When our kids are fussy eaters, poor sleepers, difficult to breastfeed or (fill in the blank) parents often wonder if WE did something wrong and if so how do we fix it?
As a mom of twins I find it particularly interesting watching my boys grow side by side and noticing how similar and different they can be depending on the situation.
My kids eat unusual “kiddie” meals like salad, all meats, fish, and most recently lobster. Well one did anyway. The other preferred to play with the lobster (who wouldn’t?)
Mason loved his first lobster experience in Maine. He especially liked dipping the morsels in butter mmmmmmmmmm……
And then looking for more goodies on the inside:
I have raised incredible eaters. Well wait a minute. Is it my hard work or just due to their personality and genetics (both parents are self professed foodies)?
When I breastfed the twins, one latched and fed like a champ, while the other twin had several issues with latching. My lesson from that is that I did everything the same, so it had to be down to individual differences.
I am sure moms out there know how devastating it can be when breastfeeding isn’t successful especially if you want it to be. Having twins was a blessing in this regard because I was able to see it wasn’t something I was doing wrong, as one breastfed successfully, it was more due to what my son and I both brought to the table in our unique breastfeeding relationship.
So back to my original question, are we doing something wrong (or right, actually) if we have poor eaters, healthy eaters, bad sleepers or good breast feeders? Or is it down to their personality and what they bring to the table?
I know my Psychology peers would be mortified if I now claimed that children’s eating preferences are due to personality based on my one case study of my twins, but it definitely gives us something to think about.
I am a behaviorist at heart so I do believe even though we do have certain preferences, our behaviors can certainly be modified with the correct interventions.
So yes I will take a little credit for my kids being great eaters, because I feel I have exposed them to a varied diet.
But I also feel parents can give themselves a little break when they are faced with tough situations, and (in my opinion) know that maybe its down to their kids personality and genetics, but with a little help or encouragement the parents can help change the behavior in the end.