So I did it. Last week I sent all three kids to bed without supper. The reactions I have gotten have been interesting.
First, the story. It was last week and the kids had been up late the night before (back to school night). We got home from work/school and the kids were being really rambunctious. I was working with the girls on one drawing project, but they were all just sort of knocking off the walls. I went to start dinner, and realized I was still in my work clothes. I told the kids I would be right back (DH was upstairs on a phone call) and went up to change clothes. I was gone MAYBE 5 minutes. On the way back down I hear wailing and crying and screaming - from all 3. I get down and see all 3 kids crying or screaming, a shattered chair on the ground, and a bloody scratch on K's leg. I make sure K is ok, and then lose it. I scream " I don't know what the hell (yes, I said hell, bad mommy again) has been going on here, but you 3 can all march your butts upstairs and get ready for baths. You are going to bed without dinner!" All three kids are now wailing even louder but make their way upstairs. We did baths, read books, and put them to bed around 7:20 (normal bedtime 8-8:30). Once they were in the bath, none of them said another word about missing dinner. I went back up at 7:45 to ask K a question, and they were all crashed out. Hasn't been mentioned since.
When I have told other moms that I did this, the reaction has been interesting. Several have said, they couldn't do it - would feel too guilty. I have to say I didn't feel guilty at all once I did it. I felt a slight pang when it came out of my mouth, but they were all complaining about dinner (hamburgers and fries- what is wrong with these children??!!) and I know they all had a snack around 4pm. Others have said they really wanted to do it, but had thought it would make them a bad mom. Several have said they may try it now that I have done it.
I didn't want to be a trend setter in this area, and have no intention of making it a regular thing. But it was very effective at the time. (as it turns out we believe they were climbing onto the back of the sofa, jumping on the wooden chair and then onto the floor - eventually breaking the wooden chair). And I don't regret it at all. DH was also brilliant in deciding we wouldn't eat the hamburgers and fries after they went to bed - we ordered Outback, and we had the hamburgers and fries the next night (lest they believe this was an effective way of getting out of a dinner they didn't want). My children don't seem scarred in the least. And like I say, I don't plan to use this as a regular tool. But once or twice a year, when warranted, might not be a bad thing.