I’ve been thinking about habits lately. Good habits. Bad habits. Habits are something that we allow into our lives and these habits in turn shape attitudes, behaviours and outcomes in life.
My husband and I are the gatekeepers for our children. What we allow for them determines outcomes for them. We learnt this when they were tiny babies. How we approached their routines and particularly their napping and sleeping determined what kind of sleepers we got. What we fed them determined how good an eater they are.
We can look back at habits we have allowed and we can think we did right with that, and we failed miserably with other habits that we have allowed in our children. We aren’t perfect. We’re learning this parenting thing as we go that’s for sure. We’re certainly open to improvement.
The same goes with my personal life. Good habits and bad habits shape me. I’m working on replacing the bad with the good.
We’re in the month of October. October means that Fall has begun, school is well underway and the fun and excitement of Thanksgiving and then Christmas is right around the corner.
But first we need to get through Halloween.
You’ll know from my post last year how my heart hurts over Halloween. The icky costumes, the fake spiderwebs, the ghosts and ghouls – all give someone other than my Savior King some glory. My post here talks more about my feelings on this.
This year we’re attending a church that puts on a Trunk or Treat event. It sounds like a lot of fun and it is an outreach to the community. I love that they use this opportunity to share Good News with people. Yet. It still pains me. It is hard to put into words why I don’t like the event, when I know that the people behind it all have good intentions and want to glorify God in it. But for us I think it comes down to this bad habits thing. And candy. We have a no candy rule in our house. The boys are allowed it at school as rewards for good behaviour – but we just don’t buy it for ourselves. We want to protect their teeth. Their pearly whites. We don’t have kids that go hyper/ or hypo on the sugar – our anti-candy stance comes purely from an anti-cavity position. So if we have this policy all year round – why would we want to blow it totally on one night of the year – where the candy absolutely abounds. To us, that is not responsible parenting. Of course we could go along to the event and then take the candy off the kids once we get home – but what is that teaching our kids? And how mean would that be? We’re not anti-fun. We’re not anti- outreach to the unchurched. We are anti copious amounts of unnecessary things.
We are the habit formers and the gatekeepers for our kids. It is about more than just candy. I think Halloween in America is the one time that Americans are suckered into irresponsible parenting in the name of fun and ‘o it is just a bit of dress-up and a once a year chance to overindulge in candy’. Not cool.
Read my post from last year. Have a think about what you want your family to stand for.