Other days I'm less-than-fine. I'll break down in tears at the dinner table because Gracie won't eat her veggies and Tyler won't eat anything at all.
Does anything change whether I'm 'fine' or admittedly not so much? No. They still only eat some of what I cook. In other areas of my life I've been able to let go of the stresses that I have no control over. It's time to do that here too.
I went to an incredibly wonderful workshop this weekend where Sarah Fragoso, the mama of three and author of Everyday Paleo, spoke with us about a lot of things! One of the many things I took from that four hours was it doesn't matter what your kids eat as long as you only offer foods that fuel their body. And why doesn't it matter? The answer is two-fold:
- Because whatever they do eat will give them what they need and not irritate their guts or be a filler with no value.
- More importantly, on the list of things kids need from their parents, food isn't really among the top priorities.
Sarah's point was not that we don't need to provide out kids with food, water, and shelter, but that it's not the most important thing if we want children that are healthy emotionally and thriving! And that's what I want! I don't want them to battle with weight issues because I don't want them to care about that number, but just to feel great and be healthy. I want them to know they're loved regardless of what happens at dinner.
What things are higher on the lists of kids' needs, above asparagus?
- love, security, and stability
- positive attention
- the space to be who they are and express their individual selves
- real, honest recognition (not just "good job" or "I'm proud of you," but actual feedback about why)
- boundaries and routine
- new experiences
So, starting today (everything successful starts on a Monday, right?) I'll be less worried about what they eat. I'll put more thought and energy into each of them and giving them the things they need to really live fully.
And, by the way, I can't help but notice how swimmingly this fits into my goal of being present and intentional this year. Isn't it amazing how God works? Obviously this is a message I was ready to hear. Are you?