My kids dreaded choosing what to give up for Lent this year. I encouraged them to really think about it. I shot down a few of their preposterous ideas like giving up homework, their brother, and showers that they would love to be gone with. Giving up candy and lying at four years old was really cute but I expect them to take it more seriously now that they are a little older. Choose something realistic and doable.
They came back with giving up candy. Really? We just went through this discussion and there is no way they can keep this promise. It is too difficult. I want them to succeed with their choice. My candy monsters are offering to give up candy? That’s like the Cookie Monster giving up cookies or me giving up coffee which I suffered through last year. I sent them back to the table to come up with something better yet encouraging more time and thought.
Two minutes later, they came running back with candy, again. Candy! For sure, a day or two into the Lenten season they would forget, break their promise or at least beg to change their choice. I wasn’t making the decision for them. The decision is theirs. I made them write their promise on an index card, sign it and tape it on the wall as a daily reminder.
Day one -caught opening a piece of candy, â€œoh, I forgot I gave that upâ€
Day two – running off the bus waving a sucker in hand as a reward for being good at school.
Day five -candy handed out after practice.
Day eight or nine – â€œmom, can I have sprinkles on my ice cream or is that candy?â€
They were thrown temptation many, many times and succeeded, so far, with their promise. In fact, along the way, they have been diligent in keeping the rest of the family honest. That’s what I love about kids is their honesty. â€œMom, I’m glad you decided to exercise everyday during Lent cause your butt is getting big!â€ Then this came out of one of their mouthsâ€¦.
Off to exercise before I get called out by the kids.