Monday, 18 August 2014

Managing dinner time difficulties

Managing dinner time difficulties

For all children there will be foods they aren't particularly keen on. They may not like the texture, the taste, relate it to a bad experience or they are just trying to get their own way. Emily's & my family have never been ones to cook separate meals. It's different if your kids are eating earlier than you when they're young, but eating at the same time should be a shared meal & a nice experience. I just put a post up for a carrot soup we often make. For some reason, Carrot soup is one of the only foods Raphael never seems to want to eat. He tries everything. He procrastinates, asks for a drink, looks away, says he's full, everything. I think it's fair enough that some things aren't to your taste, but if someone has cooked you a nice meal, you should be grateful & at least try it.
We could tell he was very tired from a busy day, but knew he wanted to play some more after dinner. We gave him the usual persuasions but he didn't take any of the bait. So we just said to him that if he was too tired for dinner then he was too tired for play after dinner. He then procrastinated some more & put his head on the table. We then insisted that if he was too tired & didn't try his dinner, he would have to go to bed. (Not in a punishment way at all which I think is really important. Going to bed should be a nice relaxing experience for children) After one more refusal of eating I said I'd take him up to bed. At this he pretty much had a tantrum. I got him onto his bed, started changing him into his pyjamas & then asked him calmly:

''What's wrong Raph, don't you want to go to bed?''
He replied ''no''.
''Do you want to go downstairs & have dinner?''
''I'm sorry Raph, we thought you were tired so thought you wanted to go bed?''
''Ok, let's go downstairs & have dinner & then we can have some pudding & play''

He ate nearly all of his soup when we went downstairs, said thank you and asked to get down from the table to play & had a treat while he played. You could tell he still didn't really want to eat it, but he knew the deal & eventually he will like the soup. It's delicious!

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