Recently, an esteemed parenting author wrote this meme and put it onto Facebook then quickly removed it due to negative feedback (like mine!) :
This was my response:
Moorea Malatt: Wow. Your version of dinner out sounds like I would never want to go out again. I prefer to engage my child in the cuisine and the atmosphere, model manners myself and make it about family time first and foremost. If I can’t focus on cuisine and family time and atmosphere we may as well stay home. Children aren’t here to be controlled. They are here to be enjoyed and to have our family ethics modeled to them. Likely your heart was in the right place, Ms. Pantley. I think you mean that parents need to talk to our children and not the lobster at the dinner table else they may get bored and act out.
What about teaching them how to gather behavior cues from the atmosphere.
I read her meme as I was putting the finishing touches on my Gentle Discipline Online Program and I was suddenly hoping I will soon also write the book, to reach more people. Pantley is one of the very few writers of parenting books who errs on the gentle side of discipline, honors the breastfeeding relationship. I’ve loved her, but now I’ve been shocked enough to read her whole No Cry Picky Eaters Solution and I sadly do not recommend it like I did her sleep books for many years.
Of course I wondered if her meme’s words were just designed to counter the current popular parenting theme of the european/French ways of raising children…
But Pantley suggests hiding the veggies and making elaborate fun plates full of food for our children. Being sneaky and bending over backward to camouflage or prettify food will not teach our children how to just sit down and eat the nutritious food. We are merely pandering to pickiness that way our of a fear that our children will starve without mac and cheese.
What do you think?