You Don’t Have to Live; You Get to

“When I was a kid…”

The times I heard that phrase growing up, I couldn’t even begin to count.

One of the changes that my wife and I made in our parenting different from our upbringing was to make an attitude adjustment in our children.

Instead of ‘guilting’ them to eat their food, i.e. “You know there are children starving in Biafra, they would give their eye teeth to have a meal as you have right now.” We challenged their attitude.

“You don’t have to eat that; you get to!” We emphasized the privilege of the moment, but with a different, positive spin. Why, because, attitude is everything. It is everything for children sitting at a table, but it is everything for us in our adult world as well, well almost everything. There is a whole lot we can say about action, but that will be for a different time.

The way we think determines the way we act. The way we act determines our outcome in life.

So, when challenged with, “Do I have to eat this…potato?” We would immediately reply, “You don’t have to; you get to!”

This effort worked in many other areas of parenting. As soon as they asked the question and we started to respond, “You don’t have to;” our children would fill in the rest, “I get to.”

But, think about it for a second. Isn’t it better to approach life and circumstance with an “I get to!” attitude?”

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