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From The Editor

February 3, 2010
Times Observer
My husband and I both enjoy the adventure of a new experience. It is one of the ways we are very similar. Therefore, it is not surprising that we have noticed this tendency in both of our children. More so with Cole because he is older but Makenna, even at age one, likes to be a little daring. I have to admit that I like this about them because it means that, through them, Seth and I get to do a lot of fun stuff!

Winter is not my favorite time of year by a long shot. I already finalized our spring break plans and have been thinking about the trip since the first flake fell from the sky. But, I do enjoy skiing quite a bit and so does Seth so we decided that we would attempt to teach Cole how to ski this winter too. We figured since he loves pretty much any sport available that this wouldn’t be any different. We were right. He hopped on those skis and wanted us to “let go” on his second run down the hill. There is something comical about seeing such a little guy on skis, crouch down and try to balance himself while using one hand to swat off any assistance being offered. We are having a great time doing it and can’t wait for Makenna to join us on the slopes.

Unfortunately, it’s not always that easy to get kids to jump on board and try new things. Although Cole is a gamer when it comes to adventurous activities, he is less than enthusiastic when trying new foods. The rule in our house is that you take as many bites of something new as your age. In his case that is three and by the third bite his eyes might water a little as he chugs down his milk. Hopefully we get by without a gag. Maybe some of you think that is mean but I strongly believe that, especially with food but with pretty much anything in life, tastes can be acquired. If we let our kids give up before they try, we are doing them a huge disservice.

It’s okay to be clever when convincing them to participate. It doesn’t say anywhere that we can’t have fun or use different techniques to rope them in! Dodi Kingsfield wrote an article this month talking about getting children to eat healthier. At times that can be a monumental task! She offers some really cute ideas on how to “hide” veggies and games to play to help make it easier. Sometimes that means a little extra work on our part as the parent but it is definitely worth it in the long run as it impacts the well being of our children.

Whether with foods, activities, friendships or anything else, don’t be afraid to inspire your kids to try new things. Challenge them to stretch themselves and wait to be amazed by all they can become. I think it is one of the greatest gifts of parenting!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Kirsten Johnson

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