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What would you have done in this situation please?

(32 Posts)
mckenzie Mon 22-Aug-11 19:44:05

DCs watching TV while I cooked dinner for the three of us (DH still at work, DCs been at a club all day today so happy for them to be chilling). I gave them warning that dinner would be ready in 10 mins, then 5 mins then called them to come to the table. DS (10) comes, DD (6) says "I'm not coming - I'm watching this programme".
I give her the count of 3 (normally works) but no movement. So I dish her up a very small portion (very small in case I end up throwing it away) and put it on the table and leave it there. DS and I start to enjoy our dinner.
TV programme finishes and DD comes out, has a complete meltdown because of the size of her dinner. I ignore her so she gets out the toaster and makes herself marmite on toast. I still ignore her.
When she's finished I ask her to come upstairs for shower and hair wash and she has a complete meltdown because she wants a bth and no hair wash and screams and screams in the shower, banging the showerhead on the floor of the bath, absolutely raging. I keep my cool pretty well i'm pleased to say, interact as little as possible. By the time she's finished cleaning her teeth and it's story time she's asking me for a cuddle and kiss and looking all apologetic and angelic.

So, did i do the right thing by just ignoring the dinner table thing as 1) I know she's tired, 2) it's not her usual behaviour 3) praise the good, ignore the bad.

Or should I have insisted she either ate what DS and I were eating or gone without?

What do you think?

ttalloo Mon 22-Aug-11 19:48:02

I would have insisted she eat what you and DS were eating or gone without; although to be honest, if she were late coming to my table she would have gone without any dinner altogether.

Well done for keeping your cool, though. And I'm impressed that she can make herself marmite on toast.

Ivortheengine8 Mon 22-Aug-11 19:52:31

I agree with ttalloo but we might get blasted for saying that! grin

amistillsexy Mon 22-Aug-11 19:52:53

I agree entirely with ttalloo. In addition, given that she was so tired, she'll probably sleep better having had marmite on toast and she went to bed without a fuss, so I think you can give yourself a pat on the back for not rising to it, actually! grin

ChasingSquirrels Mon 22-Aug-11 19:55:00

Personally I would have insisted she came when she was told to, she would have been given the option to record the remainder of the programme but the TV would have been turned off.
If she still didn't come she would have been sent to her room.
Food - she could have had what was made and served (assuming you could have dished up more later?) or not - but I wouldn't have allowed her to make herself something else.

And there is no way I would have kept my cool as you appear to have done!

mckenzie Mon 22-Aug-11 19:56:19

thanks guys. I was tempted to just say "tough" and let her go hungry but gave her the benefit of being tired (our fault to a certain extent as we kept her up too late on saturday to suit us) as a reason to not aggravate the situation.

MrsRhettButler Mon 22-Aug-11 19:56:47

I wouldn't have let her dictate dinner time, and would have then told her that if she wants more when she's finished that that she is welcome To it and I would have told her to step away from the toaster and eat the dinner I made.

Bath time, gosh, I have no idea as I've never experienced that confused

But yes well done for keeping your cool, I wouldn't have grin

bytheMoonlight Mon 22-Aug-11 19:57:08

I think you made the problem worse by dishing her up a small portion - it's like you almost wanted to punish for not coming to the table but didn't know how.

By ignoring her she probably assumed you were giving silent consent for her to carry on watching TV and then when she saw she had a small portion of course meltdown was going to happen. If you were going to restrict her portion (I do understand why you did that) you should have warned her before she got to the table.

In her head small portion = punishment and so ensuring a meltdown and then she caused another drama as she was still annoyed with the unresolved issue of the dinner portion because while she was making toast you ignored her.

I think you should have made it clear what you wanted (her at the table) and what the consequences of her not being at the table were. Instead you were vague after the countdown, silent in parts and horrible (in her eyes) by dishing up a small portion.

