Wednesday, December 4, 2013


^^most dinners look like this at the Mitchell abode^^

Sitting at the table trying to eat a meal, you'll often hear me pleading with Ramona to eat.
Cody and I play ridiculous games to get her to take 'just a few more bites', 
to 'sit still', to 'watch out for your cup so you don't spill'.
A whole meal will pass without us talking about anything besides, well, eating.
The whole thing is tiring, frustrating, and there are so many more things
that we should be talking about when we have that time together.

Recently I had an epiphany, of the Behavioral Psychologist sort:
we have conditioned her to need that constant direction when at the table, 
simply because we haven't shown her that we trust her to do it adequately herself.
We have create a little girl who wants to push her limits,
because we have set at unrealistic number of them.

To our credit, she is one hyper kid who has always eaten well 
- in that she will eat anything - 
but her attention is usually limited to just a few small bites. 
In the beginning, controlling her at the table was a matter of her health.
Now, she is incredibly healthy, developmentally bounding over her peers, and is growing like a weed.

The frustration associated with mealtime is on me,
and that is one devastating realization to this loving mama.

Confession: I am, and always have been, a control freak.
Parenting has made this known fact glaringly clear.
I am constantly reflecting on things that I could let up on, things that shouldn't matter to me at all.
I'm getting better with time, age, reason.
Whatever the cause, I am relaxing. Slowly.

This is one, specific goal that I have set for myself.
At the table, Ramona will no longer hear her parents rushing dinner along, 
reminding her of manners, telling her to finish, or worrying about messes.
We are going to give her that freedom, teach her to take responsibility for herself, and hopefully gain a little sanity in return.


A few things we've already started to do that are working towards that goal:

Ramona sets the table.
She loves having a "job," and she is learning to be responsible and that we trust her
to find everything we need and put it where it goes.
At her age, this is a perfect life skills activity.

Talking about meaningful things instead of the food.
This doesn't need an explanation. It is so so important.

Biting my tongue.
I still have a ways to go before I'm there,
but I've noticed that the things that would normally bother me
are getting to me less because I'm not focusing on them.
Who would've thought?


1 comment:

  1. we've the same problem with our daughter, but now we've also decided to let her eat what she wants to... i mean, she won't die by famine, and if she doesn't eat well at lunch she'll recover for dinner... i think that she makes all that movies at the table just because she wants to finish on our knees and eat with us...