ThinkKit Day 22: Today, we’re keeping it wide open – we want you to write. Write the thought ringing in your head this morning. Write what you can’t forget. Write what you want to remember about _____. Write the everyday and the extraordinary.

I don’t make my kids brush their teeth. I know.  Don’t even bother to give me your opinion about what a bad parenting decision that is; I won’t change on this one.  It’s really about my inability to follow through on micromanaged structure.  I am not good at it with the kids.  I am a big picture parent.  Sure, we have strutter but like big structure.  I am terrible at the little things–like monitoring screen time, rewarding for chores, monitoring homework, etc.

Oral hygiene is one of those things that I figure, until it really matters to them–until they care what their breath smells like and decide they don’t like getting cavities filled–they won’t make it a true habit.  I know modern day thought is the opposite and I know the pediatric dentist encourages good oral hygiene of the baby teeth to help ensure healthy adult teeth.  But, I don’t know…I just don’t have the energy to worry about who is brushing and flossing.

This last trip to the dentist, I heard from the other boys that the hygenists were giving Sam a bunch of shit because his teeth were so gross. He never brushed them (Phillip and Andy both do, on their own).  I think he was embarrassed.  He has started brushing his teeth–on his own–twice a day. The other morning he came down ready for school with fresh breath.

He was so proud he wanted me to smell it. “I can’t wait to go back to the dentist and show them how I have been brushing twice a day. When do I go back?” he asked.

“You go to the dentist every six months,” I said.

“Six months?!? You mean I have to do that for a whole six months? Oh man, I will never make it.”

I shared with him that you have to brush your teeth twice a day for the rest of your life.  Obviously, he had never thought of it like that.

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