I honestly can't believe I'm sharing this story, but since I just posted the other day about one of our parenting successes, I figure I better balance the scales out a bit.
Rooster didn't take a nap this morning, so around 11:30 when were having lunch he was soooo tired.
He took a BIG bite of raw broccoli and shoved it in his mouth, but instead of chewing it like a normal person, he pockets it in the side of his cheek and wants to get down. Now that's not cool. He needs to finish chewing THEN get down. In my best mothering voice I told him he could get down when he finished chewing.
Well, he continued to fuss and whine and throw a small fit and not chew his food. We encouraged him to drink water to help rinse it down and remained consistent, "no getting down with food in your mouth."
The conversation between me and my husband went something like this.
Me: "He's not chewing."
Evan: "I know. What do you want me to do about it?"
Me: "Well, he's tired. He needs a nap."
Evan: "Well, he can't take the broccoli with him. He'll choke."
Me: "Rooster, chew your broccoli."
(Chews a little, whines a lot!)
Me: "I mean it. Chew your food."
(Chews a little more, whines a lot more!)
Me: "Should I go in an get it? He's never going to finish."
Evan: "Out of his mouth?!?! That doesn't seem like a habit we want to start."
Me: "Well, make him chew!"
So what do we do? In my parenting genius I decided to ever so lightly squeeze his cheeks to force the broccoli between his teeth so he is has to chew.
What does Rooster do? Gags and spews half-chewed broccoli across the kitchen.
Moral of the story?
In order to avoid lose-lose confrontations such as this one, it's best to ensure that the developmental task you are requiring of your child does not exceed their cognitive ability and understanding or their physical ability to carry out the given task considering their current emotional state and capacity to control those emotions.
In other words, next time just cut the broccoli into smaller pieces.