Friday, February 3, 2012

My Child Won't Join us For Family Dinner!

Some brilliant advice from a Montessori friend, Maureen:

The child decides not to eat with the family for whatever the reason might be. Afterwards, the child might say, "I am hungry". The parent could 1) feed him leftovers 2) say, "Oh, I am sorry, but dinner is over now. We will be eating again later and I hope you can join us or 3) I am sorry that you weren't hungry when we ate (although chances are that lack of hunger had absolutely nothing to do with the resistance to eat with the family). Maybe you can fix yourself some crackers from the pantry and you know how to get your own drink. From a parent's outlook, I would say the chances are pretty good that if I fed him leftovers that this could happen again, either from him or another child watching the drama unfold. If I take the second approach, I would probably come across as pretty authoratarian and that could feed into more demands of "being hungry" That would turn into a power struggle. The third option validates his need to eat, yet it does not allow the child the option to dictate what he wants on his own terms with low regard for others and cultural expectations. Another option could be to serve the food cold I guess, if it was still fresh enough for consumption.

10 Things Not To Do To An Upset Child

Great blog post from Authentic Parenting: