When lunch or dinner turns into a power struggle between parent and child
Put yourself in the situation, it’s lunch or dinner time and the discussions begin: “What if I don’t like this dish”, “What if I do the same thing again”, “If you give me something else or you don’t eat and it’s done?” Of course the parents fear that our son He will be hungry, and he will not grow as he should … The result, a power struggle to see who is right, accompanied by tantrums, screaming, and excessive calls for attention. How to act if the child does not want to eat? What does positive discipline say about it? What can we parents do We do so as not to lose our temper or get carried away by bad moods?
Food is a nightmare when a child does not want to eat
When the child does not want to eat lunch or dinner
If your child eats well, he likes almost everything and what he doesn’t like to eat because he knows it’s good and that you have to eat a variety of things, or he simply deserves it with things like “when we’re done playing together”, tantrums and fights At lunchtime something will be unknown to you.
Not so if you are one of the many moms and dads who have to use tricks and all their ingenuity to get the little one to finish the dish. Sometimes we pull out our cell phone to calm him down and make him eat, other times we end up losing our temper and yelling at them to finish all the food.
Experts recommend that children not be forced to eat. It is also not recommended to use threats, rewards or rewards related to lunch or dinner, such as ‘If you eat fish, I will give you a reward’ or ‘If you don’t eat puree, you can’t watch TV’.
It is possible to achieve healthy meals without fights with children and positive discipline they help us improve this moment, which we should also use as an opportunity to connect and strengthen our children’s sense of belonging. It’s about doing an empathy exercise to put ourselves in our children’s shoes and try to understand why they don’t want to eat. It could be because he doesn’t like this food (we can try other ways to make it) but it could also be because he needs a little bit of your attention and has come to the (wrong) conclusion that when he yells or cries in front of his plate, you focus on him or her.
If dinner is scary, your child will end up being a bad eater
Struggling with power if your child doesn’t want to eat
Fortunately, because our sons and daughters do not eat dinner one night, they will not go hungry, so the fears that parents usually feel should be put aside. If you don’t eat one day, nothing will happen! If you don’t finish everything on your plate, don’t worry. If he eats less vegetables or fruits than he should, he will change and take what he needs as we teach him why it is good for him. In any case, if this is repeated several times and you think that your son or daughter could be underweight, do not hesitate to go to the pediatrician.
The youngest who do not want to eat at home, especially those who find it difficult to eat certain types of food such as fish or vegetables, need the support and understanding of their parents. Therefore, if lunch or dinner is a time for discussions, tears, commitments, or threats, it is very likely that that child, now and tomorrow, is bad at eating. Bad relationship with food will inevitably develop
If a child notices that their parents, just when it’s time to sit down at the table, panic because they act out of the expected fear that they won’t eat well, that would be an excuse for them not to, I think something bad is going on. Have you ever stopped to think why your child eats better at school, at uncles or grandparents’ homes if they serve the table like you? Because of the relaxed atmosphere there!
Note also that children use these behaviors to strengthen their sense of belonging. That is, if they see that at mealtime they can get your attention, even in a “passive” way not to eat, they will. He would use tantrums, crying or even plate throwing to win that battle, the power struggle.
How to act according to positive discipline if children are not eating
Positive discipline if your child does not want to eat
So, according to positive discipline, what can we do at home to avoid conflicts at lunch and dinner? How do we act when the child does not want to eat?
Think of it this way: It is very difficult for children to learn, at breakfast, lunch, snack, or dinner, as we want them to learn many things: that they have good manners, that they eat without staining themselves, that they have their soup first and then Fish, which they eat without wasting time and do not enjoy anything, they hold cutlery well and do not complain about the presence of vegetables, even if they do not like it … There are also many things at once, don’t you think?
If instead of setting such a standard that it is not really necessary to comply at the moment, we introduce the dish and allow him to eat a little in the order that the child himself determines (for example, croquettes first and then vegetable puree) we will already rotate our arm, which makes him see that the first and most important thing is to eat well; In the background will remain morals, how to take the spoon or not to get up until it is finished.
Your kids should try the food, know where the food comes from, and decide what they like and don’t like. When the child does not want
In eating, we can adapt the food a little to motivate them: broccoli may not like it the way it is, but broccoli has turned into a hamburger. Therefore, lunchtime is an excellent time to create a good atmosphere, strengthen our relationship (as recommended by positive discipline), and is also very exciting to prevent eating disorders.
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