Monday, March 29, 2010

Green Beans

I made a mistake and served green beans with dinner. My daughter gagging with every bite and my son not only boycotting the green beans, but refusing to eat anything that shares a plate with them. Sitting sideways with his head buried into the chair back crying, "I'm not eating that." My children were acting as if I were trying to poison them. It was hilarious. So I do what any desperate parent would do, and break out my most motivating bribes.

"I'll give you each a dollar if you eat them." I said.

"Okay!" My daughters face lit up. Eating them but still gagging.

"What happens if I don't?" My son inquires.

"No dollar."

"Okay, no dollar." He responds.

"If you don't eat them, then you will have to give me a dollar." I said, clearly changing the bribe.

"I think... I can find a dollar." He said after giving it 5 seconds of consideration.

I am trying not to laugh. My tactics are backfiring. So far my son is willing not only to pass up earning a dollar, but pay one to get out of eating his green beans, while my daughter is bragging how she ate them and she is now one dollar richer. So I had to think, what is more important than earning money to this kid. Ah ha, ice cream.

"Everyone who eats their green beans gets an ice cream sandwich after dinner."

"What if I don't?" He questions.

"Then no ice cream."

He sits in his chair sobbing. He pulls his self together and shakes his head okay. I'm thinking, yes it worked, I win! Then he pushes his plate away from him.

My husband says, "You want me to feed you like a baby?" As he scoops up some green beans with the fork then attempts to force feed our child. My son locks his lips tight and noodles down the chair.

"Fine! If you're not going to eat them then go to bed!" It's the last threat I have.

So he climbs off his chair and walks himself to his room, puts his PJ's on and gets into bed at 6:23pm. I followed him and he is ready to be tucked in for the night. I thought, now this is a kid who hates green beans!

I didn't give up and eventually I got one green bean in him and he was allowed to stay up until it was actually time to go to bed. Dinner wasn't supposed to be punishment, I just wanted to get some vegetables in the stomachs of my children.

This is not a mistake I will make again! Now when I want to get my children to eat their green beans I puree them and add them to the meat loaf.


  1. Such conflick...You say rewards are bad and where dose it stop ..then birbe you kids to eat....if they ate everything else on the plate would they starve..or is it a test of will....I am your mom so eat....because I said so... I used to have Inmates that would play this game..I do not want that on my plate ..I want something different..Dose not work that way ..This what you not like it do not eat it..OR refuse the plate.....Your choice.
    there are thing you did not eat as a kid, that you now eat.....So it will be with him...
    SORRY nikkii ..I do not seem to understand the
    comment as drop down thing it asks for url what is that and If I use my name it does not work?????can not any one keep it simple and use english to just say your name..untill it works like I think it should then I will have to sign my name..Uncle Doug

  2. I know! Where does it stop? I was shocked that I resulted to bribes at dinner. That isn't usually the case in our house.

    Rewards are not bad, rewarding mediocrity is what I have a problem with. I think it creates a sense of entitlement that will only hurt them when they are grown.

  3. When I was a child, my mother would serve the mixed vegetables in the little frozen box, which included lima beans (really, lima beans) I would eat the carrots, the green beans, the corn and peas, but was made to sit at the table until I "developed a taste" for those nasty little things, which after 45 years, I have not yet. I sat there until 8-9pm and my mother would give up and send me to bed. I'm sure her frugality forced her to eat them herself. Now they don't put lima beans in those mixed vegetables. I think it's ok to hide some of the nutrition from your kids (like your meatloaf idea) but let them like what they like and dislike what they don't. It's a freedom we still have in a free world where there is little freedom at all. We live once, I think. We should be happy about it!

  4. I like to puree my veggies and put them in meatloaf too! It's not worth the battle over it at the dinner table. My kids are always willing to go one more than me, once they throw up in their plate nobody wants to eat their veggies after that! LOL, they win! So I resort to sneaking the veggies in, hey, they get the veggies and I get the peaceful family dinner i wanted.

  5. I used to play short order cook, that got old quick. Now it's "That's what for dinner and you eat it." If they do not finish they do not get dessert and that almost always works. I get that not everyone likes everything, so my kids have to at least have 1 bite of everything on their plate.

  6. Nikki: Sorry, but couldn't figure out how this thing works, so am writing a short story about me when I was about 8 years old. I too hated my veggies. I would eat everything on my plate, but those green things. I mostly hated peas. This one night at dinner we had peas. My Mom said that I couldn't watch TV until I ate all my peas. Well, I sat there forever. She kept coming into the kitchen and checking on me to see if I had ate my peas...I got bored and started to put the peas on my spoon, and fliped them on the kitchen cabinet.They stuck there so good. It was sooo funny, that I continued until all the peas were off my plate and on the cabinets. I laughed so hard that my Mom came back in the kitchen and saw that I had eaten all the peas. When she picked up my plate to put it in the sink....OMG She saw the peas on the cabinet...Well, I got my booty kicked.Not for not eating the peas, but for messing up her clean cabinets..I got no rewards. Mom just got tired waiting for me to finish my dinner. I got to go to bed early....ha ha ha....But I'll tell you one thing. When my kids were home. I NEVER said eat your veggies, BECAUSE THEY ARE GOO FOR YOU. Kids just don't like to eat things that are good for you.....Aunt Tona

  7. I know what i would do. I would have his green beans waiting for him for breakfast in the morning. He is too cute though, he can't help it.