A veggie and rice salad in a bowl includes rice, tomatoes, olives, cucumber, arugula, cheese, dressing, and hummus.

The Difference Between Spoiling My Kids and Honoring Them

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One of my daughters is a vegetarian. The other day before hockey practice her order got screwed up and her takeout came with chicken in it. Once I was informed of the botched salad, I went into action to remedy the mix-up. We all know a hungry teenager is a bucket-full-of-fun, but that actually wasn’t the reason I responded as quickly as I did. Fixing the mistake felt like an opportunity to consciously honor my daughter’s choice not to eat meat.
When I schlepped back to the hockey rink to deliver the corrected salad, after thanking me, she said while receiving it, “It has arugula in it? I hate arugula.” In my head, the words, Take the Goddamn salad you little brat, swept through my mind, but what came out of my mouth was, “Yes, brat. And you can just take the arugula out.” Which is to say, I’m willing to honor my child, but I’m not willing to spoil the beloved darling.
I have to pause when these situations come up because I spend a majority of my time in the Just deal with it, kid camp. But I think I’m missing opportunities to honor my children in a way that I want to be honored. In the way that, when a need is expressed, it’s heard and accepted. If spoiling damages, then honoring must strengthen. I’m always being given chances to acknowledge and appreciate who my children are and who they’re becoming. Maybe if I more consciously honor my needs, it will make it easier to honor their needs. And next time, I can even consider saying, “Hold the arugula please.”  

Tune in next week for more thoughts on honor.

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    Welcome to my blog! Here you can read about what’s on my mind as I try my best to recover from screaming at my kids and nagging the bejesus out my husband.

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