When my clients hear we are going to start with trying to work on making meal time more positive, I often get these confused stares. One family in particular asked, “Okay, what does being more positive have to do with him eating better?” It’s a common theme, especially when parent can’t seem to put themselves in their picky child’s shoes.
Today, I want you to show you what is feels like to be in their shoes and how to change meal time to be more positive.
Several years ago I worked with a family to address their son’s picky eater. As is common in many families of a picky eaters, they wanted to blame the child for his issues with food. However, during the process of working with me, Dad had a real revelation when he felt uncomfortable at the table himself.
Dad explained while feeding the picky eater’s younger sibling she kept trying to give dad food. She was pushing it at him and getting upset when he wouldn’t eat it. When Dad came in for the next follow-up he said, “I finally get it, my daughter was trying to force me to try to eat something I didn’t want. I was finally able to put myself in my son’s shoes and understand what that felt like when we did that to him too.”
So, it got me thinking, what would it be like if someone treated us adults the way a picky eater is often treated at the table. Low and behold this video depicts exactly what it would look like. Take a watch now…
It’s important to understand that what our children eats isn’t ours to control.
Trusting our child to do a good job with eating yields much better results. By following the trust model of feeding (AKA The Division of Responsibility of Feeding), you do your job by deciding what, when and where to serve the food. In return, you can then trust your child to decide what to eat from what is served and how much to eat.
When we make “getting” the child to eat our main agenda they know.
The child will resist as a way to seek power and autonomy over their own eating. However, when you focus on your job and can relax with the rest they too can focus on eating rather than the power struggle.
Take a look at how much more comfortable this situation looks like with the kids!
Everyone is able to enjoy their meal and do a good job!
Now it’s time to make mealtime more enjoyable for your whole family!
Thanks for reading! I hope you found this helpful. Have you ever felt uncomfortable at the table and forced to eat something you didn’t like? Do you notice this pressure negatively impacts your child’s eating? Feel free to comment below!