Practical Parenting: Hey Papa, Can I Buy GFUEL?

One believes things because one has been conditioned to believe them.

― Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

One believes because one’s conditioning trains them to do so. I could see this wholeheartedly in my son’s drive to have us buy GFuel, a new energy drink product. He is a gamer, the very demographic I am sure, is part of their marketing plan. He was amped, but even better, he was driven to prove us wrong as parents. What a scary concept. But it also tells me he is growing up.

What is this new drink? What will it do to my oldest baby? I know. It may sound facetious, but a parent knows that we always see our children as the little ones we raised, not necessarily the grown versions they become. Nevertheless, I could not help but think, is this like Red Bull or Rockstar, full of sugar, gets you high and then drops you like a ton of bricks into energy comatose only to repeat the cycle tomorrow? I think that any great parent in training will ask these simple questions. I wanted to know. However, I opened the door to a much greater lesson in my simple curiosity, a lesson that I know can lead to future success that I wish to share with you today.

Times are changing. I remember when musicians sold their services to major soda companies with full concerts going on in the background of an advertisement that prepped the next generation for its impact. I think we all have stories like this, but little did I know then that what we faced in these advertisements was a marketing campaign, a ploy to get us linked to the brand’s message. You get a sale, and you make a quick profit. You create a customer, and you add value to your entire company. Adding my business knowledge to my concerns as a practical parent, I saw the unconscious psychology at play, but I needed to teach my son the lesson’s moral.

What should I do? Take one moment to think about this. Put yourself in the shoes of a loving parent, and let me know what you would do. Now, back to the story.

In looking at the website, it seemed pretty cool. It was chock-full of gamers, cool and hip youth, and influencers of the YouTube generation advertising to their heart’s content a product that they appear to know and believe in. What could go wrong, you may think? Well, from a developmental psychotherapist’s perspective, what do you think could go wrong? EVERYTHING!!!

A friend of mine once said that silence is golden; unless you have children, it is suspicious. I laughed then as well as now when I jotted down this beautiful saying. I think we can all relate to it at some level. Well, the moral of this story is that I was suspicious of this product’s intent, let alone its ingredients. I assigned my son a life lesson for success. OK, you will need to convince not only your papa but your mama of the ingredients and the effects GFuel will have on your growing body. It would help if you created a presentation for your data. You need to do the research, formulate your sale, and we will see if it something we can buy into. Success 101, know your product, believe in it and sell it to non-believers.

What I saw was truly transformative. Most times, children expect us to solve their problems for us. They test the walls we erect to learn life lessons. However, practical parenting needs to be a didactic interaction. Telling a child right and wrong, good and bad is one way of teaching, but not the only. Let them do the work to convince you, and watch them grow from two perspectives. 1st, they will begin to understand your true concern for them, their health, and overall well-being. 2nd, they will learn to grow in interpersonal communications, learning to express their needs in an effective and clear manner.

Until next time my friends, namaste. May peace and blessings find you along your journey to believe, achieve, and advance confidently in the direction of your dreams.

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