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I can be what some call a pushover mom or a softy with some things that have to do with parenting my children, or being in charge of any children for that matter. I firmly feel that there is a different between choosing when you can be somewhat “soft” and when you have to be firm with a child. The theme that comes to mine is “pick your battles”, obviously if you have said no and the child continues to ask why or debate the topic with you then you stand firm. With that being said if you chose not to quite give a solid yes or no to a question, bad idea by the way, then you can be soft on the topic if it’s not some major thing.
There is a few areas where I am firm and simply tell my kid that this is how it is. There is no negotiating. There is no changing my mind. My decision has been made. That is when it comes to meals, I work from home. I don’t make that much money each year when you consider the size of my family. If I were not a Mom and simply just a woman working from home, well I would be made financially probably. That is not the case. I am a Mom of three. My money is hard earned and I buy food to keep the kids healthy and nourished but cannot afford to have many extras all of the time.
With breakfast and lunch there are usually choices. Basically for breakfast I let the kids order from me as if we are in some restaurant because I enjoy cooking a nice breakfast for the kids. With lunch there are usually two options laid out because it’s just not as important of a family meal to me as dinner time. Speaking of dinner, that is the one meal where I cook what I cook and you just accept that. There is no ordering as if we are in a restaurant. Deal with it.
Thankfully my kids have grown up knowing that I am this way, that they have some negotiating room for lunch as well as breakfast but dinner is set in stone. The way I deal with dinner is that I do take into consideration what each child likes to eat combine that with maybe a new food option here & there, this enables them to have something they like while also requiring that they at least try something new.
Each child must try a new food before attempting to plead they do not like it. If they do not try the food, they go without. I stick firm by this. There are many a nights where my youngest went to bed that night without dinner. Being that my youngest is super stubborn there were weeks where he would go 4-5 nights without dinner because he would flat out refuse to try anything new. Then finally once I stood my ground forever, he finally started to try new things, just to determine that he truly doesn’t like anything.
It is difficult to find any meal that my youngest actually likes because every sort of meal option I serve for dinner, he has tried without successfully liking it. My oldest and middle child usually like whatever they try, even my six year old will admit “well I don’t really like this a lot but it’s okay” and he will eat it.
I love that I have taught my kids that in some areas of life I stand firm and they accept that without question. There isn’t a fight about it, there isn’t this big issue over the food, nothing. They simply accept the rules and are just fine after trying the meal.