Parenting is sometimes hard. They are a lot of things I don’t want to do, but have to do. It’s one of those times when you have to say, ‘this is going to hurt me, more than it’s going to hurt you.’
Right now Justice is not finishing his food. He will just chew and chew his food, but won’t swallow. It’s makes for a very long and frustrating meal. It’s not the food. What 3 year doesn’t like Trix Cereal or Lucky Charms? We don’t know what it is, but is very frustrating. We hate to have to discipline him at the table.
He cries and it just breaks my heart. But, we have to stick to our guns and keep him at the table until he is done. We are trying to let him know and understand that as soon as he finishes his meal he can get down from his chair and play. He has to know that eating is a very important part of his day and for his health. Sometimes we have to bribe him and other times just a stern ‘no’ is all we have the patience to muster up.
Jasmine doesn’t have this problem, at least not all the time. She loves food and frequently licks her fingers when she really likes something. However, she is not without fault. She could be ice cold when she doesn’t want to play with Justice. Justice is more sensitive and Jasmine is more aloof.
We try to balance tough love with lots of affection and game playing. It makes them forget that we are their parents for a moment and that we can be their best friends too. We try to find time out of our busy schedules for quality time. We turn off all TVs, iPads, and smartphones so we can just talk about our day. We notice a big increase in their conversations at meal time.
In either case, it’s been a challenge the times we’ve had to exercise tough love. What do you do in these cases?