I love feeding my girls. They’re 7 months old. They don’t know what they’re doing. It’s a socio-science experiment. What will they like? What will they hate? Will they clamp their mouth shut? Will Ellie like one thing and Evie another?
Jen and I treat every bite like it’s fun and tasty. “Mmmmmm”, “Yummmyyyyy”, “Yaaaaaaay”. We smile. We pretend like we’re chewing and swallowing.
I learned quickly that it’s not about them eating the food. It’s about enjoying the experience of trying new things. Babies explore the world with their mouths and their hands. I don’t care if they spit the food out. I care that they have fun trying new things. I care that they learn to have fun being adventurous.
I sing baby opera to get them involved. I dance between them, bouncing around. They laugh. I laugh. They drool. I don’t. They spit. They swallow. They motor boat. They try to eat their bibs. They open their mouths, say ‘Ahhh’ and chomp enthusiastically at their spoon.
We like to think we’re a lot more advanced than we are. We’re not. We’re a lot like babies. We can use utensils and words with a bit more control. But we’re pretty similar.
Babies follow our lead. Just like we follow leaders, so do they. They follow really well when we model a behavior with enthusiasm. They do things they don’t enjoy more willingly when we make it look fun.
People follow our lead. Treat something like it sucks and people around will, too. Get excited about it and they may follow your lead.
Look for ways to make things fun and exciting. You might win the battle of will – the question people ask themselves, “Will I follow along or will I read more tweets?” More will follow and follow willingly.