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How much is too much or too little?

I have a blended family, I've raised my three children that if the feel full the should stop eating but will not get any snacks they have to wait to eat at the next meal. My SO has raised his two children to finish everything on their plates because "you never know when your going to get to eat again" (he grew up poor) . This difference in parenting styles caused many arguments for the enitire family till we agreed to disagree and have two sets of rules at the table. Well, lately the fight is on again because he feels that my children are being bratty for not eating everthing on their plates ( I only make them finish the vegetables) and his children don't think it's fair that they HAVE to finish everything. ALL the chidren may not be excused till everyone is done eating so that is not the issue. What is the rule in your house? How can I get him to calm down and stop trying to force feed my kids?

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Asked by hotrodlassie at 12:49 PM on Jan. 5, 2009 in General Parenting

Level 16 (2,696 Credits)
Answers (15)
  • Well my dh was raised much the same as you dh seems to have been and so was my mom. Both have weight problems now because the psychological damage that can happen to telling a child you never know when theyll have food again can make them paranoid about not having food. If that makes sense. Forcing them to eat something they dont want to eat can be damaging as well. Having them TRY something new is one thing. I never force my kids to eat things they dont like or after they are full. If I make something new I do make them atleast try it.

    Answer by gemgem at 12:57 PM on Jan. 5, 2009

  • First of all, you both need to sit down and come to an agreement on the table rules. I agree with the kids that its not fair that there be two different sets of rule...especially if all of the kids live there all of the time. My kids don't have to clean their plates but do have to eat a great deal of their portions....If they don't eat all or most of their dinner, then they get no snack or desert afterwards.

    Answer by mom2boyz at 12:57 PM on Jan. 5, 2009

  • I have a very blended family also and we HAD this problem. Simple..... when you make their plates, put on their plates what they like to eat the most. I have 5 kids at my table every day and I am not going to make this a time that is not fun. So, YOU prepare their plates to their likings and you should not have this problem. We have a snack after dinner and if they refuse to eat than they do not get anything extra.

    Answer by JLynn0871 at 1:04 PM on Jan. 5, 2009

  • Ok, the whole, "you don't know when you will get to eat again" is a terrible argument to use with a child. That isn't something that a child should have to consider. SS had this problem with BM. He actually stopped eating there so that his BM, her boyfriend, and all of her boyfriend's family would have enough to eat. He would be there for a full 24 hours, and would only eat a bowl of cereal the entire time. What if all the kids finished 75% of their meals? Or if all the portions got reduced so the children could eat until they were full and then not have as much extra on the plate? It definitely isn't fair and IMO, more to his children than to yours. Some compromise needs to be made.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:04 PM on Jan. 5, 2009

  • It is not healthy to force yourself to eat more than what your body can handle. So that can cause problems for future health. How to solve this? You and your husband visit a nutritionist.   He or she will set you right. I have actually done a wellness group for middle school kids on mind, body, spirit. Part of the body was about eating. Look, for now have your children fix their portions. SMALL portions. They can always go back for more. Leftovers go into the fridge for your hubby's lunch. or compost. General rule is no portion should be bigger than the person's fist who is eating it. A doctor or nutritionist can assist you in what food items should be presented from the food groups. Or go on line and do some digging on what should be at the tabel. As far as calling children bratty - that is only name calling and should end NOW.


    Answer by frogdawg at 1:04 PM on Jan. 5, 2009

  • My mother used to fix our plates and make us eat everything before we could leave the table and I hated it! I say let the kids fix hubby's plate and make him finish it before he can leave the table! See how he likes other people dictating how hungry he has to be because they say so. And different rules for kids in the same house unless they are age related are not fair to the kids or the parents.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:21 PM on Jan. 5, 2009

  • I agree that it's not fair to his kids but I can't make him raise "his" my way. Their are things that "his" are allowed to do that "mine" aren't.

    Answer by hotrodlassie at 1:29 PM on Jan. 5, 2009

  • I feel you need to reach some sort of agreement with him or you will never feel like a family. It will be your kids and his kids to you two and the kids. It's not fair to have 2 different sets of rules for them. We guve our kids a proper portion and make them eat it all. If DD doesn't want to finish, it goes in the fridge and that's what she'll have for snack lter. We give her 3 small snacks a day. One she gets in the morning at school, she has an after school snack, and then one just before bed. Occasionaly we will let her off with out finishing if she doesn't like it or if we accidnetly give her too much (like if we have steak and hers it a little bigger than she can handle). We want her not to waste food, but we don't want to stuff her, and possibly cause and eating disorder and for her to become a big girl. I put the prope amount of food on her plat that she is to finish and if sh wants seconds she can have it.

    Answer by Sammieanne at 1:32 PM on Jan. 5, 2009

  • You say you can't make him raise them your way, maybe it is you that needs to comprimise. Or sit the kids down and have them come up with a comprimise of both rules that they all think if fair. They may supprise you and come up with the answer you are looking for.

    Answer by Sammieanne at 1:34 PM on Jan. 5, 2009

  • Both sets of kids need to have the same rules so you need to come up with some kind of compromise. He either stops making his kids finish everything on their plate or you start serving your kids smaller portions so they eat it all.

    Answer by sammiesmom2000 at 1:39 PM on Jan. 5, 2009

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