Monday, July 30, 2012

Picking your battles

Every parents knows you have  to pick  your battles when it comes to kids, or you will  drive yourself freaking crazy! And  the battles that  each parent chooses to pick are very different.

For our family, I consider  myself to be very laid back. I  do *not* pick battles over things that  many other people do. I have never really done schedules ....I've  tried  from time to time but it never  really sticks. I  also don't  pick  the TV battle. I watch  a lot of tv, so does  Lee, and I sort of figure it comes with  the territory that the girls do too. I feel  i was pretty successful in life and didn't suffer too much brain rot, so I'm not overly concerned about the girls either ;-) Another  battle  I  choose not to pick  is  picking up toys. Frankly, it's way easier for me to do it anyways.  I  do have them help some, but when I see them distracted and off doing something else in the middle of clean up time I just let it go.

There are probably about 1 million other battles I don't pick....these are the ones I can think of off the top of my head :-P

BUT, over  the last week  I've picked two battles....and every parent also knows that when  you decide to pick  a battle, you better win! The first battle I  picked is manners. Raya had gotten into the bad habit  of demanding things "turn on my show. I want a snack. Get my blanket." .....and then if I'd comment on being rude she'd say "pleeeeeeeeeeeease"....and thought that solved it. But it was really getting on my nerves so I picked a battle....and now she *must* say "may I please have....." or "would you please get...." etc. And then  after I  do she must say "thanks". If she doesn't do this then I ignore her or say "I don't hear you" and that cues her  to remember the magic wording ;-)

The second battle  I've decided to pick  is FOOD. Now first, everyone who knows me knows that I couldn't care less about health food. I don't do organic, I  don't subsitute weird seeds and oats in my food, I  don't make strange smoothie concoctions, etc. Frankly, I  think there are probably about 10,000 other  ways I'm going to die that  have nothing to do with artificial sweetners and corn syrups LOL....so I don't care.

But what  *does* drive me crazy is that the girls had slowly gotten to the point  that they were eating NO VARIETY! I mean, the same 4 food items over and over again. And a couple of those (yogurt and applesauce) are healthy in my book....but  still, the lack  of variety and opposition to trying new things was killing me! So I put my foot down. We now have *at least* 4 different items for every meal. One can be a "love it" item (like Raya's  beloved grilled cheese or granola bar, etc.) and then one can be a healthy item that  they  like (such as yogurt)....but then the other two+ things  must be items they normally refuse to eat. And they must eat at a least a few bites! Today for instance we did mandarin oranges and green beans for there new items (which I've offered many times before, but haven't forced them to eat haha).

Raya stuck  with  the  go-to mac n cheese lol

Brielle  stuck  with her favorite--peach yogurt!
But the new rule is, you must  eat at least 2 bites  of everything before having seconds of another item. I figure this at least gets them trying new things! And if they  want dessert they must clean their plate.

We had tantrums for about 2 days, and then  since  then Miss  Raya has been  doing great! The girl loves her dessert haha (today it was a pudding cup :-)

Cleaned her  plate!
I  don't like to encourage overeating by  making them clean their plates, so I'm fine if they are done after just  trying everything---but  I figure that if they are still hungry enough for dessert then they better clean their plate.

This system has been  harder for Brielle to learn because she can't understand the idea of bribery (getting seconds/dessert) so I'm walking a fine line with her because I have to give the illusion of enforcing the rules with Brielle or Raya will cry foul haha. So Brielle didn't  get dessert today because she turned her nose up at green beans and oranges!


Hopefully Brielle catches  on soon :-)

So, which battles do you guys  choose to pick, and which do you let slide?!

18 comments:

  1. Love the food idea, I agree all four babies need to be tring as many foods as possible!!! I need to get some of those divider plates, where did you get them?
    Love,
    Grama F

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    1. Yes, like Amy said you can sometimes find them in the dollar section at Target---these I got in the regular dishes section at Target---they were like $3 (I must have missed the $1 ones this time!)

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  2. We choose battles too. But the ones we are the same on is manners. That's a big one in our house. Kaylee was the same way demanding things and being rude. So we've enforced her asking nicely for what she wants or she doesn't get it. Kaylee is still my picky eater when it comes to dinner and Keira is such an awesome eater, she eats anything and everything which is nice.

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    1. Yes, Raya has always kind of demanded things, but I think as she gets older I start to interpret it more and more as being officially snotty and not just "toddler" behavior!

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  3. Grama F, I saw your comment and wanted to let you know that I found some of those plates in the dollar section at Target. Can't beat $1 :)

    I love your honesty. Probably because I think I'm very similar. I think with Kyla I need to just be more consistent with the battles I do choose to take on. Sometimes I'm just too tired to care if she's doing certain things, but other times I tell her no. I know that's horrible though. I love your food idea too. I will definitely be doing this as the kids grow up. And we LOVE desserts at our house so hopefully that will help :)

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    1. I'm a huge dessert person too haha. Lee makes fun of me, but I just gotta have it! :-)

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  4. This post is just perfect! I have never been one to be on a schedule. I have a couple of friends who live their entire life by a schedule and can't do certain things because it's "not part of their kids routines". Life isn't routine, so the first time something goes wrong in their "routine" their kids will probably freak right out. That's my opinion on that. The other thing is about food. I'm not picky about what Emma eats, however I refuse to make a seperate meal for her. She eats what we eat, but then again she isn't picky at all. Anyway...my reply to this is long enough, I could probably go on and on about this topic! But I love your honesty on this! =)

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    1. I feel the same way about routines! Just recently someone was saying they couldn't go out to eat with their sister because they wouldn't be home by their daughter's bedtime. I refuse to spend years of my life making sure I'm home in time for an 8pm curfew! ;-)

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  5. The food idea is GREAT! Thanks for posting this!!

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  6. Haha I love your honesty too! I'm similar with the food one, but Hudson is so darn picky and just doesn't eat much. i've got to the point of hiding food. Like mixing baby food veggies with his spaghetti and stuff lol! But I love your dessert idea, once Hudson understand bribes I'll have to remember that one. Im still learning to pick my battles though, i'm not very consistent but I need to get better at it. I used to battle TV.....but Mickey let's me clean so I gave up!

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    1. I tried hiding baby food in the past, but it's like my girls can sniff out the difference! Raya would sit there smelling the food and licking it to determine what was "off" haha.

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  7. Love the plates!

    I agree on the food situation. We only make the girls try a couple bites and never make them clean their plate. And we don't do organic or anything, because I feel I lived eating "normal" and am just fine. :)

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    1. I know, for real. I don't get the organic thing haha. ( I mean, I do get what it is....I just haven't bought into the whole idea that I'm going to die if my milk cows aren't grass fed ;-)

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  8. Love the plates. My kids have a bed time and when we are home i try and stick to it. If its not the exact bed time we have set, we try and get them to bed within a half hour of that time. But if we are out and about late, bed time is when we get home. I choose sharing battles. Cam always plays or messes with Sams toys, but has an absolute fit when she touches his toys. I also do the "if you want seconds or desert you clear your plate". But the battle i let go most often is tv, i usually dont mind the kids watching tv but they watch duch different shows that they have to share the tv!

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    1. Oh yeah, that would be hard! My girls at least like watching the same shows!

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  9. I'm totally the same way. Not strict, etc. But the girls eating habits need to get better so I'm going to try your way :)

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