Sunday, December 1, 2013
A new walking challenge
On Friday, as is our custom when we are home for the Thanksgiving holiday, we went on a family hike. Not a big one - most of the really cool trails are already under snow and my kids are woefully lacking in proper gear right now - but still enough of an outdoor experience to refresh us after eating too much good food on Thursday.
It should have been no big deal: a nice wide graveled path, less than one mile round trip, with a scenic goal and a nice place to mess about before making the climb back up. But it, apparently, was a big deal to my daughter, who was so distraught about walking she pitched a fit on the trail on the climb back up.
That hit some kind of crazy trigger for me, and I did what a parent needs to be careful about. I Laid Down the Law. "If you can't handle a small hike we are going to have to Hike Every Day. STOP FUSSING."
Later, at lunch, she said (loudly, in a restaurant, earning me Mother-Of-the-Year in most of the patrons eyes, no doubt) "The only thing that would get me going is Mommy threatening me."
These are my cardinal parenting rules:
1. Pick Your Battles. (In other words, is this really important or not? Think it through - don't make everything a battle of the wills. Cooperate, delegate, vote, listen, negotiate, be flexible.)
2. But Always Win. (As a parent, you still need to maintain your authority. Don't give the kids authority over you. Maybe it's a Win-Win, but just don't Lose your position as the Parent. That's your job, to be the Parent.)
3. Don't Go Back On Your Word. (Sure, if you've really made a mistake, call a family meeting and admit your mistake and negotiate a change. But never make an idle threat - never say something and then just pretend you didn't say it.)
I said it. And we're living with it.
The next day we were back from the holiday, and we went on a short scenic walk in town. And we made a goal: we are going to try and walk every day until we have logged 100 miles.
It will be good for us. There are worse things to have lost my Mommy cool over.