Sending Kids to Bed Without Dinner: Would You?

Jeanne Sager
11


Photo by Celeste825
Sending a child to bed without dinner is high on my list of punishments I won't be recycling from my parents' days.

Or so I thought.

Then came my daughter's refusal to eat dinner last week. And I do mean flat out refusal.

At 4 she can dig in her heels with the best of them, and by bedtime she was still saying "no" to even a glass of milk.

I should be clear -- this was not a punishment. As an eating disorder sufferer, I'm particularly uneasy about connecting food and discipline in any way. CafeMoms had a long discussion about this last year, debating what's worse -- spanking your child or sending them to bed without dinner.

But when it's 9 p.m., and your child just won't eat, what do you do?

So I sent her to bed . . . only to have her come out of her room at 10:30 p.m. moaning that her belly hurt because she was hungry.

It was too late to make dinner, and an over-full belly can actually make it harder for your tot to sleep. It's better to leave a gap between dinner time and bedtime to help them digest.

In our case we opted for a few yogurt drinks to soothe her tummy, and a hearty breakfast in the a.m.

Do your kids have trouble sleeping because of their dinner-time routine?

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