November 06, 2012

Mealtime Battles...or not.

Call me laid back or stupid, but I don't believe in battling my children for control.
Sure, there is much I can do to express my opinion and inform them of right and wrong, but I know that trying to control them will only end up in a blubbery mess.
blubbery mess=me in tears, children in tears, no one listening to each other

They are responsible for their decisions.
They are their own person.  Who am I to try to make them someone else?
That is just a losing battle that will make my kids hate me.
And me hate them.

I believe in consequences.
Everything leads up to a behaviour and from that behaviour a consequence occurs.
Good or bad.

Does that make sense?

I am not going to get too behavioural here but this is really just a long way of saying that I do not force my children to eat every bite of their dinner if they choose not to eat it at that time.  I do not force my children to sit at the table until their plate is clean.  I do not sit at their side with a fork full of food trying to coerce them into eating it because then, um, who has the control?  I do not feed my children because they wont do it themselves.

I just inform them that if they decide not to eat it, than they are not allowed to have any dessert or treats.

I also inform them that their bedtime snack will be their dinner.

No battles.
Just matter of fact.
And they make the decision.
Notice she is bathed and in her nightie.
Eating lasagna.
I could say "BOOYAH" right now, but that would mean I think I won the non-existent battle.
 bree his honey and her mama



Gigi said...

I think you won. I was/am a pick your battles kind of mom myself. They learn more from the consequences than they do the battle anyway.

Sarah Halstead said...

Lol! Love it.

Kathryn Caldwell said...

I Love it! I also give mine a time limit if they are fooling around but actually hungry. But if they just stop eating I let them get down. I just wish my MIL would agree with me on this decision!

Tamar SB said...

Love it! As some one who studied behaviorism and childhood battles in college as part of my thesis I have to agree with you!

Jennifer said...

I'm a big fan of picking your battles. And also a big fan of laying down a consequence.

Emily Guthrie said...

I'm with you! Sound advice on so many levels. Forcibly clearing your plate can lead to some nasty eating habits later on. :(

Lindsay Y. said...

I fully agree with this...unfortunately I didn't feel this way with my first two children. I'm a slow learner. It just makes sense! WE are the ones being tortured when we sit and nag nag nag. Natural consequences = awesome.