How to get kids to the dinner table: get an attitude

Nov 9, 2009 by

I like to say it’s never too late to change. While in theory, it’s never too late, the reality is that sometimes, for various reasons, it just is.

Whether it’s too late for you to start serving real meals and getting your kids to…

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Taking a Detour: One good way to neutralize a kid’s food resistance

Oct 11, 2009 by

ConklinbookDSC_8156 “Yuck! I don’t want any of that!” your little one says when she gets to the table and sees the healthy dish you’ve lovingly prepared. You feel pretty strongly about her eating it. So what comes next?

Which is closest to your reaction?

a) “You have to eat one bite.”

b) “If you eat it all, you can have some dessert.”

c) “If you don’t…

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How to use Masterly Inactivity to Win Your Child to Healthy Eating for Life

Jan 9, 2009 by

This post was featured in the Charlotte Mason blog carnival on Aug. 3, 2009.

You want to do something. You could do something. But you don’t.

“Masterly inactivity” describes this choice of the wise parent to restrain, when her urgings, grounded in her culture and upbringing, press her to speak or act.

The child who learns to enjoy what is good for her is the child whose parents have exercised a “wise passiveness,” a purposeful letting alone at the right moments.

What are some ways we can exercise restraint at the right time when serving dinner?

· You can and should purposely cook foods that are “good for you,” but it’s counterproductive to tell your kid your reasons and even worse to take further steps to induce them to eat.

· You have leftovers or other perishables that need to be eaten. Serve them first to a hungry eater. Do you not apologize,…

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The Best Way to the Stomach is Through the Heart

Jan 2, 2009 by

When my first baby started wanting to feed himself around age one, he made such messes that I made the short-sighted error of continuing to spoon-feed him myself rather than just go through it. I missed the window of opportunity when he wanted to do it, and when he turned three, I was still feeding him. I really wanted to stop but didn’t know how.

Dr. Spock to the rescue! The almost instant solution he provided required little more than me getting out of the way to naturally shift the force of will from me to my son.

Putting good food in front of him when he was hungry and then casually being unavailable to spoon it into his mouth revived his desire to do it himself.

Such a “wise…

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Masterly Inactivity: Using Sphinx-Like Repose to End the Food Fight with Picky Eaters

Dec 30, 2008 by

If your kids don’t like the foods you want them to eat, you need to do less instead of more about it.

A “wise passiveness,” as William Wordsworth called it, is prescribed.

“Wise and purposeful letting alone is the best part of education,” writes educational reformer Charlotte Mason. That includes the education of taste and good habits in eating.

“Masterly inactivity,” an expression of Thomas Carlyle’s brought to life in detail by Mason, is the perfect balance between being a dictator and a doormat. It is a letting alone that is rooted in insight. A parent’s wise self-restraint is grounded in the authority and self-confidence of experience and knowledge, which the child lacks and needs.

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