shutterstock_143149798As parents, we all have struggles in raising our kids. Anyone who says they do not struggle with parenting in some fashion is either delusional or lying. As a mother, I pride myself on my ability to see my kids and the way I parent them with completely clear vision. I know their flaws, I know their strengths and I know my own as well. I am the first one to point out when I have done something wrong in parenting and I am also the first to notice if my kids are acting a fool. That said, my kids are absolutely fabulous eaters but I would never judge you for your picky kid.

I am not sure my husband and I did anything special to make our kids so open to trying new foods. We are not picky eaters ourselves and we love to cook and eat a variety of things but I know plenty of parents who fit that description as well and their kids are still very picky. We do not ascribe to the clean plate rule but we do ask that they try at least one bite of a food they are iffy on. All pretty standard-issue parenting, nothing out of the ordinary. Our kids both love to eat and rarely turn anything down and at ages five and nearly seven, have yet to hit even a brief picky phase. We have not looked at a kid’s menu since they were toddlers and they will eat things smothered in onions, spicy sauces and other traditionally non-kid items on a regular basis. Of course, they still love chicken nuggets and pizza, because hello, chicken nuggets and pizza, but they are every bit as willing to try beef stew or sausage, peppers and onions. I am very proud of this fact because of course, there are areas of parenting where we were not so lucky.

Our five year old son refused to sleep in his own bed for a long time and also, did not hit more than a five-hour stretch of sleep without waking until he was almost a year old. He nursed like crazy for the first 15 months of his life and refused a bottle. I took plenty of flack for these things with people telling me with complete certainty that THIS was how I could fix it and would proceed with a litany of tips to put a stop to the insanity. I used to listen politely but after some time, I began to bristle at all of the “advice” because none of it worked and only served to make me feel worse about my parenting and my son’s behavior.

After this experience, I would NEVER judge a parent for something their child was refusing to do because I know how frustrating it is and how much of it is truly out of our control. It is none of my business and it is not my place to give unsolicited advice on dealing with your picky eater just like it was no one’s place to tell me how to get my son to sleep. And to be honest, even if asked for advice on picky eaters, I’m not sure I would have any since I believe my kids were, for the most part, born this way.

We all struggle enough with parenting without facing the judgement from our brethren for things out of our control. I will proudly watch my kids consuming pasta drenched in pesto with a big portion of salad but I will not judge yours for nibbling a pickle and a cheese stick at dinner. It is my belief that so many of these things are the luck of the draw and I will just sit back and consider myself fortunate for the aspects that are going well and hope that no one will judge me too harshly for my failures.

(Image: Nina Buday/Shutterstock)

You can reach this post’s author, Valerie Williams, on Twitter or via e-mail at mommyishvalerie@gmail.com