Welcome I am not a perfect parent. Wooh…feels good to get that off my chest! Just kidding. I mean, not about being an imperfect parent, but the silliness at the idea that I might even be close in that category. But as a parent there are some things I take pretty serious. And I just happen to know a perfect parent, too.
Food For Thought I am a parent that believes we should guide and teach our children right from wrong. We certainly can’t depend on the world to give them a moral compass, that’s for sure! And yes, in a lot of areas of life there is a clear cut right and wrong. Other times, there’s a good choice, a better choice, and the best choice. Of course, even with our guidance and teaching, they won’t get it right all the time, but then again, neither do we.
As our daughter is growing up (much too fast for my liking), we have to give her the information about how to handle tricky situations. This can be in any range of categories, such as online safety, not using drugs or alcohol, treating friends with kindness and compassion, and having respect for adults and authority figures.
We find it best if we give reasons for the rules and guidelines, rather than the old “because I said so” reply. I won’t lie, though, I’ve been known to throw out a response of “I’m the parent and you’re the child!” It’s a scary world and many choices that kids make can have very scary consequences if we are not very clear with our children about the expectations and outcomes of those choices.
When it comes to my child’s physical and personal safety, I leave very little room for debate. I am just not willing to risk the potential harm that can come from a little freedom. One example of this is with technology and internet. We monitor very closely what she sees and does on her tablet at home and, at her age, she is not allowed to be on social media or to have her own phone yet. We also have the very firm rule that she can NEVER put in her personal information on gaming accounts.
Other times, though, to be a good parent and help them grow and learn, they have to be free to make some mistakes and face the consequences of their choices. I choose not to rush in and help my kid whenever she gets a low score on a test or paper. We discuss it with each other and I try to help her find where she may have missed something, but I don’t contact the teacher and try to solve the problem for her. The same is true regarding papers and deadlines at school. My daughter wants to try out for the robotics team, but procrastinated getting the application. I was very blunt with her: You get the paper, not me. I’m not downloading your application for you, I’m not calling the school to get one, I’m not emailing your teacher. If you want to do this, it’s your responsibility. If you miss the deadline, you won’t be able to do it.
And I would have stuck to that decision. Fortunately, because of past experiences with rules and consequences, my daughter takes me seriously. Yes, she got her application and yes, she got it filled out. She’s ready to try out now.
But, there are times I make a mistake. Maybe I was too harsh about something that wasn’t as big of a deal as I made it out to be, or maybe I should have stepped in when there was a social issue where she needed help. Like I said, I’m not a perfect parent. But I do have a perfect instruction book from a perfect parent: God’s word.
God has been and will continue to be a perfect parent to me. Loving me unconditionally, extending much-needed grace and mercy, and teaching me some tough lessons when I lose my way. God will even help me face my deserved consequences, while still keeping me safe and secure. When people of this world were ready to condemn me, God allowed me to go through the growth experience of those consequences while still protecting me.
I pray to be that parent for my own child, giving love and grace and mercy, while still helping her benefit from the necessary discipline and consequences she will need to face from time to time. And the only way to model my parenting after God’s, is to read His guide every single day.
If my daughter had her way, every night’s dinner would rotate between pizza, chicken tenders, pancakes, macaroni and cheese, smoked sausage and mashed potatoes, grilled cheese, and taco salad. Seriously, this could be the week’s dinner line-up every single week and she would be happy.
These meals do make regular appearances, but we must eat beyond her favorites list, because, as you can see, there’s not a ton of nutritional value in these meals. On a side note, however, I serve at least one veggie or fruit when we have these meals, so it’s not a complete nutritional pit!
So I asked her, “What’s your favorite healthy meal, so we can have it more often?” Her pick: Glazed salmon, roast potatoes, broccoli, and strawberries. Good choice, kid! Today, I present my daughter’s favorite healthy plate.
This dinner takes about one hour to prepare, but it is not complicated at all! Start the roast potatoes first because they take longer to cook, but the whole meal just falls right in order. Sheet pans lined with aluminum foil will also keep clean up simple!
- 3 large russet potatoes, washed, but not peeled
- 1 large yellow onion
- 2 tsps. olive oil
- 1 tsp. grill seasoning of choice
Set oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Cut potatoes and onion into equal-size chunks. Place on pan. Drizzle olive oil over all, followed by the grill seasoning; toss to coat. Roast at 425 for 40-45 minutes.
Glazed Salmon (we save some for leftovers)
- 1 side of salmon, approximately 3 pounds
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup whole grain mustard
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp. olive oil
Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Place salmon on foil, skin side down. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
In small bowl, whisk together mustard, brown sugar, and olive oil. Spread mixture over top of salmon. Roast at 425 degrees for 20-25 minutes, depending on the thickness of the salmon.
While the salmon and potatoes are cooking, I cut up some fresh broccoli to cook, seasoned lightly with salt. I also cut up some fresh strawberries to serve with dinner.
This meal is pretty well-balanced and offers a range of nutritional benefits while being tasty for the whole family.