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Exercising Values

Happy, Healthy, Kind, & Considerate Kids

So What Should I Do with my Crest Tooth Paste?

character children family life parenting values Mar 21, 2012

Most of us know exactly how our views on the big issues like religion, politics, raising children, and money differ from our parents. We've thought all of that through and know where we agree and where we don't. But I believe that there are a host of ideas that were dropped into our lives by our parents that we still live with and never realize that they may not really serve our best interests.

Today I happened upon a news release about a vitamin company being bought up by Procter and Gamble. The article said that "in the natural health world you might as well say they were bought up by Satan himself." They then listed a slew of crimes against the environment and human kind that the company had engaged in and listed their investors as further proof of their disrepute.

Here's the thing: my dad, my mom, my grandfather, and several of my uncles all worked for Procter and Gamble. A happy childhood memory was the annual P&G picnic at Fairyland Park where I rode a roller coaster for the first time and threw up after eating too much cotton candy and snow cones. The yearly company Christmas basket filled with Cracker Jacks and Russell Stovers Candy was a grand tradition. We were taught to revere the company that put food on our table and put three girls through college.

My mom made it clear that Tide was the best detergent and Crest was the only toothpaste any reasonable person would ever choose. Apparently, my dentist still agrees. If I ever used a different brand I felt strangely disloyal, not to the company, but to my mother. However, in any fight between natural health products and global corporations I would naturally defend the former. So now that this has been brought to my attention; what do I do with the tube in the other room?

So while I wrestle with what to do with my toothpaste I challenge you to look at the bigger picture which is, that every decision we make is observed and may be copied by our children. My mom said no one should wear their hair long after age thirty. Ouch, I know somewhere in heaven she's not happy with me every time I leave the hair salon. Don't even talk to me about white shoes after Labor Day because she would have a fit. If you think you are immune to such silliness, think about what you serve for holidays or how often you clean the carpets. If you are honest I bet you can come up with some irrational idea you hang onto because it was the way it was done in the home you grew up in.

When we make the decision to purposely teach our children anything we are making a life altering decision. When we fail to think it through, but continue to influence them day by day we are also changing lives, just not necessarily for the best. Purposely teaching character and fitness to your children on a daily basis is a wonderful choice. Some of the other things you might inadvertently teach them, you may come to regret. Teaching them to have a sound mind in a sound body is not one of those things.

Food choices made in one generation are easily transferred to the next. This is especially true of what we eat to celebrate,to fend off boredom, and to relax. What we become impatient about is likewise transferable as is what we would fight for,treasure,and defend.

Each day we are called to give up our small ambitions and to focus on our true priorities. At least in those areas, we want to be clear what we are teaching and why. Our children are much more than a reflection of us. They bring to the world their own uniqueness and gifts. But we influence how they use those gifts. We influence whether or not they will stay healthy enough throughout life to fully accomplish their purpose in life.

If you don't currently have a plan to teach them character and to teach them fitness,why not? I know it is a unique aspect of Exercising Values that we combine those two topics. But even taken separately, how much have you taught your kids this week about this or any other topic near and dear to your heart? What have you taught them via habit or example that you wish you could improve or undo?

I had a single mom tell me this week that doing Exercising Values with her four year old has dramatically changed his attitude and demeanor. He is happier and more cooperative. He is enjoying the exercises she does with him each day and their excursions to the park when she has time. Working all day at a stressful job, she would like to just put him in front of the television and relax. Instead, she is choosing to think of those moments when she arrives home as their time together to talk about important ideas and to play and exercise together.

It meant a lot to me to hear that the book has helped her with her son. I hope it helps you,too. At the end of the day, though, it is your sacrifices and planned responses that will make all the difference in your family's life together. Exercising Values is a program to help you simplify the process and succeed but you are the one who takes the helm and leads your child to your best ideas about life. I wish you a wonderful journey.

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About the Author

Pamela Davenport

MSW, CPT, PES, CES, FNS, YES, SFS ACE

For decades I have helped countless parents and their children overcome significant obstacles. My unique accomplishments in the fields of child development, health, and fitness have given me an unparalleled perspective and expertise that I would love to share with you.

  • Award-Winning Author and Parenting Coach
  • Mother of six and grandmother of five
  • Studied Juvenile Justice at Stanford University
  • Master’s degree in Social Work
  • Experienced family counselor
  • Support group leader for struggling parents
  • Taught health at the university level
  • Program manager for the personal training programs at two colleges
  • Personal Trainer helping people lose 5lb-100lb+
  • Two-time Ironman Triathlete and competing member of team USA
  •  UMB Lifetime Sportswoman Award 2017