I don't want to be harsh but you bought this on yourself. In my house I would have pulled the plug and given the option of dinner or bedroom with no dinner. Then followed through

mckenzie Mon 22-Aug-11 19:58:04

I should say that i dont normally keep my cool smile. It took a huge effort and I guess you could say it was a bit of an experiment. I truly thought that once DS and I sat down she would have come in and apologised - that has happened in the past I think with either her or DS, but of course, tonight she just kept watching!

slartybartfast Mon 22-Aug-11 19:58:05

well done, i would have fared far worse blush

probably gave it to her to eat on a tray in front of TV,
or possibly shouted or both

all sounds very familiar, mine would have warmed hers up in the microwave rather than make toast

MrsRhettButler Mon 22-Aug-11 19:58:28

Not being judge btw but u asked wwyd

mckenzie Mon 22-Aug-11 20:00:49

thanks guys, I cant keep up quick enough with the replies grin. I'm happy to be told you think I brought it on myself - broad shoulders and all that. But seriously, it's interesting to hear what others would have done as tonights reaction i would say was a miss, not a hit sad

mckenzie Mon 22-Aug-11 20:01:12

my reaction i mean, not DD's

Notinmykitchen Mon 22-Aug-11 20:03:00

I think I would have made her eat what was cooked, or nothing as well. As things stand she has been shown that she can do what she wants, rather than what you say, and you will let her to avoid a confrontation. I might have let her finish watching the program before making her sit down for dinner though, if it was just a few minutes?

That said, you did do well to keep calm, I think I would have done a lot of shouting!

TheSkiingGardener Mon 22-Aug-11 20:04:59

I think you did really well to stay calm. With the benefit of hindsight I think I Would have made it clear to DD that either she had to come to the dinner table, or that she would be given less or no dinner so she had a chance to decide on consequences. She wanted to have control of something so giving her a choice of options acceptable to you gave her control without dictating what was going to happen.

mckenzie Mon 22-Aug-11 20:12:21

do you know what skiing gardener, I think you've hit the nail on the head?

"She wanted to have control of something".
I think that is it with DD in lots of situations and I think, most times, I do give her the options like "clean teeth or PJs on first - you choose" but tonight I forgot all that. A lesson learnt for me.

tethersend Mon 22-Aug-11 20:13:04

I would have done what you did, only I would have dished out a normal sized portion.

If she didn't come straight away, it would have been cold = natural consequence. If she wanted to make herself something else, fine- as long as she makes it.

Well done for remaining calm- that really is what counts smile

Why create a battle when they are tired?

ChickChicken Mon 22-Aug-11 20:15:52

I would have unplugged the tv smile
Dinner time is set here for when food is ready and hot.

Al0uiseG Mon 22-Aug-11 20:19:21

I think you handled that perfectly. She sounds as if she's tired, you didn't ruin dinner for you and ds, she has realised the consequences of her actions.

10 out of 10 for Mckenzie.

tethersend Mon 22-Aug-11 20:22:16

Hang on, Alouise... does that mean we... agree on something? shock

<faints dead away>

Al0uiseG Mon 22-Aug-11 20:24:41

Oh bollocks, not again, this is getting embarrassing! Shall we head over to the politics section to rectify it?

tethersend Mon 22-Aug-11 20:29:55

Don't worry, I don't think anyone saw. If we're careful, no-one will ever know...

<tiptoes out of thread by back door>

mckenzie Mon 22-Aug-11 20:35:38

thanks very much everyone. I'm not a very confident parent (hence my wwyd question on here) but you've boosted my morale tonight. It might not have been the best thing to do in everyone's opinion but that's fine isn't it and at least nobody told me I was a complete idiot smile

Al0uiseG Mon 22-Aug-11 20:42:39

You'd better learn how to fake confidence. Children are like animals, they smell fear wink

TheSkiingGardener Mon 22-Aug-11 20:42:42

Let me know if you ever do work out how to do exactly the right thing in every situation.

To be a parent is to make a ballsup of it from time to time (which you didn't tonight).

At least I hope it is or I'm stuffed.

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