Last night I was doing a training course from 7pm to 10 pm. It has been very hard to find someone to help me look after my son while I do this TAE course which involves around 8 sessions of study face to face between 7 pm and 10 pm. Not one person is willing to help me except a very obliging person who did help me out last night. A very nice person, but some one who does not have children and has no idea how to handle them.
I came in to pick my son up at 10 pm and there were two half empty cans of Coca Cola on the table. One was bad enough, but two and apart from the fact it is the first time my son has had this vile concoction that passes for fluid that some people see fit to abuse their bodies by drinking it. I was furious, but I kept my cool because this person does not have children. My son was eating chips and the well meaning person had bought him some smoked salmon in a packet. He likes smoked salmon, my son. Rather expensive tastes I know.
When I asked him 'Why is he eating chips? How come he has not one, but two cans of cola? That is something my son never has.' As far as I am concerned Coke Cola is treif and I will argue that with the heads of Kosher Australia themselves. It damages teeth, health and is full of additives. Look at those people who drink Cola every day. Watch them closely and you will find there is something insidiously irrational about them. It's not them. It's what they eat and drink.
Anyway the answer was,'he wanted it.'
'AHAH,' I thought to myself as light bulbs flashed. 'You are so stupid Ilana. You expected this person without children to know what to feed a child.' The fault was mine. I was not specific enough and should have, when I gave the money to this person specified exactly what to buy him for dinner. A hamburger with salad and NO soft drinks. No soft drinks ever. The Fanta and Coke companies probably hate my guts for this. They would be out of business if every one was like me.
And coming to the next point, you never ask a kid what do you want to eat? You are the parent. Your role is to guide and form that child in the right directions. You can give choices like the following for example, 'Ok, you can have a hamburger and salad or a schnitzel and salad in a roll.'
'But Mummy there's chips. I want chips.'
'No chips. They are off the menu.'
'I want chips. I want chips.'
'Chips are off the menu. Hamburger or schnitzel or nothing. Understood. Good, you will have schnitzel. Wise choice.' You have very appropriately and kindly broadened the choices for the child and one day he or she will thank you for it. If they choose nothing, so be it. They will not die of starvation in even two days. Yes, I am a bitch, but you have to be raising kids sometimes. You can't always be nice and kind.
You need as a parent to make the decisions for your child in his or her best interests. Do not load your child with the responsibilities that you as a parent need to address. They are children. Some decision making processes are good and appropriate. However you as the parent need to guide your child or children in healthy eating habits, sane and appropriate behaviour (that is the difficult one for many years) and appropriate dress and manners.