Note From Sarah: Here’s the latest from Dana, our Director of Operations, and Paleo Mom Warrior! Warrior, you say? Yep! Read this article. I love Dana’s commitment to health and joy for her family, even when it’s not easy! Be inspired!
Here at Everyday Paleo, one of my duties and greatest joys is reading emails. A frequent concern is how to get the kids on board and keep the kids on board. I’m going to only speak from my own experience since May 1, 2011. It is not always easy. It does not evoke smiles at every meal and squeals of delight over every new concoction I put on the table. But ya know what it DOES do? It gives me great peace all the way to my core, knowing I’m providing the most healthful foundation possible for my family. It’s a huge sense of “I’m doing something right!”
So here are some funny, real moments: I will just list a few of them, otherwise this would turn out to be a novel of epic proportions. My son, Garrett is 11 years old and Aidan is 9 years old.
* Garrett yelling at me in front of the crowded baseball field concession stand last year, “I Want a Burger and I WANT THE BUN! You won’t let me have it with the bun!!” (Everyone hears, stares, laughs… I keep walking to the car. ) He was fed delicious leftover meatballs when we got home.
*Both boys in unison, “It’s NOT Pizza if there’s no crust!” So then I spend the next two weeks, making 4 different paleo pizza crusts (I kid you not… 4 recipes) Guess what? They’re still not completely satisfied because, well… it’s never going to be Pizza Hut.
* Aidan having a fit in a restaurant because I said no to him having pop, after he just had a week at summer camp with pop every day. “Oh Great! Now we have to go back to Paleo again!” (I walked to our table and let him sit alone, tired, pouty in the restaurant foyer for a few minutes. He got hungry and thirsty and decided to join us.)
These are the same boys that I overhear on school field trips or when their friends are over, proudly explaining our Paleo life and/or showing off their signed copy of Paleo Pals Jimmy and The Carrot Rocket Ship. These are the same boys that enjoy our trips to the local farm, visiting with the chickens, picking out the eggs and produce for the week.
But these frustrating moments are real. My friendship with Sarah has helped immensely over this past year. She reminds me to ignore them, don’t react or engage, and keep spinning each new experience in a positive, loving light. I have definitely had times where that felt impossible, but it DOES work! Remember screaming 2 year old tantrums? Did you engage or did you ignore the fit and it stopped ?
In countless emails, we are asked, “What do I do when my kids and I battle? They won’t eat any of that stuff in your book! I’m so tempted to just give up!” I FEEL YOU. For the record, my kids only eat 1 – 2 things out of Everyday Paleo‘s School Lunch Ideas. They are not fans of eggs, salmon or even sweet potatoes. They are still Paleo! They just see many of the same foods over and over… And I finally realized there is nothing wrong with that!
I don’t know about you, but when I battle with my kids, I inevitably cool down and ask myself “What really happened here? What matters?” All of this got me reflecting on my overall parenting values. As a partnership, what do my husband and I most want to pass on to our boys?
When they don’t want to visit with a certain boring aunt, uncle, grandma or grandpa… ? Guess what? We still spend that time with family, hear their stories, and nurture those relationships.
When they don’t want to bathe, brush teeth, go to bed, do chores, save their money… ? We still lovingly enforce these things because we believe strongly in good hygiene, a solid work ethic, and financial responsibility.
Sometimes they want to participate in church and sometimes they don’t. We all still go. My family believes in faith and establishing a solid spiritual foundation.
How about when they don’t want you to turn off the TV and electronics? We limit both because we feel it’s best for their brains and bodies.
Solid convictions are solid convictions. Giving up Paleo living is not an option. Are these battles enough to send me into a downward spiral of re-introducing grains, processed foods, sugars, poor sleep habits and an overly hectic schedule again. No Way! I am passionately holding on to my convictions, which are based in scientific data about how our human bodies work. I will not allow these battles to diminish the health of my loved ones. I have experienced first-hand, for over a year now, how much better my kids behave and thrive: Significantly less sick days, fewer fits and fights, increased physical activity, better performance at school and sports, improved moods and more Joy! What parent doesn’t want to improve the odds for their kids, that they will experience less disease and cancer risk, and instead, they will experience more physical health and fewer limitations in their lifetimes? Our perspective as a family has shifted completely to being more positive and adventurous overall and I am unwilling to give that up!
The BEST “Mommy Revenge” tonight? Watching them devour a delicious Paleo meal of beef and broccoli and even ask for seconds! Hooray!