getting grandparents and other family members/caregivers on board
Do your children spend a significant time at their grandparents? Or at a daycare?
It’s important for all the people who care for your child on a regular basis to be on board with the same feeding plan. Children need predictability.
Even if other people do not provide childcare for your children, discussing your feeding plan with your family will help other family members from imposing their rules on your children. For example, informing grandparents ahead of time that your children are not required to finish their plate before they get dessert will (hopefully!) prevent any comments like that at a family dinner.
- Talk to the other caregivers about the feeding plan you’ve designed for your family
- Write the other caregivers a letter outlining the plan
- Provide them with this handout from the Ellyn Satter Institute: http://ellynsatterinstitute.org/dor/divisionofresponsibilityinfeeding.php
- You may want to communicate to your parents that just because this plan differs from how they raised you, that doesn’t mean you disapprove of the parenting choices they made or resent them in any way. They made those choices in a different time, with the information available to them at that time. The internet has made it possible for you to take this course, and they certainly didn’t have that educational tool!
Dear ____ (family, daycare provider, etc),
I really appreciate that our children have a whole village of people who love and take care of them. They truly are very fortunate to have you in their lives.
I think it’s important for everyone who takes care of our children to follow the same child-rearing principles. We have attended a workshop on how to raise children to become healthy eaters and have adopted the strategies we learned there in our home. Here are the main ideas that we follow:
Caregivers are responsible for: what foods are offered, the feeding schedule, and where children are to eat. Children are responsible for whether they choose to eat the food offered, and if so, how much of each food. In this plan, children are never forced to eat and the amount of food is not restricted.
You might have more questions about how this plays out. Feel free to ask me and we can discuss the situation and make a plan together!