Anyone who has ever been a parent knows things don’t always go smoothly when making decisions for and with your child. As your son or daughter grow older and become tweens/teens/ young adults, it is even more difficult to guide them along. 

I have learned a few things as a parent, but probably the smartest advice was given to me by a co-worker years ago when my now 31 year old-son was 16. I was working at a local hospital and came into work that day grumpy. My fellow sonographers knew something was up. Finally my best friend at work asked me what was going on. I then explained that our son wanted to pierce his ear. How dare he; who does he think he is?  Now in today’s standards all of you out there probably think: what’s the big deal?  But you have to remember, my husband and I grew up in an era (the 50s and 60s) where females, not males, sported pierced ears. 

So, to us, this was a big deal. On the one hand, I didn’t want to be that mom who always says NO; on the other hand, I just didn’t want to be the mom that always gives in. What to do? My friend then described the trials and tribulations she had over the past school year with her son (who was one year younger than mine).  Her son was doing okay in school, but all young adults have issues to deal with. She then explained how she dealt with her son’s issues. 

I said, “what should I do?”   

She said the wisest words I have lived by to this day. Choose your battles wisely. Wow, those four words have helped me for many years, along with many of my co-workers since then.

“Your son is on the honor roll; he is never tardy at school; he is headed to college, so what is the big deal,” she said. “Do you really want to choose this as a battle?”  

I thought about her words all day long. I went home and told my husband the four simple words that make a world of difference in parenting. I have lived by these words to this day. Not just with my son, but others in my life. You have to weigh how important the issue is, and then decide if it is truly worth the battle. My guess is no; most things are not. Don’t sweat the little things. 

If any of you out there are wondering how this all turned out for my son, we told him he could get his ear pierced. I took him to the mall and was there with him when he did it. And guess what? Six months later he stopped wearing an earring and the hole in his ear closed up. I look back on it and laugh. Why I was so upset, I have no idea. I am glad I made the decision I did, all because of four very wise parenting words. Choose your battles wisely!

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