Sunday, January 15, 2012

Change With Your Kids, Don't Change Them

I spend a majority of my writing posts relating to food allergy topics but I am still a typical mom with typical, picky kids just like anyone else. I have seen a lot of comments lately about other moms stressing over how to get their children to eat or how to keep them busy and active and this jogged my brain a little bit. I realized that part of being a parent is to learn to adapt, good or bad. This also means that sometimes the adapting is something a parent has to be taught by their child and not the other way around. As parents, we are told all of our lives (even before having children) that children should be spoken to and not heard...why is this ok?

Now, I know a few parents may start to read this and already have a few things popping into their mind that they would love to tell me about but before you do, just hear me out. As a child, I learned a lot from my environment, my experiences and my friends and family. I was taught to respect my parents and that my job growing up was to make sure that I listened, I didn't break the rules and to do well in school. These are all things that I try to instill in my children. I agree with these thoughts and I feel any child should do the same. But what happens when you have a child that doesn't want to go with the flow? A child that does things outside of the box and makes you think that maybe you need to change your thinking, even if it's not what you were always told to do? What if you realize that your child has actually told you (in a round about way) that it's actually not your way or the highway?

I have learned from my children that there is no list of rules that works with every single child exactly the same way. I have learned that sometimes you do have to give in and do something that is the total opposite of what you always swore you would never do as a parent. I have realized that just because we always have "grown-up time" does not mean that "children's time" is any less important. Your child grows up and learns to be their own, unique person. They show you that sometimes it's ok to eat cold pizza for breakfast or to have ice cream for dinner an hour past bedtime. You have to bend and just say ok sometimes. Thinking back, what do you remember more- the rule that your parents had about going to bed on time or the time when they actually let you eat cookies in your bed past your bedtime and not brush your teeth? I am willing to bet that you seem to remember the second choice.

Our children are here to enlighten us and to make us realize how short life is. Change does not have to be a bad thing all of the time.  Step into the unknown and just go with it. This is how ice cream was invented and this is how The Noble Peace Prize is won. In today's society, people are so fast to judge others that they don't stop to think about all of the "what ifs". So many of our children today are deemed hyperactive or unfocused because they don't want to be a typically developing child...what do you think would happen if Mozart or Albert Einstein was alive today as a child?

Embrace your children and let them ask questions. Listen to them when they disagree with you, don't shut them out. If they are coloring outside of the lines, don't correct them. Learn to respect them, even when they are very young because children know when people do not respect them. Don't be embarrassed if they want to know about sex or why people are different colors. They learn from you. The only time you should be embarrassed is when they don't ask questions or they don't want to know.

Love them, no matter what.


  1. Hi Tracy! I read your guest blog over at An Itchy Little World and truly enjoyed it! This article touched me as well. My eldest son, 15 has mulitple food allergies, eczema and asthma and my second son, 13 has a peanut/tree nut allergy and asthma. Our journey so far has been anything but typical! During his grade school years and starting in high school, we have yet to come across anyone with a similar son is a trailblazer! Along the way, occasions involving food have had to be reinvented. Being creative in the kitchen has been our way of life! Instead of my boys feeling like they are missing out, my goal is to make them feel like they have something special. It always helps when their friends want to have what they have! I recently started writing a blog about our journey in the hope of helping other families with similar food allergy, eczema and asthma issues. If you have a chance, please stop by! Susan H. @ The Food Allergy Chronicles

  2. Thanks for both. It's amazing what we can accomplish when we need to.
    - Tracy