Eat Your Broccoli
By Magda Gelves-Provencher
Eat Your Broccoli
Years ago, I found myself, like many other moms, trying to make my little baby eat his broccoli. I was failing in my mission. For days I kept looking for different ways to cook these “little trees” and see if my son would eat them. The problem at hand was not in the cooking but the fact I was not eating the broccoli myself! At that moment, I realized that everything I would set to teach my children had to start with me, as I lived what I was trying to preach to them.
We often struggle trying to teach our children the behaviors, customs, and traditions we value the most.
Sometimes we even try to teach them skills we never had. We look for role models so they can be strong like Popeye, who ate his spinach or Neil Armstrong, who did his homework in order to be an astronaut.
What we fail to understand is WE are our children’s strongest role model. Whatever we do and don’t do is what our little ones are learning and copying. If we want a better world for our kids, we need to start by making it better ourselves!
Along with my new challenge of eating my broccoli, I decided to teach my kids the 3 daily tools I live by through happiness, strength, and a deeper purpose: Praying, Running, and Eating Better.
Prayer is not just repeating our childhood prayers right before bed or just when we wake up. An active Praying life is maintaining a relationship with God through a constant conversation with him as our Father, Friend, and Guide. I use my active lifestyle and favorite activity of Running as my special time to pray with my children. As we start each run with a grateful heart, we are thankful for the moment we have, the ability to run, and the drive to accomplish our goals. Prayers powered by gratitude are like the fastest running PR, fueled by proper training and nutrition.
Running is part of our family life, but it includes more. I can’t ask my children to wake up and ride a bike, play some ball, or jog along the park unless they see me lacing up my shoes and going out there with them. Most people say, “I can’t run.” I say to most people “Running is just what we do. You can throw a ball, hike your favorite trail, or play some soccer with them.
That’s what this is all about.” At the end of day, we can ask our children to become doctors, lawyers, soldiers, or architects because their job is to make this a better world. The reality is, we just have to teach them to be good people with grateful hearts, always willing to help one another, while we build them a better world by Praying, Running, and Eating our Broccoli.
POR MAGDA GELVES-PROVENCHER