Thursday, December 16, 2010

Short Order Cook?

I always said I would never be one of "those moms". You know the ones. They make a meal for the grown-up and then a meal for little Timmy, cause he doesn't like green beans. Another meal for Jessica, cause she only eats white food. By the time mom actually sits down to eat her meal is cold and she is alone at the table.

Not only is this bad for the kids because it is teaching them that if they complain enough about something mom will fix it. It just reinforces bad behavior. My other issue with it is that it limits the kids palette. I love food and want my kids to love food like I do. If they are only exposed to foods they "think" they like then they will never get to enjoy all the flavors that different cultures have to offer. Oh and Im kind of lazy and selfish. I dont want to make 3 different meals and I want to eat with my family at meal time. (btw, that last sentence was a joke/sarcasm.)

This morning however I was one of them. I now can see how it can happen. It started innocently enough. I heated up some of our dinner from last night to give the girls for breakfast this morning. (It was this breakfast bake I make that is yummy) Emerson and Avery really had no idea I was doing that. Emerson came running in the kitchen and excitedly asked for oatmeal. I told her I was heating up some of the dinner from last night and she melted down. Suddenly in my head, I am justifying making her the oatmeal. "I should have given them a choice, cause I rarely give them choices for breakfast or at meal time period. It's not that big of a deal to make some oatmeal..." so I made the oatmeal. She happily ran into the other room with it. Then Avery came in. "I want cereal, mama." "um..ok..." so I made her cereal. Again my justification was the same as before with the added, "I gave Emerson what she wanted I cant NOT give Avery what she requested."

Guess what happened next? Emerson came running into the kitchen asking for cereal... yes, in the end they both ended up eating cold cereal for breakfast and I made 3 yes THREE different breakfasts.

What did I learn today?
I need to start giving them more choices for the good stuff too. I tend to give choices for the bad stuff and that works, but they need to be able to make choices for the good stuff as well. "Those Moms" are all of us. It can happen to anyone, innocently enough.

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