Almost every parent I know has weekly, if not daily, conversations with their children about whether the child is making good choices or bad choices.
Parent: “Is it a good choice or a bad choice to not wear your helmet when riding your bike?”
Child: “A bad choice”
Child: “I don’t know.”
Parent (if you used to be a nurse on a neurosciences ward): “Could you have gotten hit by a car, smashed your head, and ended up in the hospital with limited brain function and no possibility of ever riding a bike again?”
Child: “Yes mommy.”
All our choices, whether good or bad, have consequences, whether seen or unseen. This is a lesson we strive to teach our children through these conversations and through encouragement for making good choices, and discipline for making bad choices.
What I have been realizing lately is that I need to have more of these conversations with myself because whether I am three or thirty, my choices have consequences and, as with most choices, mine have a ripple effect on those around me. I have been making some bad choices for myself lately. Simple bad choices like staying up too late to finish a book or veering too frequently from my no refined sugars policy are starting to take their toll. These choices have led to extreme fatigue, irritability, impatience, nausea, headaches and less productivity. But of course I never take this out on my family. Ha! Rather, because of my bad choices I am unable to love my husband as well as he deserves or give my children the patience they require. Bad choices = Bad Consequences
It is time for mama to start leading by example and making good choices for herself. Maybe that will have a ripple effect too.