I figured that our table candles would be a good motivator, she loves having them lit at dinner time. So I explained to Maeve how Dad and I really love spending family time at dinner, and it means a lot to us to enjoy that time together with no screaming or fighting.
I then told her that if she made dad or I sad at dinner time, either by fighting or screaming or refusing to eat a reasonable amount of food, I would blow out a candle each time. I saw her attitude immediately soften and change, and we had no trouble at dinner at all. Even though I served her a chicken casserole that had broccoli pieces in it.
It may not be the solution to all of our problems, but it seems like a good start. Maybe I can figure out how to teach the child table manners and empathy all at once.
|Not last night's dinner... but a smiling face!|