Friday, February 20, 2009

I Hate Feeding My Kids

Just a moment to rant.

I love to cook. I have for as long as I can remember. When I have time to really plan and prepare a wonderful meal for my family and friends, there is nothing I would rather do. It relaxes me, gives me time to think, and is just enjoyable. I think part of it is knowing that I am nourishing people I love with something I made. Some people don't get it, and think I am crazy when I want to cook for crowds of people, but it is honestly one of my favorite things to do.

So why do I hate cooking for my kids??? I shouldn't say that. I don't hate cooking for them, but I do hate sitting down to eat with them most days. My kids are good eaters, for the most part. Sure, they each have certain things they don't like, but for the most part, they eat very well. In fact, my son is often threatened with no more fruit in order to get him to eat a grilled cheese! But the mealtime process has become an abomination in our house.

Now I do all the things those parenting magazines and books say to do. I sit down and eat with my kids, model good manners and table etiquette, and carry on conversations with them about things they have been doing. But for some reason, it always melts down into a mess of screaming, yelling, blowing raspberries, table banging, nonsense talking, and using our plates and bowls for hats. And I have absolutely no idea how to get it to stop. It happens at breakfast, lunch and dinner, regardless of amount of sleep or how healthy they are. I have tried sending them to the naughty spot (over and over and over again), setting timers, taking away their food, and anything else I can think of, but nothing seems to sink in. Many mornings one or all of us is in tears trying to get through breakfast and get out the doors. This afternoon I took away Georgia's lunch and sent her upstairs for her rest, because I couldn't take it any longer. I am getting to the point where I just can not stand the thought of sitting down for another meal with my kids.

Now of course Georgia is a perfect manner-using angel for snack-time at school, but when her brother is around she manages to forget that she knows how to behave and becomes a 2 year-old all over again. My other dilemma is that since she knows how she should be behaving, and Noah is still learning manners and testing our limits, how do I discipline? Do I punish her, and not him? Do they get the same discipline, even though they have very different capabilities to understand why they are being punished? How do I show her that it is so much better to act like a big girl and show her brother how he is supposed to behave, when acting like a 2 year old is clearly more fun? I tell Alex all the time that I would gladly pay to have someone else come in and sit with my kids while they eat, and that it would take away half of my daily stress about parenting. I know there are people out there who will potty-train, sleep-train, and teach my children Chinese. But is there anyone out there who will come in and teach my kids how to behave like freakin' human beings?

Please.....give me some hope and advice to get us back on track. Of course, in about 2 years we will be back here again, when this next little boy is screwing up our table manners all over again!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment