Well, now, which lifestyle you want?

This morning the quote (which I hope you'll find inspiring rather than just annoying) is from me. We've been in Florida since Saturday, for a karate world tournament, and already I've had to say "no" six hundred million times to sweet treats and/or unsuitable snacks. My daughter, a remarkably fit and healthy 11-year-old, who is in town competing at a tournament that could make her world karate champion, has trouble focusing on the prize in the face of all those very clever ads for "food" items that would make her unhealthy in no time flat.

She's a smart, focused and disciplined kid (at least, when she wants to be), but those ads, and that sugar, are hard to resist. She knows all this. She understands why she can't have much of the sort of food other people seem to ingest without thinking twice (or once, even). But it's tempting her. And I'm not exactly the person with the most patience in the world for this sort of thing...

This morning while waiting for our breakfast ("leave the bread, eat the eggs and meat") she saw an ad for some creamy luscious milkshake and said she was tempted by those. Not in a "BUT I WANT IT" tone of voice, rather in a matter-of-fact kind of way, just a child telling her mom what was going through her head.

That's the moment when I flubbed Bonding With Your Child 101, because I almost exploded.

Do you want the lifestyle that goes with those shakes, or do you want the gold-medal lifestyle?!?

She knew it, of course. But every now and then I feel like she needs to hear me nearly explode to really get it. Well, that's done now, and maybe I'll get an easier week from here on out, junk-food-wise.

The episode also gave me another opportunity to mention to her that discipline is one of those things that do become easier with practice. Treat it like a muscle. Every time she's tempted by something she knows she shouldn't have and refuses to let herself have it, it's like her mind is doing 10 pushups. After a while, that mind will get very strong. Stronger than the milkshake ads.

And then there is nothing in the world she won't be able to do. Because in the end, whether you practice any sport at all, you want the gold-medal lifestyle, not the other stuff.

The perils of free-range parenting

My revealing bunny