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Choosing to live with not very much of anything. - Page 7

post #121 of 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post
The only way you can ever truly have nothing to do is if you have no imagination and you're alone.



I am glad I am not your neighbor. We have 1 car (a old 15 pass van), My kids do not watch TV, we do not eat fast food, or other "junk". They eat 3 meals a day and 2 snacks. They do not just rummage and eat whatever they want when they want. I grew up on Twinkies, and eating however much of whatever I wanted. I am paying for it in my 30's. Since I was never taught portion control, or any good eating habits, and struggle with my weight. I do not want that for my kids. Our 3 yo we have custody of from a family member was over 50 lbs at 2 years old when we took him. He would just sit with a bottle of milk, and a bag of goldfish or cookies. He would cry for junk food. Now he eats a well balanced diet with the right portions for his age, and is happy and healthy.

There are no toys in my kids room, we have a play area with a playstand and some playsilks, a kitchen set, some blocks, a few wooden cars, and a doll house. They do not have any video games, or flashy electric toys. They all love books, and to color and draw. They also love to build forts with blankets, or put on plays. They will do these things before playing with any toy we have. They also like to go outside and look for bugs, lizards, see if the chickens laid eggs, climb the tree, etc.

I do not feel like they are deprived because there is not a platter of snacks out on the table at all times, nor do we have a Wii, cable TV, or anything else that "every other kid has"
post #122 of 155
I've found this discussion amazingly interesting, and I'll post my thoughts. I tried to read all the posts, and I was wondering about why you originally posted about the SAHP being able to make a significant amount of money.

To me, when I read your post, it just seemed like you didn't "get" the choice that they made - to only have one income that was limiting their ability to give their children things that you would like to give your kids (or maybe that you think most parents want to give their kids).

If the parents limited their income, but were still spending lots of money on themselves, while giving the kids zilch, I'd say this was an issue. But if they are making a whole family lifestyle choice, I see it as a choice.

To be honest, as an educated woman who chooses to stay at home, I feel like there's way too much pressure for me to work. So many families have two incomes now, that I sometimes feel like I "should" go back to work just to maintain ourselves within the norm of income/material possessions. I do have a choice about whether to stay home or not, but there is societal pressure to choose to work.

Anyway, no judgment meant to the OP, I just thought it was interesting that you chose to include that information.
post #123 of 155
Thread Starter 
I guess I put that info in because it presented the situation as it is. I guess I can also continue to try and clarify since some folks seem to have taken offense to my inquiries.

I have no judgment toward people who live simply. I myself live more simply than some, not so simply to others. I do not give my child 'whatever she wants' nor do allow her to rummage through cabinets full of junk food. I don't know how inquiries regarding providing enough food for children so they are not ravenous turned into 'eating junk food all day long'. There is a big difference between allowing food and withholding food. And providing enough for optimum health and providing just what you think is necessary. I am not convinced that these parents are choosing the former and I appreciate the perspectives that other parents can give me.

I have gained great clarity in reading all of the responses and comments and have in earlier posts stated this. On further reflection I think that one or two posters may be on to something. Like that maybe the scant or simple lifestyle choice (in this case the availability of food) may be a little too scant for one or the other child. Not so much to implicate neglect, but maybe to indicate some behavioral issues regarding food. And also, I can clearly see a difference between the older two kids and how they are able to cope with the scarcity of 'things' where as the younger one doesn't seem to have this same ability. Of coarse some behavior difference is expected due to age difference, but I think even in personality there is a distinct difference in her ability to 'cope'.

