It was worth the wait. 5 years and nearly 1 month it took. But there were definitely moments, when it didn’t seem that way. Let me explain.
My eldest child is a very, very picky eater. Same routine as usual, before I had my own children, I insisted that these children were incorrectly raised, tantrum throwers who weren’t being taught well, but let me assure you, this is not the case.
From the day they he was born, literally, my child refused to breastfeed well and frankly, it went downhill from there. I persisted with the feeding and after nearly two months he got the hang of it but that was nothing compared to the years of struggle we have had with healthy foods. He will happily wolf down plain pasta or a happy meal (don’t judge!) but the minute a vegetable or something that looked like one came near his plate, there were tears, fights, screams and mealtimes fluctuated between being tricky to being downright distressing for us all!
And we really tried it all. Programs, bribery, the casual approach, you name it, we tried it! But then, it clicked. The right combination of his age and a “Healthy Foods Sticker Chart” meant that one day after 5 years and one month of struggle over meals, we were out at lunch , and were able to order a wholemeal Subway Sandwich for him with Ham, Cheese, Carrot, Olives and Tomato on it!
I honestly nearly cried tears of relief. So many barriers had been overcome in his behaviors over food and it seems that the future when it comes to his eating is looking much brighter!
But why the long story about my child’s eating?
Why should you care?
Well as much as this was a real hurdle to overcome in our family, I think it’s actually quite the analogy for many, many parenting struggles. We try, we fail, cry, we fail, we try again and again and again and sometimes nothing seems to work. It seems like this will never be overcome and that the battle (cos that it is how it can feel) is worth giving up on. But I write this to say, hold fast for the battles worth fighting my friend. Stick to your principles and no matter how many minutes, hours (it took my 3 year old daughter nearly 2 hours to agree to tidy her room recently!!!!!), days or even years it takes to win that battle, hang in there. Whilst now it seems so so so hard, the end result, is a child who is immeasurably better off due to your persistence. This is undoubtedly, worth the wait.