Habits

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.

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9 thoughts on “Habits

  1. Ohhh, it all does seem sorta lame–but Americans sure are into the partying at holidays, and unfortunately, it does include the excessiveness which is ridiculous, but “it is”. We had/have really good friends who refused their kiddos any heart candy at Valentines, No gold coins found by leprechauns on St. Pat’s Day, No Easter Baskets in the Spring, They could not grab any 4th of July parade candy thrown off floats, and then–fergeddaboudit when it came to Halloween ‘n trick or treats or costumes or Xmas candy ‘n treats. When I type all of those out you’d think alllllll we ever did was party. But seems to me most of us have fine teeth, and so do our kids–and the “right” message does get taught during holidays, and nobody I know was ruined by any of it–including myself and own two wonderful adult kids. And those friends I mentioned? They sure changed, lightened up, started just goin’ with it and having fun, and now they delight in celebrating with their grandkiddos! But it’s done with love ‘n moderation–and best of all—Jesus at the forefront of everything! Therein lies a big difference… <3<3<3

  2. Yep. I think you hit the nail on the head there – moderation. We like moderation – but Halloween is not candy in moderation – not when big containers are filled with candy. We do other treats happily and readily. I just can’t stand excessiveness not when I know there is no need for it. The boys will get treats from school parties, and that is enough. They won’t feel like they are missing out.

  3. Just a few little random thoughts….
    Do your boys get candy at Christmas (candy canes etc) or Valentines Day? There is plenty of that around those times as well. And cookies and cakes have as much sugar in them as candy does a lot of the time 🙂
    Yes, you go around collecting a bucket of candy, but that doesn’t mean you have to let them have it all. You could ration it out, once a day, a week or whatever. After a week or so…kids tend to forget it’s in there and you toss it because it’s stale! 🙂 That’s how my parents handled things.
    We only went to church parties and we only went trick-or-treating in our neighborhood.

    In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as a time to honor all saints and martyrs; the holiday, All Saints’ Day, incorporated some of the traditions of Samhain. The evening before was known as All Hallows’ Eve and later Halloween. Over time, Halloween evolved into a secular, community-based event characterized by child-friendly activities such as trick-or-treating. In a number of countries around the world, as the days grow shorter and the nights get colder, people continue to usher in the winter season with gatherings, costumes and sweet treats. (halloween history)

    For almost anything these days there is a negative side, a side that the devil wishes to use for his good. People talk about how horrible Thanksgiving really is because British people murdered thousands of Indians for this country. Or how words that used to be innocent like “gay” as an example, now stand for something completely different.

    There are certainly things I dislike about Halloween, but there is no saying that we can’t take back something that someone thousands of years ago intended for something that doesn’t match up with our beliefs, and make it into something fun and innocent. When I put my boys in costumes, and we decorate the outside of the house with Halloween things and we hand out candy and we go trick-or-treating, we are not taking part in evil. We are having fun. They are having fun. You can make more out of it if you want, but you don’t have to. I can imagine there are dozens of other traditions that don’t have great roots…

    I guess to me, it’s just not that big of a deal. No, we don’t dress as witches or gobblins and try to scare people. It’s an evening of fun, candy and yes lots of candy…it’s once a year. 🙂 I find there are many other things to get riled up about….and this just isn’t one of them.

    THAT being said, I of course respect anyone’s decision to not participate and your views are yours and are to be respected!! It’s okay to disagree about these things! 🙂

  4. For me – it is about taking a stand against the excessiveness of the candy. Yes the boys if given candy by others at holidays are allowed it – but we don’t buy it for them. The candy is an example of something that we as parents can take a stand against.

    I don’t write my blog entries to condemn or to point the finger – but I do want people to think about the fact that just because they do something and have always done something, is it the best thing to be doing? We are shaped by what we know and what we know is sometimes not enough.

  5. You know coming with outside eyes, into American culture that accepts Halloween so readily has been very interesting. We just don’t feel it is as innocent as people make it out to be. We are in a spiritual battle.

  6. I totally hear what your saying Fi. Halloween is slowly becoming a big deal here in NZ 😦 and I don’t like it! Halloween is more than candy & dressing up. You may have all the best “intentions” and “attitudes” towards it but it’s more than candy & costumes. I refuse to celebrate anything that encourages people to think about, dress-up & act like ghosts, devils, witches, werewolves. I don’t voice my opinions on many things (I am a Christian) but I won’t sit by and let a generation of young kids think that Halloween is “cool & fun”, and that it doesn’t have wider consequences. That’s my rant for the day. Always enjoy a good discussion 🙂

  7. i’m so with you, its not as innocent as it looks. i hate that its coming in more and more here in NZ though i think that is a commerical decision by shops wanting to make more money. we dont give out candy to people who come to our door. no matter how cute they look.

    i htink good on you for making a stand – i LOVE this line: We are the habit formers and the gatekeepers for our kids.

    man that is powerful.

    i also like cat’s rant for the day: but I won’t sit by and let a generation of young kids think that Halloween is “cool & fun”, and that it doesn’t have wider consequences. That’s my rant for the day.

    blessings to you and yours!

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