Mom to Mom

On White Dining Room Chairs, and Striking a Balance
March 7, 2012 at 12:00 AM

When my husband and I first got married, we ran out and purchased this gorgeous yet ill-advised dining room set, complete with white fabric-topped chairs. Everyone in our lives wasted no time letting us know just how very, very  stupid this purchase was, for a number of reasons, one of which was "you're probably going to have kids one day, and these chairs are undoubtedly going to get destroyed." Being very young and very stupid - stupid enough to purchase white dining room chairs, clearly - we scoffed, and said something like "Oh, we'll just tell our kids not to go on the chairs."

Allow that to sink in for a moment, if you will: "We'll just tell our kids not to go on the chairs."

When I actually had my first kid a few years later, I had a similar attitude regarding feeding him: "Oh, we'll just only give him healthy things, and he won't even WANT to have candy! No sugar until he's ten, even!"

Fast forward a whole bunch of years, and I can tell you that I presently have dining room chairs that look as though they were rejected by a hobo camp, and not one but two kids who have totally eaten more than their fair share of candy. (And whose collective age doesn't even add up to ten.)

With the years come experience, is what I'm saying, and I am at a point now where I can look back and laugh -- hard -- at my ridiculous naiveté when it came to my kids/parenting. I have not given up entirely, though. No, far from it. What I've learned instead is how and when to pick my battles.

One of the battles I've chosen to "fight" is getting my kids to eat (fairly) healthfully. I have a full-time job, and so the time I get with my kids (especially during the week) is limited. I have worked pretty hard to ensure that this time isn't spent squaring off over platypus-shaped marshmallows, but at the same time, isn't a bleak existence of brown rice syrup-flavored gruel. (Does that even exist? Probably.) I do what I can to make eating well (again for the most part) a natural part of their lives, rather than me making a big deal of how healthfully they're eating.

Over the next few weeks I'm going to be writing here about some strategies I've found and  implemented (after COPIOUS trial and error) to make doing this with my kids something  that's effective, not too stressful (for any of us!), and - dare I say? - fun, all around.  

(Even if we do sometimes still eat taffy. On those white dining room chairs, naturally.)

What about you? What are the battles that you've chosen, as a parent?  


  • Rushn311
    March 7, 2012 at 1:57 AM

    I bought my couch in 2007 and it's in real good condition still-in the beginning no kids were allowed to drink or eat on it, no animals allowed.

    My kids definitely eat on the couch, and occasionally I let the animals on--but after I follow up with a good vacuum.

  • daerca574
    March 7, 2012 at 7:22 AM

     My kids stick to their daily routines.  especially in the evenings.  That is the only time we are all home together.  We heat a good meal at the table, clean up and then do chores.  Followed by bathtime, story time, a little television or playtime and then bed.  I feel its important for them to get loads of sleep so they are well rested for the following day. 

  • malexander2009
    March 7, 2012 at 8:16 AM

    We happen to be on the lenient side with our son. But we are stern when we have to be. We want him to grow up knowing that we will have fun but there are also times where it's not appropriate. And even with him being 14 months old he has started noticing the difference.

  • goddess99
    March 7, 2012 at 9:16 AM

    Tv time, and getting ready in the morning. My dd is older and these are our battles now. So far I'm winning =D HA!

  • Bmat
    by Bmat
    March 7, 2012 at 9:26 AM

    We bought a dining room table two years ago, and the chairs that came with it had white fabric. I refused them, and we paid more than the cost of the table to have different chairs.

  • Bmat
    by Bmat
    March 7, 2012 at 9:27 AM

    As far as battles... chores,  speaking respectfully.

  • mjimaging
    March 7, 2012 at 10:48 AM
    Technology right now. My two year old is obsessed with the iPad so we are fighting that battle. I win some I lose some.
  • Wish2Be
    by Wish2Be
    March 7, 2012 at 11:15 AM

     Well my son is the pickiest eater...and I started him out with all organic healthy foods....due to him being a little low in weight and still super picky....he basically eats fish sticks and strip poppers with an occassional side of corn or baked beans :(. I am soo upset by his eating habits yet too afraid to make him skip a meal if he refuses to eat what I offer.


  • dusky_rose
    March 7, 2012 at 12:05 PM

    I am trying to encourage my youngest son to eat somewhat healthy. I'm not trying to make it into a battle though. He eats whole grain breads, but for some reason KFC and McDonald's chicken nuggets (when he gets them) are so much better than mom's oven baked chicken (don't ask me why!). LOL So I have learned some give and take there.

  • Leelee1008
    March 7, 2012 at 2:16 PM

    right now, no electronics after 7pm on school nights. meaning Ds's, wii, computer, etc.

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