Yesterday, my mom, daughter and I ventured out to Chipotle Mexican Grill. We had never eaten there and I had been extremely interested in trying them out since discovering they were founded with the goal of providing sustainably raised food and that they use organic and local produce whenever possible.
We had a great experience with the food and I have officially proclaimed Chipotle as my new favorite restaurant, in fact, it is probably the ONLY restaurant I will eat at because of my commitment to clean eating.
But this post isn’t about how amazing Chipotle is.
This is a post about parents.
And a big parental FAIL.
As we were eating our Chipotle meal, we noticed that two other families had come into the restaurant, ordered food for the adults but they had BROUGHT fast food kid’s meals in from another establishment.
It’s pretty clear from the photo below which place they brought food in from:
I believe that this illustrates all that is wrong with our modern parenting culture.
I’m not even talking about the issues I may have with McDonald’s as a “food” choice. That is only a small part of what irritates me about this scenario.
Let’s break it down:
I am imagining the conversation that went on prior to this family’s visit to Chipotle.
Mom: “Hey kids, let’s go to Chipotle for lunch.”
Kids: *whining* “Noooo, we want McDonalds.”
Mom: maybe she tries to talk them into Chipotle…
Kids: *more whining*
Mom: “Fine, I will pick up McDonald’s on the way and you can eat it at Chipotle.”
This is not parenting with integrity.
noun – adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.
Parenting with integrity should be a commitment to teaching children respect for their parents and their own bodies. It should give children boundaries and guidance so that they don’t grow up feeling entitled and unable to make important decisions because their childish whims were always accommodated.
I realize that as parents we should “pick our battles” but I also believe that too often, many parents never bother to wage war. They succumb rather than deal with the whining, the fighting, the arguing, the tantrums. And when you waver in a decision that you originally made because of a child’s whining and ill behavior you essentially tell that child that you do not have the authority or the knowledge to make that decision or that you are easily manipulated. Neither one of these is a positive parenting lesson.
Picking your battles does not mean giving in on the difficult ones, it means standing your ground when it counts. Johnny wants to wear two different socks? So what. There generally aren’t long-term effects cause by wear mis-matched socks. They get teased once and that will put an end to that. Johnny wants to dictate where or what the family eats – NO WAY. This is where it counts and allowing a child to control what they eat is a decision that has obviously caused our country to enter into an era where obesity in children is more common than chicken pox.
And it goes beyond our diets.
We are not raising our children to respect authority.
We are not raising our children to be able to make important decisions when it counts.
And by the way, my daughter thought the beef taco was too spicy. She ate about 3/4 of it, tried some of the rice (she didn’t like it) and ate all of the chips. Next time she is going to try a cheese quesadilla and some beans. As the parent, I decide where we eat for lunch, she decides what to eat within the context of the choices presented to her. This teaches her two things. First it teaches her respect for authority and gives her the knowledge and the reassurance that I know what is best for her – I illustrate this by not wavering at her opposition. Second, it gives her the opportunity to make a decision for herself, though minor, it’s just one of many that will help her become a strong independent woman.