The Difference Between Leverage and Spoiling

Early in the second season of Parenthood, there is a situation where we see a struggle for power between parents and child. The characters Joel and Julia's six year old daughter, Sydney, all of a sudden becomes a self-declared Vegetarian. She can, therefore, justify refusing the chicken on her plate that night at dinner, especially since a friend at school has convinced her that eating meat is morally wrong, and disgusting. 

After her parents struggle a bit with how to respond, and after telling her she needs her protein and the whole bit, they decide to be completely supportive of her position, for various reasons. However, the next night, her Grandparents are slated to babysit her, and they bring a big pan of lasagna along.  The parents- feeling greatly defeated- explain her decision, and say that they desire to be supportive. 


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