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Monday, November 15, 2010

Hard Lesson

Tonight my son learned a lesson. Mommy will stick to her guns, if needed. Unfortunately, tonight, it was.

I make a yummy cheesy tortilla soup and decided to make a batch of it on this cold wintry night. I already knew that it was something Nathan would not be a huge fan of, but I decided to press into him a bit.

I don't want to be a parent who forces my child to eat more than he needs to. I never want to force him to clear his plate or interfere with his ability to know when HE is hungry or full. HOWEVER. I also do not want to raise a child who eats about five things and refuses to even TRY anything outside of his comfort zone. Thus, the scene is set for this evening...

I decided that I would have Nathan try a TINY bite of the cheese soup and afterwards he could have some tortilla, cheese and a nectarine as the rest of his meal. He absolutely refused. So, after getting disrespectful, he sat on the steps while Fraser and I prayed and ate dinner. I asked him several times if he would like to join us. To put it simply...Nope.

So, my son is now going to bed without dinner. :-( I have to confess, that makes me a bit sad. I almost caved (aka gave in to his requests for other items to eat, cause "I hungry Mommy"). I told him dinner was still there for him, and, again, he refused.

I think this might count as one of those "parenthood is not always easy" times. I know that he will not starve and that he is well taken care of. But it still isn't fun to be the "bad guy". I choose to believe that this is a life lesson that my son will learn from and tomorrow will be a new day.

Does this make me hardcore? I dunno (and I'm not really asking...lol). But, for tonight, I will choose to believe that I am encouraging my child to broaden his horizons. I have also taught him that Mommy means business. No means no.

Maybe breakfast tomorrow will be a nice hearty bowl of oatmeal. :-)

4 comments:

  1. Good Mommy! Stick to your guns now and he'll be thankful you did...someday!

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  2. Elizabeth,

    I have to congratulate you for sticking to your guns...there have been many times my children have gone to bed with empty tummies because they chose not to eat what was placed in front of them. You are teaching your son to be respectful of others, to be thankful for God's blessing of food, and to, as you said, "broaden his horizons". I know way too many parents who are short order cooks that allow their children to rule the kitchen. Not only are these parents exhausted, and their children malnurished (from lack of proper diverse nutrition), when they go to visit someone else and something is placed on the table that they do not like, they usually rudely say, "Ewww...that looks gross", or "I don't like that and I won't eat it". I even had one little girl that my daughter was friends with throw a tantrum one night when I was babysitting for her cause I told her she could have a banana instead of a swiss cake (Little Debbie). She sat under my kitchen table for an HOUR, and then eventually (begrudgingly) ate the banana UNDER the table. INCREDIBLE!! But her mother lets her eat whatever she wants whenever she wants. That was several years ago, but now, the girl is about 20 pounds overweight because all she will eat is fried foods, sodas, and junk food. We reap what we sow...and you are sowing fruitful harvest into your sons life that God will pour out His blessings on. Great job MOM!!

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  3. Good for you for sticking to your guns, even when it is the un-fun part of parenting. Love and Logic would say to even offer him the tortilla soup for breakfast and lunch and dinner again until he decides that choosing to eat the food is better than not eating. THAT would be hard core :)

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  4. Uggh. I definitely don't vote for the L & L approach, but I think a little stretching is okay, too. I sometimes wonder if Micah is such a good eater b/c he just is or if it's b/c he can't have so much of the less wholesome food that is normally part of our American diet. Cheese and peanut butter, for a couple, are out, which takes away a lot of kid comfort foods right there. However, I even need tricks with Mi, too. He's gone on a raw vegetable strike lately and I've found that paring a piece of veg with a cruton will get it down him. I guess I'm a little less strict b/c I was a picky eater as a kid and almost bulemic as a college student and my experience is that fighting food battles isn't worth the emotional cost. Still, like I said at the beginning, I think some age appropriate boundaries and a little pushing can also be okay and healthy. Awwww, parenting is such an art...

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I am married to an amazing man, who is also the love of my life. We have three kids who constantly keep me on my toes! God has richly blessed me and I am grateful for all He does for me.