Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Laying it all out on the "Table"

Family dinner should be an enjoyable experience, where you sit and discuss you day and cheerfully eat your meal.  Not so with a toddler.  I get a headache just thinking about dinner... maybe my stress is something she can sense?  

I have a few friends reading a book on parenting, "Parenting with Love & Logic".  It discusses the different types of parents.  Basically there are 3 parenting types:
  1. the Drill Sargent - This parent commands and directs the lives of their children.
  2. the Helicpoter - This parent hovers over theirchildren and rescues them from the hostile world in which they live.
  3. the Consultant - This Love & Logic parent provides guidance andconsultant services for their children.
Obviously, the parent you we should be striving to be is Mary Poppins.. err I mean the "Consultant".  I am unfortunately, a "Drill Sargent".. its my way or the highway.  I want them to do what I want, when I want it.  My husband.. is Mary Poppins the "Consultant" he is SOO good at it too!  He really believes that their actions will lead to natural consquences and he is right, they will.  I just want an immediate consquence.. not a consequence that will come on its own time.  I like Time Outs, because its an immediate consquence.  I like confiscation of toys, because its an immediate consquence.  There are times when I adhere to the natural consquence parenting style, but it isn't very often, and I (of course) have to know when the natural consequence will be implemented.

"B"ella not eating dinner just means that she is hungry at bedtime and if we are having dessert then she doesn't get goodie.  The reality is that she isn't going to starve, she eats breakfast, has a snack, eats lunch and has a snack.. then dinner a few hours later.  "B"ella huffs, and puffs, and goes limp.. and whines during dinner.   Its like nails on a chalkboard for me.  Tonight, however.. we ignored her.  I said that dinner would be 45 minutes.  I even pulled out Or.E.Oh's to entice her into eating.  I didn't say what they were for, just placed them on the counter.  "C"indy saw them and said "OH, we can have those if we finish eating?" I said, "Yah but you only have 15 more minutes, before dinner is over" and she responded "I can finish before then." and she did.. she scoffed down her salmon and broccoli -- with cheddar cheese (the rice.a.rony was already gone! it was the first thing eaten by both of them).  "C"indy got her goodie, while "B"ella was still sitting there starring and whining and huffing and puffing.  At the 45 minute mark, I picked up her plate and said "Dinner is over."  She gladly got up and sat on the couch.  P. believes that her hunger is enough of a consequence.  I am struggling with it, but I know he is right.  There doesn't need to be any other consequence than that.  Because parenting by utilizing natural consquences will ensure that the children, handle decision making on their own correctly.


  1. My husband and I talked about this very thing tonight. My daughter will sometimes take 2 bites per meal for lunch and dinner. We don't "baby" her and let her have something else or even dessert. I have a friend who says she can't let her kid go hungry so she gives her cereal after dinner. What does that teach her? I can NOT eat dinner and get what I want to eat instead! Kids won't let themselves starve to death. Offer the food and if they don't eat it won't kill them!

  2. I'm torn on this subject. I've read in healthy eating articles that desert shouldn't be a reward b/c it teaches kids that sweets are better than dinner. Part of me believes that & part of me says B.S..

    I'm with the you don't eat dinner you don't get anything else to eat when you are hungry. What I will do is save dinner & when I hear the I'm hungry, well here ya go, your dinner is waiting for you. In my experience a couple of times of being presented with the food they turned down earlier gets the point across.

    I won't be a clean your plate parent either. If he makes a good attempt at eating I'll be satisfied. After growing up that way I have to make a conscious effort to stop eating b/c I will eat until I make myself sick if there is food on my plate.

    I fully agree with the ignoring the whining. I watched the results on Dr. Phil one day & there was a huge difference.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...