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Thread: gentle parenting does work

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2004

    Default gentle parenting does work

    i thought i would share my journey zak's challenges about eating dinner in the hope it may give other parents strength to continue gentle parenting techniques because eventually they do work.

    Zak has never wanted to eat his dinner from an early age, he would breastfeed happily at the table though. every night my partner or i would serve dinner for him and the family, we would let him know it was there, he then would either sit down and talk with us and not touch his food, stand up and talk with us and not touch his food or would yell out no thank you and not come near us and play instead. His dinner was left there until he went to bed so if he wanted it re heated we would do it. we discussed and encluded the children in buying and preparation meals which he loved doing, yet still no eating. we never made a big deal about it and of course i ensured his diet was healthy for his other meals so he didn't miss out too much nutritionally. we knew we didn't want to make it a big deal about it. then, of his own initiative, he started to eat some of it after everyone else was finished, then a little of it with us until all this week he has sat down with us and eaten his dinner. yay. gently gently catch the monkey! ok not a bad effort for 7 years.

    this is how he decided to use the toilet too. slowly slowly slowly always at his own pace.

    i am excited.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Mid North Coast NSW


    That's great Beckles! It must feel so rewarding for your efforts to pay off!

  3. #3
    angelfish Guest


    Thanks for sharing that encouraging story.

    My big whinge is this. How come, when gentle parenting works, people say stuff like "Oh, but he's just a naturally quiet/obedient/co-operative child"? And yet, when we have problems, they say "Well it's your own fault for being so permissive/letting him manipulate you, he just needs a good smack", etc?


  4. #4
    Lee-Ann Guest


    Beckles that is soooo good, congratulations. I never made my kids eat their dinner if they didn't want to and when they were young they'd go to bed and then get out and say "I'm hungry", so I'd make them a sandwich and send them back to bed to be eaten in there. They'd eat their sandwich and go to sleep. Now that they are 9 & 11 they are great eaters and eat their dinner with us. I just never made a big deal out of them not eating their dinner and it hasn't affected the way the eat now.

  5. #5
    *Yvette* Guest


    I totally agree with your approach Beckles, though personally I would not have left the meal available after meal time had finished.

    Angus is having a throw food on the floor phase atm. It's so frustrating to see him tip a whole bowl of food on the floor without tasting it when you've been very careful to only give him something you're sure he likes.

    The thing is, little kids don't like foods mixed together and don't like it hot. We were confused the other day when we were in a cafe and he threw hot chips on the floor, when we knew he loved them and had just been eating them. But we'd just got a fresh plate. Once they'd gone cold he wanted them. Yesterday DH was surprised that he refused lovingly made banana sandwiches. But he'd eat a plain piece of wholemeal bread and plain pieces of banana.

    The thing is, at the moment it doesn't really matter if he eats nothing but vegemite sandwiches, milk and bananas.

    My older girls are good eaters and like veggies, and I've never forced them to eat. I am pretty strict though, and if they don't eat at meal time, they don't get to go have a bowl of cereal an hour later or have dessert. With little kids though, if everyone's having desert you can't really enforce this all the time. We often have our desert after Angus has gone to bed at the moment.

    They'll never starve themselves, so I totally agree that it's best never to make them eat or make a big deal out of it. Just make good food available to them and try not to worry.

    Oh, another thing, they go through stages of eating like birds and eating everything in sight. I'm convinced it's related to their growth spurts. Also, I think it's good to judge portions as best you can, and never make them finish everything on their plate if they say they're full, as I think that can lead to overeating issues later in life. I do tell the older girls though that if they can't eat it all, do have the meat & veggies & leave some of the carbs ie spuds or rice or whatever if it's too much.

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