I was at my parent’s house last night for dinner. My kids came in with a friend and we said she was more than welcome to stay. I told her, “Hey, just get what you like and if you don’t like it you don’t have to eat it.” No big deal.
Somehow, it came up again. I don’t know, I guess I just wanted her to know that she didn’t have to eat the peas she served herself if she didn’t want to. I went on to tell her that if my kids don’t like something, they usually don’t have to eat it. And, if they get full before their plate is “clean” then I guess they got full, but I know they’ll be hungry in about an hour. It’s the law of a little stomach. Sue me.
I remember once when my oldest was little I had made her a peanut butter and jelly for lunch and, well, she didn’t like it. Now, she cut her baby teeth on PBJ’s and it didn’t make sense to me that she didn’t want it, so I told her to go ahead and eat it. Soon enough, she was gagging.
I felt sheepish.
Food, for me is just not something I really give rat’s patooty about. I mean, its ONE peanut butter and jelly. Shoot, I have to eat eggs everyday for breakfast, but I never finish them because the time I get to the end, it’s all I can do to get them down. *gag*
Back to the little girl visiting for dinner. She told me that her dad always makes her finish what she’s ordered if they go out. And, if she is at his house she has to finish what’s on her plate, even if she doesn’t like it. What’s that all about?? I mean, if he is at a restaurant, orders food and doesn’t like it, does he finish it? What’s the big deal about cleaning your plate anyway? Why force her to eat something she doesn’t like. Does he eat things he doesn’t like? Doubt it.
If you can’t tell, it burns me up. My mom was not a food stickler so I’m sure that’s where I get it.
Now, before you give me the run-around, I have had my “food battles” with my kids. Those nights where they didn’t eat much for dinner, but want cereal before bed. Yeah, yeah. Know what I do? I tell them they have about 2.6 minutes to slam down some toast before they go to sleep. If they don’t each much dinner, I tell them, “Hey, this is dinner. If you get hungry later, warm it up.” Sometimes they do, usually they don’t. Leftovers for tomorrow, I say.
In the grand scheme of things, I just don’t understand why parents make their kids cry at the table, not let them grab a quick snack before bed, or why they make such a big fat hairy deal if the kid doesn’t like what they ordered. I get it, we all have “table” issues, but honestly, I think there are parents who are way out of line.
Lighten up on the food. Be more passionate about character.
Okay, I’m going to go wake my kids up and see if they want some ice cream.