Putting my Foot Down
Oh, man! I'm already seeing that we've been much more lenient with the younger kids than the older ones. Why does that happen? Especially when I swore it wouldn't! :-) To all you young mothers: NEVER SAY NEVER! ;-)
We just had an all out battle with our 5 year old. When my three oldest were younger we had pretty strict rules about mealtime: you show gratitude to your mother by eating your meal and not complaining. Once we discovered if the oldest complained (or any of them, really) the others would follow suite. Not happening! So we created a rule that if you complained you had to eat all of your food. If you didn't complain, but just ate whatever you wanted on your plate and left the yucky stuff, I probably wouldn't even notice anyway! That worked.
Until recently. I swear, anything new I fix the two younger boys will not eat it. I'm not sure which one usually says “no” first, but the other one will inevitably copy...even without taking one bite!
So, my husband and I were discussing this very thing last night before dinner, thus making it the wrong night to decide you didn't like the food. After E refused multiple times to not eat his food and continued to cry about it, we enforced the old rule. “You complain, you eat it.” He was in his room for quite awhile and went on a walk with the family while his food sat on the kitchen counter.
When we got home from the walk he proceeded to open a banana. I simply looked at him and said his name when he defended himself, “But I'm hungry.” I reminded him he needed to finish dinner first. He reluctantly allowed me to feed him. After about the third bite or so I asked, “Do you like it?” And he said, “Yeah. This is yummy!” Success!!
(Next time JL will be the one we target!)
Oh, the joys of motherhood!