everything you read in parenting mags says that forcing kids to eat everything on their plates in order to get dessert is wrong. it's teaching them not to follow their instinctual hunger/full cues. when B was two or so, i would say, "just eat three more bites" or something to that effect, patting myself on the back for knowing that he shouldn't have to finish his meal.
and then he started eating less. getting pickier. demanding dessert. augh. so i started putting less on his plate and saying he had to eat it all. "am i done yet?" "finish all the food on your plate." i was going against everything that i'd congratulated myself on a few months ago. and i was tired of dinner time. i was tired of arguing over every meal. i was tired of meltdowns after we'd say that he couldn't have dessert.
new plan! no dessert. maybe that was an easy solution for all you healthies out there but tim and i love dessert. we grew up on ice cream after dinner. but really, it's not a right at the end of the night. we made the new plan that friday and saturday would be "Dessert Nights"!
all week, if B asked, "am I finished?", the answer was, "if you're full." B probably ate about the same amount of food that he'd eat if we were arguing about it. but dinner was much less stressful for me...and likely for him too.
then friday got here. B cheered that "tonight is Dessert Night!" he even ate all his dinner anyways. and the ice cream tasted better than usual. i think this new plan could work for us!
|our attempt at a family selfie with our cones...but check out ben's face:|
|he had accidentally poked a hole in his cone - horrifying.|