For lunch today, M and I were having peas. I always let him play with his food because play is just as important as eating. But then he wanted to play with my peas, and I told him, "You can play with your peas if you want to, but I'm eating mine." He got angry and chucked a pea at me!
From here, I could have told him not to throw his food at me, but that wasn't going solve anything because he was already frustrated and bored, and the rest of the meal would have been a struggle for both of us. So instead of trying teach manners and how to handle feelings better, I chose fun. I threw a pea back him and said, "Oh yeah? Take that!" And just like that, he was all giggles. 😁 We spent the rest of lunch in a furiously fun food fight.
There will be plenty of times, I'll have no choice but to teach him how to handle emotions better, like when he inevitably hits someone. But a thrown pea? Well, that's just a recipe for a food fight. 😉 That's what they mean when they say "choose your battles," right?
M will learn manners. He'll learn by the examples we set and the gentle guidance we offer. But when he looks back on his childhood, I want him to remember so much more than me harping and teaching. I want him to remember the food fights, the joy, the laughter.
Now I challenge you to surprise your kids with a food fight! Bonus points if you do it to lighten the mood and change the atmosphere of your home into something silly and positive. Just imagine the shock on your kids' faces. The smiles. The laughter. The forever memory of "that one time mom started a food fight." Then comment here or find me on Facebook to tell me about it!
Related post: This What Gentle Parenting Shows My Child