My son will be two this week. I’m not the first to say this and I wont be the last but we can learn a lot from our children. Particularly when they are that young.
Recently, he’s been teaching me about eating habits.
He’s a good eater, which I know is a huge blessing, but a couple of weeks ago he started to down tools about a third of the way through his evening meal, push his plate away and say “lolly please”.
Now, the socially conditioned part of my brain decided there and then that I wasn’t going to go along with this. “No Edward, you eat your dinner first or there is no lolly”. Echoes of my own childhood being pushed to the surface.
We weren’t going to back down to his demands, and so for a few nights, he went to bed fairly hungry.
However, a few days ago I changed tactics. I’d had a session with one of my brilliant clients about process and following rules, and it set my mind off down a path of curiosity. So that evening, as he pushed his plate away and said “lolly please”. I got up went to the freezer and got him one of his little frozen yoghurt lollies, which he devoured in about 90 seconds. He then pulled his plate back towards him and finished his dinner.
Since then, thats how his dinner times have worked. Do you know what? I kind of like it.
Show me the rule book that says we must eat things in a certain order, show me a study that proves the damage we’ll do to him as a human if we don’t enforce that rule. Show me who he is hurting by doing this.
They simply don’t exist. My son, for now has decided thats how he wants to eat his dinner, and thats fine with me.
Will he always do that? I doubt it. Do I care if he does continue to eat that way? Not one bit. I actually felt so proud of him for making this choice, and so happy that the world hasn’t yet got its hands on him enough to make him feel bad for wanting to do things his own way.
We begin being conditioned from a young age to see the world a certain way, to tow the line and buy into what previous generations believe to be right. When we go to school we get more rules to follow, which of course help to keep us safe, but also stifle our ability to choose for ourselves to a large degree. The more we are told what to do, the less we think for ourselves about our own needs and whats right for us.
We don’t question, which is something I mentioned in my last love letter. We simply accept that this is the way it is. A way that was set for us by generations of people that aren’t even here anymore.
But how do people become trail blazers and game changers? They decide to go left when others are going right. they decide to break away from the herd and create another path. They decide to try a new way of being.
They aren’t any different from you, other than they have had enough of the restrictiveness of “this is the way to do this” or “well thats how we’ve always done things” and they are choosing something else, something more for themselves.
I know you might feel uncomfortable reading this, and that doesn’t surprise me. A lifetime of conditioning and being told whats acceptable and whats not, means that when it comes to changing something you’ll put up a lot of resistance. But thats a barrier that can be removed if you want to feel free. Always remember the amount of power you have and how you can use that through the choices that you make.
My toddler has chosen a new way to eat his dinner, that works better for him. What will you choose?