So, hurray for the people living simply... and hurray for those who don't. Without such diverse experiences we would not have anything to discuss.
post #124 of 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by aspenleaves View Post

I have gained great clarity in reading all of the responses and comments and have in earlier posts stated this. On further reflection I think that one or two posters may be on to something. Like that maybe the scant or simple lifestyle choice (in this case the availability of food) may be a little too scant for one or the other child. Not so much to implicate neglect, but maybe to indicate some behavioral issues regarding food. And also, I can clearly see a difference between the older two kids and how they are able to cope with the scarcity of 'things' where as the younger one doesn't seem to have this same ability. Of coarse some behavior difference is expected due to age difference, but I think even in personality there is a distinct difference in her ability to 'cope'.
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I think the issue many of us are pushing back on is that it's not clear you have any evidence that there IS "scant" food at home. Dozens of posters have noted that their well-fed kids go crazy over food at others' houses, because the friends' food is different or exciting. I guess I would just refrain from passing judgment before you've spoken to the other mom--otherwise, there's no way of knowing if this is an issue of "scarcity" or just behavior.
post #125 of 155
Thread Starter 
I guess scant is relative. For my child I allow her to eat when she is hungry. There is food available to her whenever she wants it. She is not allowed to eat junk whenever she wants, but I don't enforce mealtimes so much as making healthy choices. I can see where getting older and having more structure in the day could mean eating more at mealtimes is necessary. Maybe this is the case here. Since I only have one child this is my first trip around...

I think there is scant food available because of my perspective. If a child is hungry I believe they should be allowed to eat. I don't think they should be catered to to such a degree that entitlement sets in, but there is no need for my child to be hungry.

She too will take food others offer or have available and so I don't think that in and of itself is a sign of scant food being available at home. I posted to gain clarity and I have. On closer reflection I do think these kids are offered less than I would deem appropriate (for my child) and I used the description of scant to explain this situation. I tend to err on the opposite side of the spectrum and if you told me that my child was glutenous I would take offense. There is no way she is glutenous, but to some maybe she is if they tend to prefer scant living. another word I used was monastic and other still could be simple etc.

I do think perspective plays an important role in discussing issues and there isn't need for anyone to take offense if they choose to live simply
post #126 of 155
Unless you've actually spoken to the mother about the food issue, don't read too much into it. SO many other things could be going on. My second son used to eat so much that he would vomit, so we had to restrict his eating until he was able to learn how to tell when he was full. Other families choose not to eat certain foods; if this child is a girl, her parents may be particular about foods that may contain hormones. I guess I'm just saying don't be quick to jump to conclusions. No mom needs to feel like the neighbors are breathing down her neck and ready to call children's services. What the mom might need though is an understanding person to talk to. Maybe there are issues of not enough money, but going into it with the attitude of "Why don't you get a job and feed your kids more" is a sure-fire way to make her disregard anything you have to say whether it's valid or not. No one likes someone preaching to them about how they are parenting their child. No one. I guess if it honestly is a concern in your eyes, I'm wondering why the negative feelings instead of sympathy or compassion?

I also agree with a PP who mentioned not rewarding the grabby hands behavior. No way would I allow my kids to eat something they snatched out of someone's hands!
post #127 of 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by aspenleaves View Post
I have no judgment toward people who live simply. I myself live more simply than some, not so simply to others. I do not give my child 'whatever she wants' nor do allow her to rummage through cabinets full of junk food. I don't know how inquiries regarding providing enough food for children so they are not ravenous turned into 'eating junk food all day long'. There is a big difference between allowing food and withholding food. And providing enough for optimum health and providing just what you think is necessary. I am not convinced that these parents are choosing the former and I appreciate the perspectives that other parents can give me.

I have gained great clarity in reading all of the responses and comments and have in earlier posts stated this. On further reflection I think that one or two posters may be on to something. Like that maybe the scant or simple lifestyle choice (in this case the availability of food) may be a little too scant for one or the other child. Not so much to implicate neglect, but maybe to indicate some behavioral issues regarding food. And also, I can clearly see a difference between the older two kids and how they are able to cope with the scarcity of 'things' where as the younger one doesn't seem to have this same ability. Of coarse some behavior difference is expected due to age difference, but I think even in personality there is a distinct difference in her ability to 'cope'.
Bolding mine. ITA. Younger kids can not ration food, store for later, find other ways to get food when parents are not looking (like stealing apples from the neighbors apple tree)... Older kids can. Not saying this is happening here. I don't know, and it seems you do not either.

