Darcy’s new box of diapers came with Sesame Street characters as babies. It seems before Cookie Monster earned his name he was a vegetarian. Chomping carrots.
I understand the idea. We need to teach babies through their diaper attire that vegetables are better for our bodies than cookies… what? Our babies have no idea what they are wearing. Darcy, who I think is brilliant, calls all the characters “ahlmo” (How Elmo has become so popular, what happened to Gonzo or Big Bird or Unibrow Bert??).
So is this really an effort to sooth parents? “Wow, look how healthy Cookie has become! I am glad he is not tempting my little peanut into a life of obesity!”
Certainly outside forces impact our children. Friends, teachers, advertisements all have influence. But more than anything we, as parents, set the path for our kids. My little girls love tomato slices straight from our garden (sprinkled with a little salt and pepper). They did not see this on TV, but saw mom’s excitement to try the first ripe tomatoes. (No help from me – I am still trying to acquire the taste… really I dream of being a monster who only has to eat cookies!)
This is not just about food. But attitude and work ethic and Christ. When I worked in student ministry it was the rare exception when I could not see a child’s traits in their parents. Sometimes the traits – for better or worse – were amplified. But they did not trace back to friends or advertisements, their root was nearly always in parents.
Parents would claim Christ as the most important part of life. But they lived another reality. A dad who stressed sports. A mom whose energy was on her looks. Many, many who worked endless hours – sometime for dollars (stuff), sometimes for recognition. All these traits played out in their children.
The tendency was to blame the church or the youth/children minister. “They are just not engaging my child.” But changing churches or ministers is like changing what Cookie Monster is holding. The real problem is all the cookies I am eating.