Among the most important rules of parenting are three that a parent should never forget:
- Pick your battles.
- Whatever you do, don’t laugh.
- If they see you laugh, you’ve lost the battle.
I was reminded of this quite recently during a discussion with my 7-year son, Braden, who is probably the quickest-witted of anyone in our family. If this child doesn’t join the high school debate team and/or become an attorney some day, he’s totally missing his calling.
“You haven’t had breakfast yet. You need to at least eat breakast, and then we can talk about it,” I responded.
With a look that only a seasoned 7-year old thinker could give, Braden responded, “Ya know, Mom…I’m getting older. I think I’m getting too old for breakfast, so I think I should just go ahead and eat these chips.”
I laughed. (Rule #2 – failed)
He saw me laugh. (Rule #3 – failed)
Having failed at Rule #2 and Rule #3, I had no choice but to let him eat the Doritos. You see, while there are three basic rules for parenting, there’s only one basic rule of childhood: Best two out of three wins.