Tuesday, June 26, 2012

parenting lessons

The Power of No, by JP

It has become clear to me that my 11 yr old son Oliver has an addiction. This is very hard for me to come face to face with this realization. I wanted to deny my first suspicions and try to ignore it in the hopes it would all just go away. This addiction affects other kids his age all across the country and we as parents help feed this addiction thinking that it is all harmless and that it is just... a phase. This addiction I am talking about is FFS, known to parents as fast food syndrome. My son will do anything to get it. he will flip a coin with me and tell me if I lose that I have to buy him Arby's for lunch. He had chores to do the other day and did not do them, yet he promised me that if I buy him McDonald's today he will surely do his chores after he gets his "drug". I am an enabler. I used to give in to the pressure. the constant barrage of pleading and promises that if I buy him fast food just this one time that he will change his ways and do his chores when he is told. I ask parents everywhere to watch for the signs of this addiction. At first they are subtle. When they are about 5 yrs old, it all starts with a simple happy meal for lunch. But from there it escalates to Taco Bell, then Arby's and Papa Murphy's and before you know it, you are giving in tho these requests 5 days a week and then weekends.On top of that, they have to wash this drug down with soda! I know it can be mind boggling and you feel there is no where to turn for help. Let me share with you something I came across just today. I was absolutely amazed by the power of my discovery. This is something I want to share with all the parents out there that feel the hopelessness and despair that their whole life is about to crumble. The power of the English language is your friend here. I turned to my son, looked him straight in the eye and said "NO!" I can't tell you the relief I felt after I spoke that word. Even though I got the silent treatment all the way home, I remained steadfast in my decision. I feel that my son and I have reached a pivotal point in our relationship and I fully understand that we need to take this new approach "day by day" and pray that God will fill me with wisdom, grace and understanding, so that we can continue to love, learn and grow in our father/son relationship. I hope my story helps other parents out there who are devastated by this same addiction.

May God bless us all!
JP/Father to Oliver

No comments:

Post a Comment