From Babycenter.com’s Toddler 23 Months Email alert:
Your toddler may wield a fork and spoon like a pro and drink out of a cup without spilling, but that doesn’t mean mealtimes are smooth sailing just yet. He may be more interested in conducting little science experiments on his tray table — like pouring his orange juice into his cereal bowl — than eating. Or he may insist on sitting on your lap and eating what’s on your plate rather than what you’ve placed in front of him. While it’s a good idea to start setting limits during meals, don’t force your child to eat or expect full compliance with your rules.
Seriously?? Don’t expect full compliance? Oh my word! No wonder kids today are such freakin’ brats! When I tell my almost-two year old to do something, I expect him to do it. Does he always? No. But when he doesn’t obey momma (or daddy), he spends a minute in the “Bad Chair”. You know what that means? He obeys me! He is a good kid! He’s not running through the stores throwing tempers, he sits in his own chair at the table, eats with his fork almost all the time (corn still eludes him, and occasionally he uses his fingers still.). He plays nicely with his Brother and Sister, and already knows the meaning of “share”, at 23 months old!
This is the same reason we have so many overweight kids in America. Over the summer, I watched in horror as a cousin handed her 2 year old (who was twice the size – width-wise – of my 5 year old) a plate of ice cream, why? Because he was crying. And why was he crying? Because he didn’t want to share. Over the course of the next week, every time I saw this particular cousin and her child, the kids would start crying for no apparent reason, the mom would shove food into his hands, just to make him shut up. What? No! You teach that kid how to share, and how to control his appetite. Not shove food down his throat every time he cries.
Everyone who meets my kids declares they are some of the sweetest most well-behaved kids they’ve ever known (no exaggeration, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that!) They are not fat, but they aren’t skin and bone either. They look healthy, they eat healthy, and they act in a well-behaved manner. That takes more than just luck, that takes good parenting.
To quote Dr. Laura, “Don’t have them, if you won’t raise them.” And, yea… Shoving food down the kids mouth every time it cries, isn’t raising your kid. Letting your kid dictate what goes on at the family table…. Isn’t raising your kid. Your the Parent not the best friend, so act like it!