It’s time for family rules
Is there drama at your dinner table?
Family meals can be a drag.
Everyone is tired at the end of a long day.
Parents don’t always align on what is a “suitable” dinner, from the meal to the behaviour of each family members.
Kids don’t always know what is expected from them.
And because the act of eating is more complex than simply shoving down food, there can be a lot of tension at the dinner table.
Eating is more than just swallowing food.
Family rules ensure all family members are on the same page
It starts with the parents.
Parents need to have a good discussion about their vision of family dinners, healthy meals, and what they want to teach and model for their kids surrounding food.
When parents make common front, kids know that the family is headed in one united direction!
Are you and your partner on the same page? What are your family rules?
Family rules to stick by!
Kids need to know what is expected of them at the table. What kind of behaviour is unacceptable, and what are the consequences of not respecting the rules.
Like with anything else, being clear, being constant, and repeating the family rules will ensure that you will have peaceful family meals…most days!
It is up to the parents to establish clear family rules, so you can start by asking yourself: What is the most important for me? The other parent can do the same. You’ve got to pick your battles, so what are you ready to fight for?
Having clear rules help parents re-focus on what’s truly important, and it inform kids what behaviour they are expected to adopt. Of course you might find 23598684 things important about nutrition, food, behaviour at the table, etc. but are you ready to fight for all of them? Are you setting yourself up for failure as you’ll inevitably dilute your efforts and authority? We suggest to choose 5 rules. 5 rules you and your partner agree are the most important ones for everyone in your household to adopt.
Here are Maude’s family rules
Now, yours could be totally different…and it doesn’t matter! We suggest 5 rules that you will ensure are respected rather than a long never ending list of changing rules. You and your partner need to know what to focus on. Kids need to know what is acceptable and not acceptable at the dinner table. They also need to know there are consequences when the rules are not respected. Not everything will be perfect at every meal, but are your 5 rules “enforced”?
Rules can evolve with time as your kids grow up, or if you feel an aspect needs to be improved or is not relevant anymore.
5 family rules worth fighting for. Parents make common front + kids know how to act.
If you had to only pick one family rule: The Golden Rule
We won’t tell you which rule to adopt (unless you want us to assess your family situation and make recommendations!), but if you only had to pick one, it would be the Golden Rule:
Parents decide When, Where, How and What.
Kids decide If and How much.
No second meal cooked for picky eaters, but no one is force to eat anything either.
Exposure to new and familiar food items are the key to slowly get kids interested and willing to taste new food (or not). While kids are developing their abilities to eat and discover new flavours, parents are developing their abilities to let go and refrain from commenting!
For your other family rules, it is up to you and your partner to establish them for your family.
No one is here to judge what you feel is important or not.
Simply remember that kids do better when they have clear guidelines!
What are you rules at home? How do you ensure they are respected?
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