Lately, the little people in my house have been a bit whiney when it comes to ... everything. So, naturally, being the mean mom that I am, I have been putting my foot down more and more. Giving them choices. But they are choices that I can live with like, you can put on your shoes and and then go outside, or you get to stay inside. Sort of forcing them to make the decision I need them to make. I mean it's for their own good, right? He needs to wear shoes when he goes outside. He has scrapes on his feet to prove how it only takes him about 5 seconds to hurt himself without them. (Think dragging feet behind his skateboard. Poor kid.)
Tonight he (Child #1) was playing outside and was suddenly very emotional, proabably preparing for his chance at an oscar, and I told him it was time to go inside and eat dinner. (No more asking in our house. It doesn't work.) He came in all tornado like, flayling and angry that I helped him come inside. There was plenty of casserole from last night, so that is what I served up. Corban started yelling that he hates casserole. (He ate about 5 bites last night and was just fine.) He wants a sandwich or cereal or chocolate milk. Izzy jumped in saying, "Um, I like casserole." And rubs her belly. That's another story in itself- last night ... well. I will explain later. I am making a mess of this story. The sentence structure sucks... oh well.
Back to Izzy, I tell her I am glad she loves casserole and get her eating then turn to Corban. After waiting for a break to talk I make a deal. (He was filling the air with all sorts of noise. Chaos.) I told him he could have 5 bites of casserole and then I would make him whatever he wants. He dropped to the floor in a tantrum. Fun. I picked him up and took him in his room and told him when he was done with his fit. He was so mad. He kicked the wall for a few minutes. I went in and turned him so his feet wouldn't hit the wall and asked if he was ready to come eat, telling him I was happy to make him a sandwich or get him some cereal after the casserole was eaten. I was surprisingly calm and loving through all this. Sometimes I have to fight to keep my cool .... I kept thinking of the clip from family guy about the real Kelly Ripa (Dave loves that show... so I have seen more than I would ever want to see.... anyway) See below.
He told me he would not eat the casserole. He fell asleep crying. Sad, but if I gave in then it would have made him think that next time he would just have to throw another fit to get his way. I know Corb (or Coyb if you talk like Izzy) isn't your average child, but doesn't the lesson apply to all kids. You give into their fit then they will start throwing fits for everything. It reminds me of helping a child learn to sleep through the night. Be calm, loving, and firm.
I went in a few minutes ago and changed him into jammies. He was so sad and started talking in his sleep asking me why I wouldn't give him any food... then he turns over and is asleep again. That was a sad moment for my heart. Did I make the right choice? I still think so. Our usual rule is you have to have 2 bites of everything. He has been doing so well with that. I said five because he had that many last night and was fine. He had already had cereal for breakfast and a sandwich for lunch. This was the first time he has fallen asleep without dinner.... It just made me sad.
I know there is a family in our ward whose rule is "If you don't like what mom made, make your own dinner." They have kids from 10 and down.
What are your rules for eating dinner?