The first ice cream of summer. Cold, sweet perfection. And yet not entirely perfect- it will come at a cost- the first ice cream headache of summer. No matter how many times you warn your children about the consequences to eating ice cream too fast, they’ll do it anyway.
Wait… that’s pretty standard for EVERYTHING you try and teach your kids: Warn child, child ignores warning, child deals with consequences. Repeat ad infinitum.
Santayana said “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”. Interestingly, he was never a parent.
I once read a book (the title of which escapes me) which stated that, in a playground situation, a parent who is too anxious about their child’s safety may inadvertently cause the child to have more injuries. The child loses that sense of confident independence and starts fretting about falling. And promptly falls. Of course, we’re there to warn our children that a high balcony is not to be climbed or that being too close to water when you can’t swim isn’t allowed unless an adult is nearby, but the odd scraped knee is part of growing up.
Mostly, though, you don’t have to say to your child “don’t jump off that ledge!” as they’re more likely to use depth perception and common sense rather than a Batman cape made out of a towel and a peg.
I can remember the early days of teaching my kids to eat the same food as me. I’d dish up and then get asked to blow on their food because it was too hot. After several minutes of blowing and mixing, it would be okay for them to eat. My food would be ice-cold by then, but it helped them to learn to
not just bite into anything without testing it first. I’m still learning that: when that pizza arrives at the table, I am launching into it every time, and
occasionally nursing a blistered palate afterwards.
So we all persevere with our endless lessons with our children, hoping that they’ll eventually figure out what will harm them and what will make them happy.
When it comes to ice cream and pizza, I’m quite content to keep repeating those lessons.
What’s the one lesson your child refuses to grasp, no matter how many times you repeat it? Tell us about it at email@example.com and you could win a R250 kalahari.com voucher.