Wednesday, October 8, 2008

All About Mornings - Breakfast 101-3

What if Your Poky Eater Makes Everyone Late?

Some families set a breakfast time range. We've talked about enforceable statements before. These statements allow children to stay in control while parents define only what they will do.

One option: With little ones, the family schedule needs to allow enough time in the morning for a reasonable amount of time to eat. or some children, taking time becomes a manipulation or control issue. A parent might then say, "Breakfast is served from 7:00 - 7:30 AM. Feel free to eat as much as you want in that half hour. At 7:30 the table is cleared." What if they don't get finished in time because they showed up at 7:25? Leading heavily with sincere empathy, the parent picks up the dishes and clears the table without lecture or warnings or explanation. They could simply say, "This is so sad. Breakfast is served from 7:00-7:30 AM and the table is cleared at 7:30." This is just one option and some parents would not feel comfortable doing this. All parents should experiment to see what works for them but it is okay to set a boundary and stick to it.

What if your child does not wake up in time for breakfast? (See Previous Post Waking Up 101)

What if it's time to leave and they haven't eaten? Are we talking about 3 year olds or older and an absence of illness? Some parents would surmise that if a child has had food in front of them and enough time to eat in an unhurried manner then a hungry child would eat. Love and Logic suggests a parent should avoid threatening, nagging or bribing a child to finish while consistently and lovingly following through with empathy and allowing the child to experience the consequences of their own actions. When they are hungry, they will eat and chances are school lunch is just 4 or 5 hours away. Its okay to leave.

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