My sister and I ate at the kitchen table while our parents ate in the family room, watching the news. We all ate at the dining table on holidays and special occasions.
My mum was considered too lenient because she never tried to force us to eat. Her theory was that it would just teach us a method of aggravating parents. We had to taste everything. If we said we were too full to eat everything on the plate, then we had to eat some of everything or no dessert. If she hadn't made that rule, both my sister and I would have eaten all the meat and then asked for dessert.
There was one time that my sister and I didn't want to finish our oatmeal. I have no idea why. I'm pretty sure my mum tasted it to make sure there wasn't anything wrong with it. She said, "Fine, I'll fry it up for lunch. You aren't getting anything else to eat until it's finished." She did. We hated it, but ate it.