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On White Dining Room Chairs, and Striking a Balance

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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?  




by on Mar. 7, 2012 at 12:00 AM
Replies (41-50):
NearSeattleMom
by Member on Mar. 9, 2012 at 1:31 PM


Quoting LuLuRex:

I feel the same way as this. I don't have many battles with my kids, so few in fact, I can't think of one. 

As they get older, my battles will be to ensure they are well mannered, respectful and safe.


Quoting KaIroGreenly:

There aren't many things that I have to "fight" to get my children to do. 

Picking up their toys is the big one. I took away most of their toys. Win for Mommy.


I have very few battles with my kids . . . and my oldest (twins) are 18 now. We're pretty relaxed around here and they are good kids.

gacgbaker
by on Mar. 9, 2012 at 4:56 PM


Quoting heathermichelle:

my battles are electronics. they would stay on them 24/7 if I let them

This is one we fight for sure too.

suziejax
by Member on Mar. 10, 2012 at 9:49 PM

smile mini

elasmimi
by on Mar. 11, 2012 at 10:21 AM

Most of my battles don't revolve around food. The one thing we insist on is if you don't finish your dinner, no dessert. She has the choice, and we don't insist on a clean plate, but if you're too full to eat meat and veggies, you're too full for dessert.

iluv2read
by on Mar. 11, 2012 at 1:54 PM

 Hahaha! White chairs! LOL... I can relate, though. I used to want white carpet before I had kids. I'm so glad the hubster talked me out of that!

elasmimi
by on Mar. 11, 2012 at 1:57 PM

I do have white dining room chairs. We just don't eat in the dining room, lol.

MamaBear2cubs
by Bronze Member on Mar. 12, 2012 at 9:22 AM

Tv time, we limit it but sometimes it's helpful

LancesMom
by Member on Mar. 12, 2012 at 9:47 AM

LOL! My cousin gave me her beautiful white couch one year. It was a nice couch and we just didn't have one. I always had a throw over it. It looked terrible, unless someone came over. (for a planned visit) Then the throw came off and there was a nice couch!

gacgbaker
by on Mar. 12, 2012 at 10:17 AM


Quoting elasmimi:

I do have white dining room chairs. We just don't eat in the dining room, lol.

LOL- that works!

gacgbaker
by on Mar. 12, 2012 at 10:18 AM


Quoting LancesMom:

LOL! My cousin gave me her beautiful white couch one year. It was a nice couch and we just didn't have one. I always had a throw over it. It looked terrible, unless someone came over. (for a planned visit) Then the throw came off and there was a nice couch!

A throw cover is a really great idea...

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