And some kids have wild metabolisms and need a LOT of food, more than their parents think, in order to get their basic needs met. The brain burns up a ton of sugar just to function.

At the point these basic needs are not met, there is neglect. You do not need tv or games to be healthy, you do not need twinkies either, but you need more than just bread and broccoli (no matter how wonderful these two items are). My 5 yo DS likes to say "I am WILD about broccoli, and DD is WILD about rice, and you are WILD about colors." (I am an artist and I like food to be healthy but also look nice on the plate, hence colors). Anyway, my kids do not NEED paintings or colors (though it would be a sad world without them), but they absolutely do need rice and broccoli and a large variety of other foods as well.
post #128 of 155
Hmmm, this is kind of o/t, or at least mutating the topic, but isn't hunger a GOOD thing to experience? I don't mean day-in-day-out hunger, i mean before-eating hunger?

I don't withhold food indefinitely from my DD, (she's 3.5) but if she's had lunch 20mins previously and tells me she's hungry i say "well, you just ate" - 90% of the time she is not hungry, she is bored! A child who is hungry will still be hungry when colouring with me, or building a table-fort. Mine never is, once involved in a more interesting activity she is no longer hungry. I don't think that hunger is a bad thing for her to feel, and i hope for her (and the rest of us) to feel it before we eat, because it should be WHY we eat. If i feed her 3mins after she says she's hungry she picks at her dinner, if i feed her 30mins later she clears her plate, which for me represents a better attitude to both her body's signals and to food. I never insist she clear her plate, not by any means, i merely try to ensure she eats when she's genuinely hungry and thus naturally wants to eat a decent portion.

I absolutely would NOT let her pick all day, even on "healthy" food (which is very subjective i have found). She always has room for a stick of cheese or a second orange, but if she eats like that all day she'll never find the room for her peas and brocolli at dinner. I also cook one meal for the whole family and everyone eats it - she's been having curry and chilli-based foods since weaning. I will ocasionally let her choose dinner for the family (it's always thai curry with mama's roti when she chooses ) but i never let her opt in or out of family meals.

Is hunger an Evil, to be avoided at all costs? Again i reiterate, i am not talking about hunger following days or weeks of under-eating, i mean hunger from your body saying "hey, running low here, time to eat".
post #129 of 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoBecGo View Post
I don't withhold food indefinitely from my DD, (she's 3.5) but if she's had lunch 20mins previously and tells me she's hungry i say "well, you just ate" - 90% of the time she is not hungry, she is bored!

I absolutely would NOT let her pick all day, even on "healthy" food (which is very subjective i have found). She always has room for a stick of cheese or a second orange, but if she eats like that all day she'll never find the room for her peas and brocolli at dinner. I also cook one meal for the whole family and everyone eats it
Is hunger an Evil, to be avoided at all costs? Again i reiterate, i am not talking about hunger following days or weeks of under-eating, i mean hunger from your body saying "hey, running low here, time to eat".
I agree totally with this. Children need to learn how to tell when they are genuinely hungry or they are just wanting to eat because they can't think of anything else to do. They cannot learn this if food is always available at the first hint of their wanting something to eat.

My kids are allowed to eat if they are genuinely hungry, which I test by putting them off the first time they ask. If they come back 10 or 15 minutes later, I know they really need something. Nine times out of ten, they get involved in something and forget how "starving" they were. I think the tendency to never want our kids to experience bad feelings or trying to protect them from what we perceive as harmful does them more harm than good. I know my kids won't starve to death without 5 snacks per day. Do they want it, yes...will they get it, no.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aspenleaves View Post
I guess scant is relative. For my child I allow her to eat when she is hungry. There is food available to her whenever she wants it. She is not allowed to eat junk whenever she wants, but I don't enforce mealtimes so much as making healthy choices.

