Friday, July 27, 2007

A parenting dilemma


When your 5 year old arrives at the breakfast table with book in hand and proceeds to absentmindedly consume her meal while continuing to devour her novel, do you:

A) Try to teach some tenuous table manners to your already-unmannered-enough offspring by insisting that books do not belong at the kitchen table. Encourage your child to chat with you about the book over breakfast and return to it when she has been excused.

B) Smile indulgently. Reading while eating is one of your own great pleasures and it's nice to see your child following in your footsteps. Who are you to discipline kids for behavior that you yourself engage in?

C) Revel so much in the unexpected and somewhat unprecedented silence of a dining companion who is lost in her book that you neglect to make any conscious parenting decisions whatsoever.

I think it's pretty obvious which way I went. The silence, it was golden, people. But I should probably choose option A or B next time, right? Somehow, the authoritative, decisive parenting thing always looked a lot easier when I wasn't the one who was expected to exert the authority or make the decisions....

7 Comments:

Blogger Neno said...

For me? B, B, so much B!!! ;)

2:04 PM  
Blogger Awesome Mom said...

My dad used to do A and it never worked. I still love to eat and read at the table.

3:14 PM  
Blogger Ginger said...

Since it's pretty common for me to read while eating I would be delighted to see one of my children mimic this behavior. But probably not if the whole family was sitting down for a meal.

4:31 PM  
Blogger Steph said...

Too cute. I would have been reveling in the mimicry and the silence!

7:16 PM  
Blogger Dana said...

Yeah, a world of (b) for me too. When I was just a touch older than Julia, I would read cereal boxes if nothing else was immediately at hand. And Pat as well. Things haven't changed.

11:06 PM  
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