Instilling healthy habits in our kids sometimes requires extraordinary measures, especially when your child is as stubborn as mine! I can’t really blame him, though, he takes after me. I was a stubborn child too, apparently. Our two biggest challenges: bedtime and dinner time. I’ve gone to some pretty crazy measures over the years to give him healthy habits in those areas!
Instilling Healthy Habits Sometimes Takes Heroic Methods
Let’s talk food for a moment, shall we? Let me give you some quick background: Jacob was a preemie, born at 32 weeks, and they broke his arm getting him out. With all the craziness going on, somehow they missed the fact that he was tongue-tied. Yes, that is a real thing! You know that little ligament-looking thing that attaches our tongues to the base of our mouth toward the back? Well, his is attached right up front, so he can’t lift his tongue too high or stick it out too far.
I’m honestly not sure if this contributed to his complete refusal to eat anything but baby food until he was almost three. It could have been that, it could just have been stubbornness. In any case, I actually had to have an occupational therapist come out and work with him to get him to start eating real food. Every new food he ate became a reason for celebration. Now he’s 9 and still one of the pickiest eaters on the planet, so I still find myself rewarding him in some way for trying new things.
Now let’s talk bedtime. Ever since Jake was a baby, he’s been impossible to get to sleep. Our bedtime routine starts with teeth brushing. When told it’s time to brush his teeth, Jacob acts like I’ve asked him to donate a kidney without anesthesia or something! Thankfully, while he grudgingly follows through with the brushing, he’s always loved rinsing with mouth wash.
I credit LISTERINE® SMARTRINSE® for coming out with such cool characters on their kid’s mouthwash. Jacob is more likely to rinse when his mouthwash features The Avengers than when it’s just a plain bottle. LISTERINE® has a whole line of great products to help me with my heroic teeth-brushing measures! Check them out on YouTube for some great Heroic How-Tos!
Then it’s time for bed. Jacob can’t just get in bed and go to sleep. That would be too easy. He needs me to rub his back while telling him a story. It can’t just be any story, though, it has to be one I made up. I’m a creative person, but after a long day of writing, sometimes my brain just can’t come up with another idea. So I started ripping off fairy tales!
Jake’s too smart though, he knew what I was doing. Now we have a game: what fairy tale or movie is mommy plagiarizing? Sometimes he guesses within the first line. Other times, it takes a while. The other night I got him good by changing the characters of Finding Nemo to actual people instead of fish. Score one for mom!!
We all work hard to instill healthy habits in our kids. It’s part of being a parent. Sometimes we have to go to heroic efforts that others may think are a little, um, outside the proverbial box. Again, it’s part of parenting. In my opinion, the key is to make those heroic efforts fun. See your biggest challenges as a way to get really creative and you’ll have more fun.
“This post is sponsored by LISTERINE® Brand. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions guidelines concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising.”