I think there is scant food available because of my perspective. If a child is hungry I believe they should be allowed to eat. I don't think they should be catered to to such a degree that entitlement sets in, but there is no need for my child to be hungry.
So, it sounds to me that it's more of a parenting style difference, the "proper" way to feed a child, than a real case of neglect. It is so hard to not get upset when we think a child is not being treated well. But just remember that there are two sides to that coin. Another mom may think you are too permissive, or think your food choices for your child are irresponsible, or your discipline style "wrong". My point is that when we start judging each other as moms, nothing is accomplished and potential friendships lost. Trying to get to know where the other person is coming from is key.

If the shoe was on the other foot and your child was the one causing a problem in another mom's home (which is really the issue here, the child's behavior in your home is inappropriate), what would you want that mom to do? How would you want her to feel about you as a mom? Would you want her to speak to you about it? (I'm not asking for an answer, I'm just saying ask yourself these questions.) Give this mom the same respect, and show the same concern that you would wish others to show to you.
post #130 of 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by farmkids42morrow View Post
I agree totally with this. Children need to learn how to tell when they are genuinely hungry or they are just wanting to eat because they can't think of anything else to do. They cannot learn this if food is always available at the first hint of their wanting something to eat.

My kids are allowed to eat if they are genuinely hungry, which I test by putting them off the first time they ask. If they come back 10 or 15 minutes later, I know they really need something. Nine times out of ten, they get involved in something and forget how "starving" they were. I think the tendency to never want our kids to experience bad feelings or trying to protect them from what we perceive as harmful does them more harm than good. I know my kids won't starve to death without 5 snacks per day. Do they want it, yes...will they get it, no.
Yeah, I don't get the constant snacking thing. People complain that their kids don't eat enough at meals. Well what a shock when they've been snacking all day. No wonder the USA has an obesity problem.
post #131 of 155
Grazing is very healthy if you graze on healthy foods.
post #132 of 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by choli View Post
Yeah, I don't get the constant snacking thing. People complain that their kids don't eat enough at meals. Well what a shock when they've been snacking all day. No wonder the USA has an obesity problem.
Hmmmm.... I have a constant-snacker, or grazer, depending on what you call it, who also eats a great deal of food at meals. That is just the way she is wired. AND she will go nuts anywhere there is "different" food, be it "junk" or just different. For instance, there is an Indian restaurant owner in Kalamazoo who is rethinking his kids-under-3-eat-free-at-the-buffet policy..... When she was younger, we had a couple of friends who really thought we might be starving her because she would eat a lot of food at their houses. She eats a lot at OUR house too. The child has been eating as much as dh or I eat since age 3. And, no there is nothing medically wrong with her. She is just a big eater. Also very thin. Of course, her "grazing" foods at home are almost all raw vegetables, fruits, or leftovers from meals. As long as the grazing food is healthy, I do not see what there is to "not get". If a person is hungry, they should eat.
post #133 of 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
Hmmmm.... I have a constant-snacker, or grazer, depending on what you call it, who also eats a great deal of food at meals. That is just the way she is wired. AND she will go nuts anywhere there is "different" food, be it "junk" or just different. For instance, there is an Indian restaurant owner in Kalamazoo who is rethinking his kids-under-3-eat-free-at-the-buffet policy..... When she was younger, we had a couple of friends who really thought we might be starving her because she would eat a lot of food at their houses. She eats a lot at OUR house too. The child has been eating as much as dh or I eat since age 3. And, no there is nothing medically wrong with her. She is just a big eater. Also very thin. Of course, her "grazing" foods at home are almost all raw vegetables, fruits, or leftovers from meals. As long as the grazing food is healthy, I do not see what there is to "not get". If a person is hungry, they should eat.
But as a previous poster pointed out, the person needs to recognize whether they are really hungry or just mindlessly eating.
post #134 of 155
I agree. However I do not think a "grazer" is necessarily eating out of boredom. Grazing can be a healthy way to eat.
post #135 of 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
I agree. However I do not think a "grazer" is necessarily eating out of boredom. Grazing can be a healthy way to eat.
Yes. DD1 is a natural grazer. She doesn't really care about meals, and doesn't want to sit down to a bunch of food at once. She eats all day - a piece of cheese, an apple, a handful of raw sunflower seeds, a piece of bread/toast, a carrot, some berries - whatever. She likes a small lunch, and barely touches dinner. I don't care about that - she's eating enough. She's also very active and very healthy. DS2 is less of a grazer, and he's the chubbiest of my kids...not so much that I think there's a problem, but bigger than the other two were.

