When I was growing up, the dinner mom made was the dinner we got. If we didn't like it, that was too bad. For the most part, I don't remember having trouble eating whatever she made, though. Vegetables might have been a different story, but overall, we all sat down, had dinner, and then continued down to the family room to watch Nick and Nite together (back when Mr. Ed and the Donna Reed show were the main shows).
She was not a short-order chef. She did not make something different for me and my sister. We had to eat what was on our plate.
I assumed that things would go the same for me when I grew up and had a family.
Because of my upbringing, I do not feel I should make something else if one of the kids doesn't like what we're having. I've tried to just do what I've read - if they don't like it, they don't get dinner. I don't make them sit there until it's complete, if we're all finished and they still haven't eaten, I will tell them, "When it's 8:00 and you're still hungry, you'll need to just remember that you had your chance to eat dinner." More often than not, I will not clear their plates. I will leave it at the table, and when they're hungry enough, they will come back.
But every now and then, even if it's 8:00 pm and they appear to be starving, they will not eat it. The other night, both Sarah and Gabriel did take one bite, which is what I require of them. They have to at least try it! When they've taken a bite and I can tell they genuinely don't like it, that's when I have a hard time not making them a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or something. There are foods that I can't stand, too, and I know that if I had a choice (for example) of sauerkraut or going to bed hungry, a growling tummy is what I'd have that night!
So what are your dinner rules? Do you ever "give in" and make something else? Should I stick to my guns and just let them go without eating?
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