Originally Posted by captain crunchy
I guess my point is, I am not raising a 6 year old not to say dinner is gross. [...] but at the same time, what is the recourse? Punishing her or shaming her or yelling at her at the table? How does that help? Correcting her or sending her to another room to eat alone, or giving her a nasty look and scoling her in the car later? I mean what would be the action taken if my daughter happened to say something like that? (again, not that I would be all happy if she did).
Presumably, the same way that we use GD to deal with other issues. In the moment, I'd probably say something in a quiet aside to my daughter, like "that wasn't a very kind thing to say," or "that wasn't a very polite thing to say." Afterward, I'd talk it through with her: "How do you suppose Grandma felt when you said the dinner she made was gross? I think she might have felt sad. How do you think you'd feel if you worked hard on a picture for someone, and they said it was gross? Let's try to figure out another way that you could handle it if someone makes a dinner you don't like."
(Possible options: "I wouldn't care for any, thank you." "I think I'll just have a little bit of the lima bean surprise." "Could I have some bread and butter, please?" Not saying anything, just not eating much of anything and asking Mom to fix you something afterward.)
Sometimes it's necessary to your authentic self to say exactly what you think of a person or a situation, regardless of whether that opinion is kind. I don't think a gross dinner or an unwanted gift qualifies, though. It's not insincere to stop yourself from saying every single thing that pops into your head.
Suppose another kid has disfiguring facial scars. Is it 'insincere' to teach your child that one doesn't say things like "Wow, your scars are ugly," because it will hurt the person's feelings? I'm not saying that children should be taught to say "You're so beautiful" in that situation, but they can learn to find something positive to comment on: "You're so good at basketball - will you teach me how to make a jump shot?"
Similarly, children don't have to react to Grandma's itchy homemade sweater with, "Wow, it's my favorite present ever!", but they could learn to find something positive they *can* say: "Wow, Grandma, you *made* this? It's so cool that you know how to do that!" Or, "Blue is my favorite color, thanks!"