SIL was hormonal (PMS).
And we had a long day previosuly, one where none of the kids ate meals on time and they binged on sugar (ice cream, meringue, etc.)
And it was her birthday.
So I couldn't blame her if she felt that for brunch, her daughter had to eat a proper meal of rice and viand. And I also couldn't blame her for thinking her daughter would love the lechon paksiw because it was really delicious.
So when her daughter refused to eat, and kept on ignoring her to watch TV... and later on ran around the dining table while making sure everyone was watching her mother running after her, I also couldn't blame my SIL for bringing her upstairs where they 'talked'. Mostly, my niece howled. If she was spanked, am sure she didn't get much of it. But she howled and threw a tantrum and they struggled over the food for hours.
Remember, SIL had PMS and it was her birthday. And they were at my in laws, where every daughter or son-in-law would be naturally defensive.
I sort of saw myself having a similar episode with Yakee in the future. Yikes.
Later on, I shared with SIL what I learned from a parenting book and a parenting seminar:
1) Opt instead for a week of generally satisfactory meals for a child, instead of getting anxious daily. Just don't offer unhealthy alternatives (meaning, don't make EATING the lesson, but EATING WELL). Us adults have off days too.
2) For the can afford, no child has died of hunger yet. So if a child doesn't want to eat, do not make in into a power struggle. Een if you win, you lose, because the child would hae only eaten because he/she felt forced or controlled.
3) Opt for small snacks every 2 hours or so (especially for smaller children) instead of the three main meals. Just keep the unhealthy stuff at a minimum.
But I shared those things with her, not to correct or judge her, but to help her be less anxious. Because as a fellow Mom, I know how it feels sometimes as if it's crucial that our child finishes a bowl of food... like our life depended on it. But i've also really learned that in relaxing my attitude about feeding my son, I got more positive results.
Happy birthday SIL. Like what I told you, good luck to us in parenting our kids because it's really, really tough.