I am a mean parent. It’s true.

And I had mean parents, for which I am eternally grateful.

How mean am I?

Mean enough to use the word NO in the face of adversity (begging, foot stomping, crying, and occasional tantrums), and mean enough to make demands of my children, even if they temporarily hate me for it.

The way I see it there is A LOT of candy in the modern world. By candy I mean, you know, actual candy, and other delicious foods that are not good for you. But I also mean brain candy, like TV, video games, Facebook, texting, etc. Things that give your body a quick release of endorphins and leave you craving more, but offer very little of substance.

We are surrounded by foods, games and activities that are designed to make you want more. And they’re fun, and attractive, and so easy. Of course kids want these things all the time. And it would be so much easier to just let them have it!

But we can’t. We mean parents have a job to do. We have to steer our kids toward the deeper joys in life by saying no to the candy sometimes.

And after they finish complaining about how mean you are they might… go read a book, or ride a bike, make a friend, build something, cook something, help somebody, get a job, catch a cricket, dream, get dirty, who knows. The possibilities are endless.

And then, maybe, they’ll get a piece of candy, and it will be all the sweeter at the end of the day.

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