This morning our family ate pepperoni pizza for breakfast. Not in the “we don’t have anything else in the house, so here’s some leftovers” kind of way. No, we are totally wild and did it on purpose.
One of my goals for our family is to make our family a space for each member of the family. I want each person in our family to feel like they have a voice that deserves to be heard, that we each have agency within our home. Yes, we are the parents and will have to make countless decisions that our kids hate, dislike, loathe entirely, etc. (re: going to school, brushing teeth). But my kids are also individual people who have voices that deserve to be heard, valued, and developed.
When my 5 year old asked to have pizza for breakfast, my first instinct was to say no. “We don’t have pizza for breakfast,” right?! Like, that’s crazy talk. But I also knew that my child’s first question after saying no would be to ask, ”why?” As he continued to describe his Grand Plan for Dinner for Breakfast, I started to think more about why I wanted to say no.
First of all, routine is important. When we have the same thing (ish) for breakfast every morning, my kids fall into the morning easier and are more independent. Frankly, it just makes things faster too. Secondly, I really don’t want to have to field more requests for “Dinner for Breakfast” if I say yes this time. I personally don’t want pizza for breakfast, and I kind of think it’s weird. I don’t think I could handle saying yes to a roast or macaroni. Ew. Lastly, we already have pizza once a week for a family pizza movie night and having pizza twice a week (and for breakfast!) was really pushing against all of the Healthy Family Lifestyle thoughts and rules in my head.
But in reality, my son knows how important a balanced diet is. He makes sure that he eats protein and includes fruits or vegetables in the meals he tries to plan (well…technically except for the Pizza Breakfast…). And I also don’t have to say yes to this more than once. What really put me over the edge was that he had really thought the entire plan through. He really enjoys Breakfast for Dinner, so the Grand Plan was to have Breakfast for Dinner and Dinner for Breakfast. How could I say no?
Then I started to think about what he would learn if I said yes. He would hear that his ideas and opinions had value, and that he had agency within our family. He would learn that it’s okay to “break the rules” sometimes to do something fun, because sometimes fun IS the most important thing. He would hear that we valued his creativity, because frankly I think it’s brilliant to want to have Dinner for Breakfast on the same day that you have Breakfast for Dinner.
No, my kids won’t make all of the decisions for our family. But I do want them to be involved in the decision making. I want them invested in what our family does, why we make the choices we do, and why we do things the way that we do. And I want them to see that we are open to how they want to do it differently.
So, we had pizza for breakfast, stuffed crust and all.
And I hope you choose to have your own version of “Pizza for Breakfast” soon too.
Growing our families together,
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