Guide Four: The importance of having everyone on your team

Presenter: Jo Cormack

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Hi, this is Jo. I’m going to be talking today a little bit about what to do when you just don’t feel that other people are on the same page as you, when it comes to your child’s eating. So this could be your partner (if you have one), it could be your child’s school or day care, or maybe it’s your friends and your family.

So I’m guessing that if you’re in this group, you’re probably already learning about new ways of doing things. Maybe you’ve watched some of other learning units. Maybe you’re getting advice from admins or some of the other members in the group. And now you’re starting to think about how you want to approach your child’s eating. And that is really great! Really positive! Yet, if you are not feeling like other people are behind you in this new way of doing things, it can be incredibly frustrating.

Let’s start with talking about your partner. If you and your partner have different ideas about how your child is eating and how to deal with that, it can just cause so much conflict between you. Imagine one of you is doing one thing and the other one thinks they’re being too soft. Or maybe if you’re doing one meal and you have one set of rules. But then your partner comes in and doesn’t want another meal or they have a different set of rules. That’s really confusing for your child. And then maybe you’re left thinking “hang on a minute, that’s not how we do things.” And then you have conflict at the meal. Conflict between you and your partner. Not only will it stress you out, it can make your child’s eating worse. We know that the higher, the level of conflict at mealtimes, the worse the child’s eating.  It really does have a negative effect on your child’s relationship with food.

{Put another way}, if you imagine you’re eating out with friends and people are arguing, it’s going to put you off your dinner.

So, what do you do? Well, talking is just so key! Communication is essential.

In our paid membership site, your feeding team. I provide a template that helps you think about the conversations you might need to have with your partner. Not only that, I help you dig into why you may have a different approach to feeding your child. Just as we have to understand what’s behind our child’s eating, we also need to understand what’s behind our parenting. Sometimes that means asking yourself some difficult questions. Going back to childhood. Thinking about how you were parented. So that’s all part of the resources that we share with you in your feeding team.

Let’s think a bit about daycare {or school}. Now, if your child’s getting mixed messages, if you tell them one thing at home and they go to daycare or to school, and the teacher tells them another thing, this is also really confusing for them. Furthermore, progress will be slowed down. So you need to think about how to really work with your child’s school in order to be a team. Be a team for your child. I recommend getting a meeting together and making sure that you have this specific time just to talk about food and how things are being handled. Then you can explain how you’re doing things at home and what you need from them.

And just to have that communication as well. So they’re telling you how things are going and you feel that there’s, that dialogue is really important again. In the your feeding team {membership resources}, Simone has got this fantastic interview with a teacher where you’ll hear the other side of things. You’ll hear the teacher’s perspective on how to work with parents and what schools can do. It is really, really valuable.

Finally, friends and family! Now this is something I feel incredibly strongly about. I think if people have been critical of you and your parenting (and I’m thinking mother-in-law, you know, we’ve all been there). What you need to do is somehow give yourself that really strong sense of resilience where you believe that what you’re doing is right. A lot of that comes from your own confidence. That the way you’re parenting is the right way. So, when you’re feeling good about what you’re doing, when you’re feeling confident and empowered, you can just step back. And if you’re being criticized, think “That is saying so much more about that other person than it’s saying about you”.

Please Believe Us: Picky Eating is Not Your Fault

We have a free blog post {on our website} actually about that, where I talk about our tendency as parents to blame ourselves. {The post} is called, “Please believe us, your child’s picky eating is not your fault”. It’s something that Simone, Natalia and I believe in really, really passionately. I’ll pop a link in the comments to that (LINK) because I think that might be helpful.

When you’re thinking about your child’s eating, it is great that you’re adopting new strategies, great that you’re learning, but part of that task (in order to really help your child) is to get other people on the same page as you.

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