It is important to prevent family meals from becoming a battlefield for more generalized family conflict. The association between food and love can be very close, and arguments about food and eating can be associated with tensions over other issues. In such cases food and eating behavior – for example, refusal to eat – can become a weapon that the child uses either to gain attention or to express anger, distress, and many other emotions. It is best, therefore, to be fairly easygoing about table etiquette with your child, to make mealtimes as relaxed as possible, and not to be drawn into arguments. Insist only on those aspects of table manners that you consider essential; refinements can come later.