A year ago……...
Our aim: To make our fourteen year daughter drink at least a bottle of water a day…
Our latest strategy: We had set the first alarm at a particular time of the day to remind us to fill her bottle with water. The second alarm was set halfway through the 24 hours window to check progress and accordingly remind-or rather push-our daughter towards finishing the bottle of water before the deadline. I had suggested to my husband that we let our daughter take the responsibility of filling the bottle herself. However he felt it would be better to concentrate on one task at a time; first, we focus on getting one bottle of water inside her every day. After we nail that, we move on to the part of taking personal responsibility.
Second day into the strategy the alarm rang and I went to check her bottle. I was disappointed to see that she had hardly drank any water, maybe just half a cup! “Will you ever grow out of it?!” I snapped and continued with my rant, ” Do you remember that I was cooing over your baby photos and videos some time back? You then asked me if I would have preferred to have you as a baby lifelong. I immediately replied “NO!” and explained to you that it was amazing to have you as a little one for some time but the demand of taking care of you as a baby for a lifetime would have killed me! I enjoy watching you grow and become more and more capable. You are an amazing kid! But you know what? I am totally exhausted!! I feel like I am stuck forever with the same old problem of convincing you to drink enough water!” My daughter stormed out of the room.
I was left standing there alone wondering about my bizarre outburst. It was my hopelessness speaking up after yet another failure in what I called our “water project” which we had been working on from time immemorial. I even started thinking that maybe I should stop pestering my daughter about her water intake. I had read somewhere that the necessity of drinking a particular amount of water every day was a myth. Each body requires a different amount of water and your body will let you know when and how much it requires. In other words, don’t fret over your water consumption. I even heard an actor say in an interview that she hardly drank any water and she seemed pretty healthy to me… I knew that the demotivated part of me was just trying to take the easy way out. However, the nagging mother in me refused to give up.
I thought some more and this time all fingers were pointing at me and my husband; our inconsistency to follow a plan through to its conclusion. We would fret over her not drinking enough water, would come up with a plan, follow it till we got distracted by some other issue, and conveniently forget about the water issue till we are reminded of it again by chance or some happening. Again we would come up with another plan and… you can guess the rest. That time around we hoped to break the loop and see the plan through to its end.
P.S : Hurrah! Today our daughter drinks a bottle of water a day!!!