It’s a control thing.
And I’m not quite sure why this is the particular area where they choose to dig their feet in.
But I’m more than sure that I have zero desire to engage in the fight.
Not anymore anyway.
We have been blessed with a couple little kiddos who are anything but picky eaters. In fact, name me another 3 year old who requests seconds of asparagus and mushrooms.
Drawing a blank?
I know, it shocks even me. Still.
We don’t fight about eating their veggies or drinking their milk. The fight is about eating in general.
Or it was…
I’ve decided these kids are big enough to understand what a hungry tummy feels like and they can have all the control when it comes to choosing whether or not to eat their dinner (or breakfast..or lunch…)
We set a timer.
When the timer goes off, meal time is over and we get down from the table.
Because I don’t have 3 hours of my life to sit at the table feeling like I’m dying a slow death with a couple preschool age kids who may…or may not…eat their meal.
If they finish before the timer and have become members of the “clean plate club” they get to pick from the “treat bucket” (i.e. an assortment of treats that they get at no other time).
If they don’t, we clean up and move on to the next thing.
No treat bucket and no snacks in between meals.
Yep, I’m the mama who rarely does snacks in between meals. It’s not because I’m wretched and mean – it’s a result of lessons learned: unnecessary snacks in between meals generally leads to more trouble at meal time. I’m just not okay with snacking replacing consuming a nutritious homemade meal (which the vast majority of ours are).
I’ve given up the fight.
Do you have a similar fight that <perhaps> needs given up?
Take the leap! Rest assured that your child WILL eat when s/he gets hungry enough and they won’t starve to death in the meantime.
Take away the power struggle and allow your kids to find something else to push your buttons about at the dinner table….chewing loudly with their mouths open, slurping their milk, belching and farting….all the things that they’ve been taught better but simply cannot resist.
Mine did…and have.
Because what’s meal time with small children without something to leave you sighing heavily?