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4 Moms of 35+ Kids Answer Reader Questions

The 4 Moms of 35+ Kids are answering reader questions again. Here are the questions I will tackle today:

How do you deal with picky eaters?

Mostly we don't deal with them at all because around here, "you get what you get and you don't throw a fit". If a child doesn't like what is served, he or she has the option of not eating it and waiting until the next mealtime rolls around to see what else will be offered.

We don't force our children to eat, and neither do we make special meals for picky eaters. Our menu is varied enough and I am aware of what my children like, so that to ensure they have enough of what they like that they aren't going days without eating.

We also teach our children that it is rude to make unfavorable comments about the food. These would include, "I don't like this," "This smells weird," "Yuck," "Why did you make this again?" etc. They understand that if they do not like it, that is okay. They should eat whatever they want and sit quietly, participating in the dinner discussion, until they are excused.

There are times I am served something I do not care for, but I do not announce that to the hostess or ask her to make a different dish for me.

Do you have potty training tips?

I have written in detail about potty training tips before. My most helpful tips would be:

  • Be sure to wait for readiness. This is usually about age 2.5 - 3 in our family.
  • Use a timer, set for every hour to remind you and the child it is time to go again.
  • Use a reward system for success.

How do you get your young children to stay in bed at night?

We apparently have very acrobatic babies because each one has been able to climb out of the baby bed well before the age of 2. Each time this new skill is learned, we must teach the baby that when she is put to bed for a nap or for the night, she must stay until it is wake-up time.

This usually involves a short-lived contest of wills and an unpleasant consequence for disobeying.

By the time the baby is moved out of the baby bed and into a regular bed, she has learned (hopefully) that going to bed means staying there.

This does require some time and diligence on the part of the parent, because every child wants to see if Mama really means what Mama says. I usually stand just out of view, so as to catch the little escapee in the act and to reinforce the idea that Mama is to be obeyed. After a few days of this routine, the child usually gets with the program and complies.

Now, if during this training, the child is allowed to get up to get drinks or hugs or to tell you something, you may as well forget the whole thing. If there is no consistency in expecting him to stay in bed, you should expect him to get out of bed with regularity.

Of course, we make sure they understand that if there is an emergency involving fire or blood then they should certainly get out of bed.

Be sure to see what questions the rest of my 4 Moms of 35+ Kids team are answering today!

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  1. What about getting children to stay in their beds in the middle of the night? We have very little (really, no) disobedience about getting out of bed at bedtime, but have a sneaky little 3yo who shows up in our bed while we’re sleeping. Sometimes, I don’t even know he’s there until I get up to nurse the baby. When we take him back to his bed, he often begins to cry, which wakes up his little brother, who then wants up, too. Cue 3 crying children at 3 AM. Ugh. You must surely handle this better than we do!

  2. Sheila, Mama to Seven says:

    Just wanted to say, I’m with ya, on all accounts!
    I particularly don’t understand why someone would allow a child to live out being a “picky” eater. It makes me tired just to think about making every meal to everyone’s particular liking! :)


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