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Should you YELL at a little girl that is only 2 years old?

Last night my Granddaughter didn't want to eat her dinner. Instead she wanted her bedtime bottle. My Daughter started yelling at her right in her face with her hand held up telling her to eat her food. Asked her if she wanted a beating. My Granddaughter started crying. She told her to stop crying and eat her food. She looked at me crying and struggling to get to me. I started talking to her in a calm voice, asking her not to cry because she couldn't eat her food if she was crying because she might get choked. I finally sat her on my lap, comforted her and started feeding her her food. My question is Should You Yell at your child if she doesn't want to eat?

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Asked by Anonymous at 7:20 AM on Feb. 19, 2010 in Toddlers (1-2)

Answers (68)
  • you were wrong to interfer period. you are underminding your daughters parenting. right or wrong. its not YOUR child. do they live with you? likely not. which means you dont know what level of stress your daughter is at right now. Maybe instead of dissing bashing and undermining her, you could call her today and ask if you can help in any way because you have noticed she is frazzled.

    Answer by sati769leigh at 7:29 AM on Feb. 19, 2010

  • Take it from someone who was FORCED to clean their plate when they were a child--THAT is not something that your daughter needs to scream at your granddaughter about--unless of course she wants her to develop an eating disorder as a result!

    Your daughter is probably extremely stressed right now--we all get that way from time to time--but that is what should be addressed at this moment. Your daughter needs to learn to pick her battles. I have never known a young child to starve themselves when food is available! It's possible your granddaughter simply wasn't hungry, or is stressed out by your daughters stress that she can't eat--and that is really sad at her age!

    Food should never be used as a threat or as a "bargaining tool" to get a desired result.

    Answer by LoriKeet at 7:52 AM on Feb. 19, 2010

  • No and BS to anyone who says you were wrong in removing a child from an abusive situation. It's NOT wrong to comfort a child when someone who is supposed to love and nurture her verbally abuses her and threatens to beat her over not eating. Screaming at a child bruises their spirit and can upset their tummy. I would lose my appetite if someone was yelling at me. Even adults don't want solid foods sometimes and want only liquids. There is nothing wrong with that. You daughter needs to take a parenting class. If she continues this she will make the child neurotic and sickly not to mention ruin her self esteem as she grows. I'd tell dd to take anger management classes while she's at it. That was a bit over the edge to threaten to beat a 2 yr old for not wanting to eat.

    Answer by admckenzie at 8:07 AM on Feb. 19, 2010

  • I disagree with making kids eat just because some adult says it's time for them to eat. I think kids should be in control of how much they want to eat and if they aren't hungry that should be respected. But, sometimes when it comes to food struggles it can be hard to strike the right balance between giving your kids a reasonable amount of control and letting them take right over. If I felt she needed to eat her dinner I would have just told her she needed to eat a bit more before I gave her milk.

    Even if your daughter is of the old school "kids need to clean their plate" mentality her reaction was way over the top. She must be super stressed because IMO it wasn't even a big deal. Dinner is usually the most difficult meal to get small kids to eat because they're tired at the end of the day. I think it's pretty inappropriate to get in a 2 yr old's face and threaten a beating. A little disturbing really.

    Answer by EmilyandIsaac at 8:13 AM on Feb. 19, 2010

  • And yeah, I agree with admackenzie. It would turn my stomach and make me sick if someone was yelling at me and threatening to beat me. I hope that little girl didn't even know what those words meant.

    Answer by EmilyandIsaac at 8:17 AM on Feb. 19, 2010

  • I think that you should worry about your daughter. I have been there and if I had had my mom there I would know that she would have pulled me aside and talked to me about how I felt. Then said why don't you take a minute and I will see about the child. On the food part, if you take a child and put them on your lap to feed them then that is what they are going to expect that that will be wanted alot. If a child is not eating then they know that they are not hungery OR it is overwhelming. If they are not eating then try telling them eat only this much. The bottle at this age is probably the problem with eating. If she knows that she will get a bottle and she is not very hungary then she knows that bottle will fill her up. NO the screaming at the child is not great. But worry about the granddaughter but not the daughter is what YOU need to look at!

    Answer by tichelle at 8:31 AM on Feb. 19, 2010

  • She was wrong, doctors, counselors, say it all the time, "do not force a child to eat" thats how obesity and eating disorders start, of course don't offer snacks (except healthy ones) or candy either, my Dd is like that sometimes, she doesn't wanna eat, she just wants her milk, and that is fine with me, sometimes she is the opposite and eats all her food, that is fine with me also, she is healthy, a child will not starve to death, they will eat, when they are hungry. My mother used to do that to me, force me to eat, and I won't do that to my child.


    Answer by cholita1978 at 8:35 AM on Feb. 19, 2010

  • admckenzie07, ABUSE? are you KIDDING ME? good lord.

    Answer by sati769leigh at 8:40 AM on Feb. 19, 2010

  • I do thnk the mom here is WRONG. but the grandmas approach is ALSO JUST AS WRONG people.

    Answer by sati769leigh at 8:40 AM on Feb. 19, 2010

  • I agree with admckenzie, LoriKeet, and this part of tichelle-"I think that you should worry about your daughter. I have been there and if I had had my mom there I would know that she would have pulled me aside and talked to me about how I felt. Then said why don't you take a minute and I will see about the child."

    Your daughter's reaction was over the top & if she reacted that way IN FRONT OF YOU, I'd wonder what she'd have done if you weren't there. I'd tell her that she needs a break, offer to watch GD while she gets out for a cup of coffee, or watches a movie, even if she's alone, or even if she just needed a nap. I'd tell her that 2 y/o is a wonderful age, but the it's EASY to get overwhelmed. And BTW, this isn't about FOOD, it's about ANGER. Please get her some help. Normally, I'd say not to interfere with her parenting, however, it's the potential for abuse that I worry about. Try to talk to DD & keep your eye on GD.

    Answer by doodlebopfan at 8:47 AM on Feb. 19, 2010

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