Exploring parenting styles when it comes to feeding has proven to be more complicated and time consuming than I thought when I started this blog series. Not only does feeding our children relate to our parenting style but so does discipline and ethics, therefore making what appeared to be a simple topic explode into a larger can of worms per se. Chelsea choice is especially hard because she is likely the best way to describe me. It can be difficult to explore the reasons why your children may not eat the way you expect. So lets see why I am now in the predicament that I am in.
Chelsea is a parent that has always given choices. I personally went down the path of Attached Parenting parenting method. In this method the focus was to not neglect the emotional sides of your child by allowing them to nurse till they weaned themselves, co-sleep and baby wearing as much as possible in slings. The way I interpreted the parenting style was to also provide choices. The parenting books stressed the importance of allowing a child to choose and the child will eventually make the right choices.
In effect, because I did not always focus on the healthier choices and allowed unhealthy choices into meal times these choices eventually took over leading us to where we are now. A world of mac and cheese, soy nuggets, tacos and limited intake of vegetables. Chelsea and I also became short order cooks. We are exhausted and now in a cycle of providing unhealthy processed foods.
So where do we go from here?
The idea behind letting a child make a choice is strong but in reality, unless a parent is willing to have a predetermined plan about what the child eats, then unhealthy habits will form. In order for Chelsea to be successful she has to pre-plan the weeks menu for the entire family, focus on the healthy choices and limit the unhealthy choices. She can let the child make choices at the grocery store and possibly help with meal planning and preparation, but only what is initially chosen by her.
Children are flexible and I strongly agree that eating habits can be changed without a lot of drama and whining.
What do you think? Are you like Chelsea too?