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What a Parent Knows Vs. What a Kid Does

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Every parent knows that sugar is bad for you. This is precisely why we try to minimize it for our kids. But we adults crave it, we sneak it, we rationalize it. And eventually, we spot our kid—at a birthday party or a fancy dinner party—eating it. Not just eating it, but eating way too much of it. Coveting it, hoarding it and drinking it, too. We watch this travesty and think, "Why? How can I have the kid who crams sugar down his throat when I have worked so hard to not have that kid!?" The answer, of course, is that our kids do as we do, not as we say.

What a parent knows: Sugar is bad for you.

What a kid does: Usually eats too much sugar, and drinks it, too. Covets it, really. Learns to sneak it if you're not careful or if you are sneaking it, too.

What a parent knows: We all need more sleep.

What a kid does: Works as hard as humanly possible to stay up. Or, as a kid becomes a teen, stays up in order to work hard.

What a parent knows: We should wash our hands with soap and water for 20 seconds before meals.

What a kid does: Whatever you do, which winds up being pretty gross if you're not paying attention to your own habits.

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What a parent knows: Helicoptering, hovering and solving your kid's problems doesn't help in the long run.

What a kid does: Tries to convince you otherwise, because it makes life easier in the short run.

What a parent knows: When we are on our smart phones—talking, texting, emailing—we are not present. We don't drive safely. We don't listen as well to our kids.

What a kid does: At first, fights for your attention. But eventually, fights for the phone.

What a parent knows: Lectures don't work, and modeling good behavior is the best. But sometimes in order to model the best behavior, you cannot do what you want to do.

What a kid does: A kid does what you do, not what you say.

RELATED: Parenting With Social Media

What a parent knows: Talking about body changes and crushes and smells and zits and all of those issues that swirl around puberty is embarrassing for everyone involved.

What a kid does: Talks to someone else if you don't make it clear that you are a good go-to person.

What a parent knows: Not everything.

What a kid does: Googles the answer if you are not approachable, and often Google Image searches the answer in graphic and inappropriate ways.

What a parent knows: In order to raise healthy kids, we need to teach them how to get there. They need good resources, good information and good models. They need to be kept away from bad foods and bad influences.

What a kid does: Wants to be healthy and strong and happy. And wants to have your help getting there. But eventually, a kid wants to be able to do it alone.

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