Words define us. When we call a child a ‘picky eater’ we’re describing behavior, but we’re also telling a child that’s part of who they are. What if we change the label and focus on what kids are doing that we want to see more of, build on what’s going right today, rather than focusing on what’s not?
Does your child just eat crackers? Let’s make them the best cracker-eater in the west (or east or south, wherever you are)! If they love cheese? Then, they’re the best cheese-monster your fridge has ever seen! Did they take a taste of broccoli? What a GREAT broccoli-taster!
Now, rather than reinforcing and defining kids by their picky eating, we’re reinforcing eating and defining them as good eaters! Kids love this kind of positive reinforcement and they’ll do something over and over (like taste broccoli, eventually) to get it. And, if they’re a great broccoli-taster they could be a great taster-of-a-lot-of-things….
Everyone has more fun (and is more motivated to keep trying) when they feel like they’re doing a good job. So, have fun focusing on what’s going right today.
Happy food play!