TV Dinners

I might be a terrible parent. You will have to decide for yourselves. I’ve made a discovery. My son eats when the he is parked infront of the television.

Image source: westoncommunications.org.uk

This is a new revelation for me. I grew up with a television in the kitchen where we ate our family meals. All seven of us would squish into the smallest room in the house, poking each other with our elbows and shuffling each other along the benches. There were tears and trantrums involving those who ate like an airplane and those who wanted to rest their feet on the bar underneath the table but didn’t get there in time. There were noses turning up at inconspicuous ‘meat’ and hands grabbing for more cake. It was chaos. But you can guarantee that the moment Neighbours came on the television, we all immediately sat transfxed. It was almost instant zombification.

It all ended when Madge put too much detergent in the dishwasher at the coffee shop and the bubbles ran into the street. My parents decided the news would be more educational and I *think* mealtimes went downhill from there. I remember blaming my little sister. She never ate. She watched television like she was posessed and so my parents decided after a while that there would be no television on Sundays and pretty soon that meant no television during any mealtime.

For a while, the silence was deafening. All of a sudden the sounds of seven people chewing and swallowing was all you could hear. It was all quite harrowing at the time. But we learned to live with it.

When I became a parent, it was a given that we would not watch television whilst eating. Every now and then we have dinner in the living room where our one and only set lives. But not often. It turns the big one into a zombie and she doesn’t eat…

So, getting to the point of this post. I discovered that the baby really likes Disney Playhouse. Then I discovered that he likes to sit at his little purple table for meals. And watch television…

Before you judge me, remember this is the child that two months ago was NOT eating a thing. Yesterday he even let me feed him whilst his sat transfixed by Mickey Mouse. He ate three meals! Today he has done the same thing. The question is, why do I feel so terrible? He still gets to sit at a table and use utensils so he’s still learning the values of table manners, right?

What do you think? Are TV dinners really so bad for a child who would not eat and prefers to perform dangerous stunts in his highchair rather than eating? Is it so bad that he actaually sits still and eats, even if it is with both eyes on the box?

For the meantime, whilst the baby gets used to new foods and this stage of enjoyng meals is developing, I’m not going to worry too much. But when he gets older and ridiculous soap operas are on the menu we might enforce a ban. I said, might….

Fussy Eaters Support Club

This post is being entered into April’s Fussy Eaters Support Club over at Bod for tea. Why not check it out?

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9 responses to “TV Dinners

  • Hannah

    I don’t think that’s terrible at all.

    I allow my daughter to watch CBeebies or whatever when she’s sat at her table eating her dinner. The minute it distracts her, I tell her I will turn it off if she doesn’t eat her dinner, and then she sits in peace.

    It’s the only time all day that we have it on for her to watch – I don’t see a problem in that at all.

    Especially when it’s evidently helping your little boy to eat! xxx

  • Katy

    Its not bad at all,Ethan will only eat if he is watching the tv, when he gets older and actually understands more of what I say to him then we will probably revise the situation but if it means he will eat something I’m leaving Ethan to it!

  • TheBoyandMe

    Knowing what a terrible time you have had getting him to eat, I really wouldn’t beat yourself up about it at the moment. It is a tactic that you can use to establish his eating habits and when he is eating a wider range of foods, then you can deal with where he sits to eat after.

  • mummy@bodfortea

    You know I’m not going to judge – I’m just glad that he’s eating something!! DD went through a great week where she was actually eating ‘normally’ but she’s lapsed back into nibbling again. Might have to try your technique! Thanks for linking up to the Fussy Eaters Support Club again this month and loving the new look 😀

  • Mummy Beadzoid

    Loving the new look blog!

    Definitely not to be judged – don’t like judging people at the best of times but especially in a case such as this. I see a fair few parralels between teaching and parenting, both being caring ‘professions’. If one strategy ain’t working then try another one. Find one that works? Then stick with it!!!

    It must be a weight off your mind – don’t worry what anyone else thinks! xXx

  • Steph

    I agree, life is too short to worry about what others think. But we all do it, don’t we?! Mummy guilt. Over so many things. Food has been (and still is!) the most stressful thing for me over the past 6 years. Television has sometimes helped, sometimes been used as bribery and sometimes been used as something to be taken away! My (nearly) 6 year old is not a great eater and possibly will never be, but she knows how to sit politely at a table and use her cutlery in a restaurant or someone else’s home, so to me that shows she has learnt the manners that others think so important. My autistic (nearly) 4 year old may never learn these manners, so we have to learn to not mind if other people do!! Just go with the flow is what I say.

  • Ooh Baby - All things Cuteable

    No it’s not terrible! I have to do it 3 times a day in the hope that Waybuloo or Mr Tumble will distract her enough to eat one mere morsel of food – I still live in hope, but am losing the will ;o(

  • Liz Weston

    Hello there – thank you for the credit for using the image. It’s not ours either but we gave it the right acknowledgement so we were in the clear 😉

    Lovely Bloke says that it is fine and that if it gets the boys to eat we will live with it. I’ve gotten all upset by it, until I read this blog and comments. So now I’m thinking it’s not so bad after all…..

    Next week, we are away so it won’t be possible to scientifically test it, but we intend to, as food is an issue for W, the littlest in our house. He’s nearly 3 and we need him to eat more so if it works, I think we will have to go with it…

    • ghostwritermummy

      Hello! I’ve been over to your blog to find the correct source and I can’t find it! Any chance you can let me know?? *blush*
      Thanks for your comments and it was really interesting reading your post!
      XxX

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