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Mom Confessions Mom Confessions

At my wit's end, constructive suggestions welcome!

Anonymous
Posted by Anonymous
  • 43 Replies

Okay, I have a 5 year old boy and a 4 year old girl and have been battling with them over the last year or so to get through their thick little skulls that they are not allowed to get into the food without asking first.  We feed them well balanced meals, they are very healthy and we are always praised for how healthy they are at all appointments.  They get three nutritious meals a day and snacks (if they ask and it isn't too close to a meal).  We don't feed them a bunch of empty foods that might leave their bodies craving nutrients.  We have tried reward charts, both good and bad behavior charts, we have tried everything we can think of, nothing persuades them that it is better to obey.  They will obey when we are at other people's houses.  Not at home, though (or if we are camping or in a hotel).  Today alone they thought it was a good idea to eat half a container of yogurt when I was taking the dog out (we live in an apartment on the top floor).  I took 10 minutes to take a shower and they got into ice cream.  I don't even remember the last time they got dessert because they lose it if they get into the food or are caught trying to get into it.  Today alone from getting into the food or getting caught trying to get into the food they have lost games (both board and electronic) for today and tomorrow, the special craft we were going to do, TV/movies for today and tomorrow, breakfast (if they get into food before breakfast they lose that- thought that alone would be motivation enough, it would have been for me as a child), and dessert for today and tomorrow.  They are upset about it, but it still doesn't motivate them to follow the rules.  I am at my wits end, I have no ideas left for how to motivate them to obey this rule.  We are on a tight budget in a high cost of living area.  We cannot afford to replace the things they eat at the rate they consume them.  Things like yogurt and ice cream (their choices for today) are luxuries we usually go without and to have them half gone in one day without even getting any yet is more than frustrating.  Anyone dealt with this before?  Have any ideas of what to do?  Or why they are doing it?  They say, upon being asked, that they don't know why they are doing it and won't obey.  I swear, nothing phases these kids.  And we can't install a lock on the fridge (or all the cupboards, because that is what it would take).  And they don't discriminate.  If we successfully hide the more appealing things, they will get into other things, like butter or flour or the pepper grinder... you get the idea.  Help!


** I guess I need to clarify.  We do not limit how much they eat, we only ask that they ask us first.  I don't think that is too much to ask and have seen it work successfully in many homes with kids younger than mine.  They lose breakfast when the amount they snuck is equivalent to a meal or close to it.  Normal portion sizes for 4 and 5 year olds don't apply here.  They regularly out eat my husband and I.  For examle, for lunch today they are splitting a box of mac'n'cheese and are each having a sandwich with bread, cheese, spinach, tomato, turkey slices, and cucumber.  Desserts are a priviledge, they finish their meal, they get dessert.  That is only if/when we have them in the house.  Hunger is not a factor here, many times I find the half eaten remains of what they got into hidden in various loations.  They only do this when they know I will not be able to watch them for a couple minutes.  At their age my two kids are fully able to process the concept of get into food=no dessert.  Not only are they old enough, but even if they wouldn't normally be so, they are advanced and regularly comprehend things beyond their peers' ability (we have had professionals who deal with children confirm this, so not our personal thoughts alone).


Posted by Anonymous on Nov. 13, 2013 at 4:43 PM
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Replies (1-10):
Mtdewwid
by Silver Member on Nov. 13, 2013 at 4:46 PM
Sounds like your kids are trying to tell you something maybe?
soon2bmomof2grs
by Gold Member on Nov. 13, 2013 at 4:47 PM
1 mom liked this

Seems they are hungry. Maybe try adding some to their portions at lunch or dinner and see if it helps? Got nothing besides that.

orchardmoma
by on Nov. 13, 2013 at 4:49 PM

Is there a way to keep them out of the kitchen? If not I would just keep reinforcing the rules. The one thing I wouldn't do is use food as punishment, that is a really bad idea that will backfire in later years. 

Anonymous
by Anonymous 2 on Nov. 13, 2013 at 4:51 PM

yea I've got nothing. My kids get food whenever they are hungry, as long as it's not right before dinner! 

Both are extremely healthy and not overweight. Actually my son looks a little under weight, but I was like that too growing up. 

CB3arr
by on Nov. 13, 2013 at 4:52 PM

Well I was going to say put locks on the cabinets and fridge...

Anonymous
by Anonymous 3 on Nov. 13, 2013 at 4:53 PM
2 moms liked this

When my kids start getting into thing or being rowdy I make them shadow me. When I'm doing dishes they color on the table. When I'm making beds they are helping me with the blankets (they love doing this one lol). If I am sitting down to read a book they can read or bring a toy and play next to me. They don't like not having their freedom. Good luck

Anonymous
by Anonymous - Original Poster on Nov. 13, 2013 at 4:54 PM


That's what I would think, except they are both very big eaters and usually we let them eat their fill.  They excuse themselves when they are full.  The only times we cut them off is when they've had, like, four six inch pancakes, a fried egg, two slices of bacon, and a glass of milk and are asking for more.  And that is usually because we are full with that and there is no possible way their little belly could not be satisfied by that much food.

Quoting soon2bmomof2grs:

Seems they are hungry. Maybe try adding some to their portions at lunch or dinner and see if it helps? Got nothing besides that.



Anonymous
by Anonymous 4 on Nov. 13, 2013 at 4:54 PM
Don't buy treats period for a wile maybe
Idk what to tell you sorey
onaflowers
by Silver Member on Nov. 13, 2013 at 4:54 PM
4 moms liked this
Kids get healthy food when they want it no matter what. How about a drawer of fruits veggies cheese and other good things that they are free to eat any time.
susannah2000
by on Nov. 13, 2013 at 4:55 PM
1 mom liked this

Maybe they are hungry? You say if they can't get food, they will eat anything that is remotely edible, and it seems like compulsive behavior? Have you discussed this with their doctor? I think that should be the next step, and in detail.


ETA: the compulsive overeating reminds me of Prader-Willi Syndrome, which is, among other things, characterized by excessive and compulsive overeating, but there are also other characteristics like poor muscle development etc. OP says her kids are very healthy. But, there is something not right about constant gorging on anything they can get into their mouths. I really really hope OP talks to their doctor. I think also she shouldn't punish them until they know for sure what is going on. Their behavior may be out of their control.

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