Originally Posted by Raene
Maybe I'm just living in the wrong place. This kind of behavior would never have been tolerated a few generations ago...
I feel the same way, that my children do so many things that I just never would have been able to get away with, but part of the reason we couldn't get away with it is because we knew we would face serious punishment.
My daughter has told me a number of times that she hates my food and it's disgusting, and she has ended up in tears when we told her she is free not to eat food she finds disgusting, but I'm not going to make another dinner for her when she won't even try a single bite of it. She disliked some food a friend of mine made--it was tuna salad, but she had no mayonnaise so she used olive oil, and my daughter didn't like it at all and basically said that in front of my friend. I took her away and talked to her about how that was rude, it took her awhile to see it. But she thinks it is just being honest and people should understand that not everyone likes the same things. We ended up leaving the house for the play date because she was unhappy, not willing or maybe just not able to keep her emotions in check, and I didn't think it was fair to the hosts.
My personal view is that children feel free to say these things because they are safe to do it. I was not safe from bodily harm or censure if I were to say things like that, plus I wanted people to like me. I can get angry and speak sharply to my daughter, but things don't necessarily change at least not for a long time, it seems. It takes a long time for children to really realize that life is more than just what they see in their own little world.
I believe, and I know some will disagree, if a child that you've invited for dinner tells you that your food is disgusting, you should say something to the child about it. Maybe that you find these comments hurtful and you find it rude that they would say this to you. That might actually mean more coming from you than from their own parents, since you are the one who is being hurt by the comment.