I just have to watch them with the carbs and junk.
post #136 of 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by farmkids42morrow View Post
Maybe there are issues of not enough money, but going into it with the attitude of "Why don't you get a job and feed your kids more" is a sure-fire way to make her disregard anything you have to say whether it's valid or not. No one likes someone preaching to them about how they are parenting their child. No one. I guess if it honestly is a concern in your eyes, I'm wondering why the negative feelings instead of sympathy or compassion?
I made this part bold, because I think it is the heart of the problem. Have you had a chance to ask the mom if everything is okay?
post #137 of 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrspineau View Post
this family is not amish nor do they live on a sailboat. they live in regular society and should be able to enjoy common things that the other children of society get to enjoy. im not saying that you need to have the very best toys and clothes but you gotta have SOME.
I agree with you...but what kinds of toys are you talking about? I don't buy my children alot of toys, hardly any. It all ends up as toy box fodder and waste anyway. But they can do amazing things with their imagination and an old box, or crayons and paper, or left over fabric scraps and a sewing machine. They spend countless hours outdoors with their animals, brothers and sisters, digging in the dirt, building on their paly fort. Their heads are buried in books, they are up to thier necks in activities they make up to do on their own. I don't get them "toys" because, well frankly, they are too busy to play with them.
post #138 of 155
For the OP: I think your post was completely appropriate. That is what these forums are for, to ask questions when you're unsure of how to deal with situations and get feedback from other mommas. My previous post was more of a curiosity/musing about stay at home moms than a comment about you.

For posters who are anti-grazing: I totally disagree. Grazing is a way to teach kids to respond to their own signals. They're hungry - then they eat. Just like BFing. Confining food to specific times of the day teaches kids (and all people, honestly) that they need to eat now because food won't be available later. Thus, they eat above and beyond their own hunger in order to meet their energy needs for later on. When you confine your eating to specific times of day,you're actually teaching your body to suppress initial hunger signs, saying, "I can eat later", which teaches your body to eat on schedule, not according to actual hunger.

Anyway, that's my 2 cents. I'm a constant grazer. I have a crazy high metabolism, and eat 7-8 times a day at a minimum. I'm a healthy weight and I don't eat when I'm bored. Almost every day, I eat lunch, and then about 20 minutes later need to eat a salad or fruit or something, then eat another snack in about an hour, etc. Sure, my main meals are smaller when I eat like this, but who cares? Thinking I've somehow "ruined" my dinner by having an apple, or a piece of cheese at 4:30 is foreign to me. My 4 year old eats like this too without a problem.
post #139 of 155
I'm not against grazing, but that doesn't mean that three meals a day plus a snack or two is deprivation.
post #140 of 155
Thread Starter 
Hmmm, I am actually not a very compassionate person. I suppose it is on the list of virtues I would like to improve upon and incorporate more into my life, but I'm not at all sure this situation calls for compassion. As well, I don't feel sympathy is in order either. I think these parents have made very specific choices... albeit different than ones I would make, but sympathy isn't in my radar.

I'm not so sure my feelings were overtly 'negative', but even if they were I don't know why I shouldn't have them. That is why I posted, so I could gain clarity.
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