I often have mums asking me whether they should continue to try to coax their child into eating their tea, when they have hardly eaten anything for fear of sending them to bed on an empty stomach.
The simple fact is no child will deliberately starve themselves, many kids become fussy eaters at some point while others seem to love the extra attention they get from being some what naughty at tea time.
If your child throws their food onto the floor, use the 3 second rule get what you can that’s clean back onto the plate or bin it. There is nothing else, no second helping and certainly no pudding.
This is where many mums fail, as they get mummy guilt that they are going to send their kids to bed hungry. Well I am afraid that’s tuff luck, they soon learn that meals are there for a certain amount of time and are to be ate.
There is a huge difference to a child not liking the food or the child having no appetite due to illness, but for those kids who make such a fuss its time to learn that if they don’t eat up, there is nothing else.
Feeding a family of 8 as there is in my house is time consuming and costly, we will make 2 meals even 3 when we all fancy something difference but on normal days we all eat the same, we make meals that all the family enjoys and if you don’t eat it, then that’s it till supper time.
I have witnessed the screaming fits, from not wanting to sit in the high chair to throwing food onto the floor before even attempting a mouthful. I have seen a child sit and refuse to eat, deciding to sit and watch the plate of food instead. Either way after everyone has finished eating that’s it, the waste goes into the bin and those that ate a fair amount get a desert, the ones who didn’t don’t. Oh what a cruel mummy I am. (Yes I have been known to give in).
But I would never send my kids to bed hungry, a slice of toast is always offered at super time if nothing else, if they decide they don’t want this either then I assume they are not hungry and off they go to bed. I have never had a child wake to tell me they are hungry, I have never had a child cry to tell me they are hungry.
I witness some mums who do use the go to bed hungry method as a form of punishment for bad behaviour at the dinner table or for refusing to eat. I personally do not recommend this.
If a child misbehaves while the family is sat down eating, then remove the child from the room, sit them on the naughty step or use the method you have in place, not send them to bed at tea time to stay there for the remainder of the night.
Am I wrong in thinking sending a child to bed on an empty stomach and expecting them to not eat for say 14 hours ( Sent to bed at 6pm to not eat breakfast till 8am) is a form of abuse?
So my dear readers I ask you – Is sending a child to bed hungry a form of abuse? Leave me a comment to let me know your views.
A Debate Corner Post By The Real Supermum