Battles I’m NOT Fighting


Battles I'm NOT FightingWe have all heard the saying about “picking your battles” which basically means being particular about issues that you choose to confront. When you have kids, you have to make these decisions each day. There have been plenty of things I wish I had been more tough on with my kids and some things I wish I had just let go. There is a delicate line between deciding which problems to address and which problems will allow kids to “learn on their own.”

However, there are some battles I am choosing not to burden myself with:

1. The teen silent treatment

My daughter has the uncanny ability to go from bubbly and talkative to a complete mute, many times within a 15-minute time frame. I ask her every day how school was and some days all I get is “fine.” It used to bother me and I would nag her until she told me something. Did something happen? Is she depressed? Is she being bullied? Why doesn’t she want to talk to me? Is it something I did? As we are in her last semester of middle school, I have realized that many times she just doesn’t want to talk. This idea is not so foreign because many days I feel the same way. Nothing serious has to be wrong; I just don’t want to talk. I have learned to give her the same grace I give myself.

2. Not eating certain foods

My five-year-old doesn’t like green vegetables. At all. I spent many afternoons begging and pleading for him just to take a bite of the green beans only resulting in a major meltdown and the green beans untouched. As long as he is getting the proper nutrients and is growing at a healthy rate, I can’t worry about the green beans anymore. Maybe as he gets older, his palate will mature.

3. The coat

One of my greatest parenting mysteries is how my teen can wear a hoodie in 90 degree weather, yet not wear a coat in mid-winter. This became a confrontation every morning about where the coat was, why she didn’t have it on, and how she would get sick without it. I finally let that go. I noticed when it got cold enough for her, she would find the coat especially with these recent low temperatures.

4. The slang

As a high school teacher I know well that today’s teen generation has its own language of words we don’t know. As much as I don’t understand why my daughter thinks I’m being “sus” or that I’m “capping,” I realize these terms come and go the same way they did 20 years ago when I was in high school. I try to keep up with the slang to make sure nothing is disrespectful or harmful, but typically most are trivial and change every other month as they lose their “cool.”

There are so many battles I am prepared to fight, especially those concerning academics, respect and being a decent human, but I am learning to let the trivial things go.


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