Parents feel like they just can’t change the one thing they want to….and they’re not quite sure why. There are so many areas of parenting where we talk about mother’s intuition, that moms know best etc etc etc. How many times a day do you tell your kids you know what’s best for them?
And that is all too true- but not so much at mealtime!
As parents, many of the our most basic protective instincts may actually lead to more stress and reduce the likelihood that our kids are going to eat at all!!!!
Wanna know why you can’t seem to make the changes you want to at mealtime?
It’s because you’re quite literally fighting against the most natural protective instinct to encourage your child to eat as much as you can.
It’s not you, it’s biology.
An instinct that may only get stronger when experiencing meal time stress, because when we’re under stress we release our fight or flight response. Not the “truly take a couple of minutes and assess the situation to determine the best course of action” response.
If you’re being chased by a lion- you have:
Very little decision making time
And that is where you’re going to be running as fast as your little legs can take you…not calculating risks and benefit ratios
When you’re stressed at mealtime the same biological systems kick in. This means, you might not be calculating and assessing the best possible outcome at this mealtime- you’re just reacting.
And when you’re stressed , there is good reason to assume that your kids are too, and their same stress response is firing on all cylinders.
When you’re running away from that same lion…you know what the one system that becomes completely irrelevant is? Hunger and Digestion. Yes you read that right, when your kiddos end up stressed at mealtime they actually end up less hungry than they might have been when they sat down at the table because when a lion is trying to eat you, it’s probably not the best time to sit down for a snack.