And- I am getting serious about curbing my sweet-tooth. I know I won’t always succeed in parenting with full integrity- but I want to be able to look back and say I gave it everything I had to do so. [And if you see me eating a brownie? feel free to smack me!]
Can you relate? What challenges of ‘do as I say not as I do’ do you struggle with when it comes to parenting? [And- just throwing it out there- anyone successfully curb their not-great eating habits? This sugar
addict aficionado would love tips!]