Choosing our battles
Are smelly shorts worth the fight?
This morning I seriously had a discussion with my 6 year old about how many times he can wear shorts without washing.
Him: “They don't look dirty.”Me: “But you sweat and they smell.”Him: “Mom only my head sweats.”
Today clean shorts are on my child. I won the battle, but my chances of winning the war against a smelly boy unlikely.
And that's OK.
As parents we all have battles with our kids, but I can’t help but wonder which ones are really worth the fight. Which ones are worth the effort to bend your child to your way of thinking?
Some are easy. No brainers. When it comes to safety we can feel confident that making our child sit in a car seat, wear a bike helmet or learn street safety are worthy the battle.
But others can sometimes seem less clear. How important is it to have them eat healthy or go to bed on time or take a bath. It may depend upon the day, or whether we are tired or whether our child is merely protesting or an epic meltdown is in process.
There are a couple I believe are worth the effort.
Healthy foods and no sugar containing drinks should be fought for. You will not succeed every time, but I see parents who have made the choice to take a stand on this and their success can and should be duplicated.
Teaching your children to be respectful and kind to others in words and actions is also worth it. This can take daily and sometimes hourly intervention to achieve (Siblings fighting anyone? At my house just having them walk upstairs together without pushing sometimes requires serious parental guidance).
Remind yourself parenting is not a sprint, it is a long journey. Your kids will not remember every lesson, every time. But trust me, they are learning and the lessons that you make a priority will stick.
So, as you can see clean shorts is not on this list, but still I tell my boys, no teacher wants to have a smelly kid in class. That has worked for me so far.
Happy mom adventures to all of you this summer.
About the author
Vanessa Charette, M.D., has been a pediatrician at Cook Children's for 10 years and is located in Fort Worth. Dr. Charette embraces the many components that contribute to health nutrition, physical activity, emotional, psychological stresses and the environment. As your pediatrician she will spend time with you discussing nutrition, child development and take the time to address any concerns you have about your child's health.