Do as I say…?

I have to admit that I have a guilty pleasure… I like soda aka pop. It is my morning coffee. I can go into how terrible it is for you, but we all know that it is nothing more than sugar and carbohydrates which I don’t need.

I realized that my soda addiction was a problem when we were at the grocery store the other day. I picked up a twelve pack of the 10 Calorie Dr Pepper and Audrey looked at me and said, “Mommy that not your pop.” REALLY!?! My 2 year old can identify my pop? That tells me that she has had too much exposure of seeing “my pop”.

The second problem occurred when she asked me,“Mommy can I have a drink of yours?” And I say, “No Audrey you can’t have soda.” “But why not mommy, I like it!” Then I have to explain that soda pop is not good for your body, it is not healthy.

Do you see the dilemma? I am knowingly ingesting something that is not good for me and the two year old wonders why is it good for mommy and not for her? Or worse she wonders why mommy is knowingly doing something not good for her.

This dilemma has made me realize that I have 2 choices:

1.)”Do as I say, not as I do.” Meaning that I can drink pop in front of her and continue to tell her that no she cannot have any. Which sends mixed signals that may work for awhile but will probably bite me back when she hits adolescence/pre-teen years, if not before. Or…

2.) I can change my actions and make my lifestyle choices match my goals for her lifestyle choices. This makes more sense to me with regards to my eating and lifestyle habits. I can remember the line “because I said so” as a kid and I remember often wanting more explanation regarding those decisions. So, my new plan is to try to get rid of soda in my life. Maybe save it for special occasions. By setting a good example with my words and my actions maybe it will lead Audrey and Ethan to make better choices. Plus, maybe reducing these extra calories will help me shed some of these extra pounds I have gained:)

Do you have any bad habits that your children have pointed out to you? How do you handle these situations with your children?

More resources:

Caffeine and kids

Is caffeinated soda OK for kids?

What should preschoolers drink?


  1. Reply
    Jeremy R., the Kung Fu Guy February 17, 2012

    “Do as I say not as I do” doesn’t work on younger minds and bodies who don’t use language with much sophistication – so much easier (in the long run) to just walk your talk and BE the example of what you want your children to become… but that requires some growth in new directions and adjusting patterns of behavior that, in some cases, are long-ingrained. However, being the example gives you leverage during those teen years because you shut down the “but you xyz” argument. It’s all about the pre-frame… ^_^

  2. Reply
    Dr. Mom March 12, 2012

    I agree… a better quote to represent good parenting could be, “Actions speak louder then words.” Meaning that we DO need to walk the walk, not just talk the talk, with our children. They do learn constantly by mimicking what they see and so we need to be the best example we can be!

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