Forcing Kids to Eat

There’s nothing quite as frustrating as a kid who refuses to eat during mealtimes. But is this battle really about food?

I remember hearing about a family meal where a young boy’s parents spent the entire evening trying to reason with him, even trying to force a bite into his mouth. But nothing worked, and it only made the dinner miserable for everyone.

What many parents don’t understand is that the issue isn’t about food — it’s about control. A strong-willed child often looks for opportunities to take charge, and the dinner table is one place where he knows he can win.

Parents should refuse to be dragged into such battles. A simple solution is to simply let the child know that they are expected to eat what’s on their plate. If they don’t, wrap it up and serve it to them again at the next mealtime. They’ll eat when they’re hungry, trust me. Kids are not going to starve, but they do need to know who is in control.

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