M: Yuck, you know I hate purple, I wanted a pink smoothie…
Me: You love purple, and don’t say yuck.
M: No I don’t. Pink is my favorite color.
Me: Well, this is a pink smoothie with some blueberries. It’s good.
M: I’m not eating it.
Me, finally realizing I am getting sucked into it, getting annoyed… takes control.
Me: You don’t have to eat any. (I finish making smoothie. I bring it to her in front of the TV. Yes, I said it, she starts on her smoothie in front of the TV, and then we all sit down and she has some cereal and milk and finishes or not, the smoothie.)
M: Hey, you got more than me, I want more!
Kids don’t know what they want to eat, often even when it’s what they asked for and it’s right in front of them. Don’t try to guess it will make you crazy.
Pay attention to your feelings. When you feel yourself getting irritated, step back. How are they sucking you in? Think about the Division of Responsibility. Is she trying to do your job? Are you letting her?
Regain control. Calmly, pleasantly. Enforce manners.
It is not the end of the world if they occasionally consume food in front of the TV. Now, if she spills the purple smoothie on the carpet, now THAT would be the end of the world…