Parenting Raising Kids

Distractive Feeding – Yay or Nay

One of the toughest task of parenting is feeding your child. While, children tend to be moody, disruptive, full on energy and everything except attentive, while feeding them, it is a huge task for parents. Most of the times, in the exercise of running around, we end up loosing our temper and as a result, the child does not get to eat even half of the food that it was supposed to eat. Food goes waste, it is spilled everywhere and rarely consumed by the child.

Empty stomach or unfilled stomach means a cranky baby to top it, every other person, who meets your child feels that it is their birth right to judge you for your parenting skills. Interfering in the daily schedule of the parent and child and then giving their utmost pleasurable views on the same, is the basic right of the society. It seems like everyone has the perfect child apart from you because you are a bad parent for not feeding your child well !! Enough about bad parenting and prejudice, let us discuss the main topic.

Many years ago, we live in joint families. There were atleast half a dozen children in the house at any given point of time. During those days, parents did not have to monitor each and every action of the children, neither did they pay attention to every act of the child. Children grew up in the company of other children by imitating them. Therefore, there was no specific need for parents to teach their kids potty training or how to eat on their own. Come nuclear families. Even during the 90’s though we were in a nuclear family, the doors of our houses were always open. We literally grew up in our neighbors house. Once again, we learnt simple acts by imitating the other children.

Today the scenario is entirely different, unfortunately, we have got our homes fully furnished, with the latest gadgets, but there are somethings that cannot replace the human interaction. Children will be children, they will have their own set of rules and tantrums, while eating and one cannot blame them. It is their age to explore and learn things on their own.

One of the easiest techniques, that most parents use these days is Distraction Feeding. Generally, in order to make the kids to sit and eat in a particular place, many of us play cartoons or rhymes for kids while giving them food. While, most of the research or articles state that this will soon result into addiction, I would like to differ from the same. If the child is given limited screen time only during the lunch hours for 20 minutes. He will definately, sit down in one place just to watch that particular cartoon.

If instead of showing them rhymes on Mobile Phones, we show them cartoon on the TV, it will help in building a routine for them. The child will know that at 1 pm, when ABC cartoon comes on TV, I will have to eat my lunch. As the child is distracted by the cartoon there, he does not realize what he is eating and how much he is eating. For children, not knowing this proportion is a real big plus point.

There is a way and a method to use distraction feeding.

  1. Check what is the best time, your child is hungry at his maximum;
  2. Set a time, use only 15 to 20 minutes of screen time. Do not exceed this screen time under any condition;
  3. keep your meal ready in advance;
  4. Sit with your child and interact with your child, during their screen time;
  5. Try and utilize this time maximum to bond;
  6. Make sharing of food a happy experience and not a major battle;

Technology is like a knief, which when a doctor uses he saves a life, when a lady uses she cooks a meal but when a murderer uses, he takes away a life. Use technology wisely, to your benefit.

The intention of this article is not to promote Distraction Feeding or Screen Time, but to reduce the prejudice against the mothers, who use this technique. It is important that as a society, we understand the reason behind the actions, instead of judging everyone.

No parent or No child is perfect, but what matters at the end is that at the end of the day the family is happy and content. It is not mandatory to make the society happy.

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