Good evening faithful readers. The king is here. Chie has moved from the throne for a moment and asked for a Daddy proclamation. I never know when, why or where her requests for my wisdom will come. I don’t know if its random or there is some reason to her madness. I feel that I spout numerous jewels everyday, so why today?
In any case, here is what I have been chewing on today. We need to avoid this trap with our children. This trap is one where we recognize that our children can understand and so begin to feel that we can bargain with them. I’ll set the scene. It’s 5 pm, dinner time. You have some luscious dinner spread for your child(ren). If its me, then I have laid out something involving eggs for Kiko’s dinner(we have a lot of eggs here. For some reason I stock them by the crate. Most meals for Kiko include eggs, I wonder if that will cause baby cholesterol). So back to dinner, you’ve laid out dinner and you can see that he/she/it is hungry but won’t cooperate. You know in the recesses of your soul that this child is hungry but doesn’t want this(whatever egg product “this” is). You also know that if they don’t eat this, they will be fine for the moment but they will hit the wall, get hungry and ruin your night time routine or, God forbid, wake up in the middle of the night and will wreak havoc on the next day.
Your child is getting older so you can’t just shove it in like you used to (you could but, you feel mildly abusive for doing so). You try various ploys like cutting the food into smaller pieces, the airplane game (that has never worked on any child) or the sneak attack (that is where you make them laugh or open their mouth and shove the food in there real quick). All of this has failed. You know your child never turns down deserts which in our home is blueberries. You think to yourself, “I know, we are all reasonable folks here lets make a deal.” “Child, if you will eat x amount, I will give you some blueberries.” At 20 months, Kiko knows enough to understand my dumb hand motions sectioning off food portions and the word blueberry. She’s not a genius, she knows only enough to ensure she gets what she wants, in this case blueberries. I have fallen into this trap a couple of times and every time I get the hoped for immediate response. But, the next feeding at the zoo comes and Kiko, not being dumb, inevitably tries the same thing. It’s not hurt fault I set up the new rules of establishment. I, by playing lets make a deal, have established a new area for her to exploit. She, being scheming and crafty, like all children, will work this to her benefit. It then takes me more time and to readdress the problem, unless I decide to cave, again. If I cave more than once, it becomes a system and a system soon becomes a rule.
The right mindset is, within limits, “screw you kid, this is dinner! When you can articulate your position on the food pyramid and how blueberries satisfy all levels of said pyramid then we can have a discussion, until then open up and put in the eggs!”
Avoid the trap of let’s make a deal. Appeasement did not work with the Nazis and it shan’t work with our little dictators.
The pictures are from Sagamihara Asamizo Park. They have a petting zoo and horse riding for kids.