Bed without dinner – not as a punishment but more-so as in the child refuses to eat what you’ve made for dinner. Look, I am no short order cook and while I realize my children will not like everything that is made for dinner, I do my very best to avoid serving up food someone loathes.
This happened here the other night at dinner. We had spaghetti with meat sauce, something we’ve had numerous times before. The kids don’t like the sauce with tomato chunks in it, so we now have a very boring sauce over our noodles. I’ve done everything possible to make this dish to their liking while still being able to call it spaghetti. On this particular evening, son #1 decided he ‘hates spaghetti’ and of course, I should know this! So he proceeds to ask me why I made something I know he hates and then tells me he is NOT eating it. Okay…so I found myself faced with the dilemma; that’s what’s for dinner, eat it or starve OR make him something else.
I chose to stand my ground and told him when he gets hungry enough, he’ll eat it because he’s not getting anything else. No, I did not make him sit there at the table and stare at his food. I told him when he’s ready to come to me and I’ll heat some up for him. He never ate. He whined about how hungry he was, but refused to eat the spaghetti. He went to bed without dinner, or anything else for that matter.
I’ve been criticized for this. I’ve been told to ‘pick my battles’ – and well, I did, this was a battle. I am not going to get in the habit of making 3 – 4 different meals every night to please everyone. That is not only a crazy idea, but it’s ridiculously expensive!
By the way, the next time we had spaghetti for dinner he ate it without batting an eye. I guess he forgot he hates it…