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How can I get it through his head?!@#$ He steals food!!

First off, he isn't hungry. He gets fed 3 square meals, seconds if he wants them,and two snacks, plus juice and milk. I can't afford to keep losing food this way! I have done time outs, yelled at him, sent him to his room, excluded him from snack once, because he ate two yogurts while I changed the baby. He just doesn't care. I'm putting a lock on the cabinet today, but his lack of care for what I say is what's getting to me. Yesterday he ate all the yogurt, ice cream, chips, and crackers. He does it when we are sleeping at night. It's not that we don't watch him, he finds opportunities. He's not scared of punishments, so what do I do??


Asked by Anonymous at 9:27 AM on Apr. 23, 2011 in Preschoolers (3-4)

This question is closed.
Answers (26)
  • You are most welcome. Take a deep breath. Everyone is your house is still probably off schedule and stressed out because of the move. Moving is one of the most stressful events for an adult - think about how stressful it has to be for your son. Spend today going to a local park or running outside in your "yard" , etc. Get your mind off the situation and remove your son from the food source for a while.
    Remember though, that yelling at him, doesn't work. But if you feel the need to yell - head to your closet and yell will make you feel better. And then get down on your son's level and whisper to him.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:50 AM on Apr. 23, 2011

  • He needs to be diagnosed. Sounds like he has a definite eating disorder. He needs professional help as quickly as possible.

    Answer by meooma at 9:30 AM on Apr. 23, 2011

  • Sounds like he is addicted to food, just don't buy them, ice cream and chips are not good for anyone either, now anything nutritious I would let him have.

    Answer by older at 9:29 AM on Apr. 23, 2011

  • kids don't eat unless they ARE hungry. they grow at different rates and need more food at different times. putting a lock up is not the answer. try giving him a more filling snack and help him break this habit of eating at night a different way than getting mad at him all the time.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:29 AM on Apr. 23, 2011

  • My DD has done the same things. We did finally put a knob with a lock on the pantry door. The key is out of reach. There is also a baby monitor in the room may help you know when he is up and bells on the door to know when it is opened. Though I agree chips and ice cream are not necessary in the house especially if they are causing problems.

    Answer by But_Mommie at 9:33 AM on Apr. 23, 2011

  • He's a 3-4 yr old?? Put locks on all cabinets AND the fridge.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:35 AM on Apr. 23, 2011

  • Is the move causing him stress sometimes defiance comes from stress that he as a child is not able to discuss maybe he needs to talk to someone and maybe he should also try play therapy it can help.

    Answer by pinkdragon36 at 9:38 AM on Apr. 23, 2011

  • Sounds to me like it's something more than just being hungry. I would talk to your doctor about it.

    Answer by skittles1108 at 9:42 AM on Apr. 23, 2011

  • said something in a reply that you didn't put in your original post - You just moved - he's reacting to the stress of the move, in addition to everything else. Take him out just the two of you - find someone to watch the baby - and talk to him. He's got to get his frustrations out somehow. Take him to a park and run him, talk to him. And Listen. WE all forget to listen to that age.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:44 AM on Apr. 23, 2011

  • I used to do it when I was little I ate when I was nervous or when food was withheld for days on end for me being five or ten pounds over the acceptible weight. He should be checked it might be he is eating because he is hungry or because something is wrong for him have you asked him and get his doctor involved.

    Answer by pinkdragon36 at 9:35 AM on Apr. 23, 2011