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Choosing to live with not very much of anything. - Page 3

post #41 of 155
If it was me... I'd talk to the mom about the child who is really all over the food as a parenting issue....

" When X comes over, she really wants snacks/food and I don't know what your policy is about this? Are there foods she can't have or times they can or can't eat? What should I do if he/she is unhappy with my response?"

It may be that she is unaware of their behavior at your house and it gives her a chance to inform you of any special/particular circumstances.
post #42 of 155
I live my life as simply as possible. I live in a condo with only two bedrooms and buy most things used and very rarely spend money on myself. We had one vehicle for 4 years and my husband biked to work.

The reason I live simply is to reduce my impact on the earth. We live in a world with limited resources so using as little resources as possible is what I feel would allow more people on this planet to have adequete resources. The reason we have so many resources is because of our actions abroad. People are working for barely anything and we pay dirt cheap for resources and it creates poverty. We use force when the resources become at risk.

As far as food go I don't spend a lot on groceries but my daughter doesn't eat a lot. I know in some cultures people don't eat nearly as much as we do and only have 2 meals and I think there lifespans are actually a little longer so I don't see an issue if the kids are not starving. My dd sometimes will eat a ton at once when she does actually get hungry.
post #43 of 155
I agree with Diana (aka dmpmercury), and I would also like to add, that having "stuff" can be a huge burden. First you spend hard-earned resources on it, then you have to figure out where to put it; when it piles up you have to organize it, and when you try and throw it out, by then someone's attached to it. Simplicity is just plain SANE, and it's a more natural state of being and I am trying like heck to get there. It was initially fueled by lack of funds, but then when Freecycle came into being I found that having zero money doesn't mean you can't have too much stuff.

So now I clean and get rid of a little more each week. I want my home environment to speak "peace" to me, both inner, outer and international. :-)
post #44 of 155
Editing for privacy reasons
post #45 of 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by Llyra View Post
, no stereo system,
all the posts haven't fazed me but no stereo? you've really sacrificed! i can't survive without music. do you have something else you play music on? lol i know so OT here...LOL
post #46 of 155
We spend over half of what we make on groceries and sometimes it still isn't enough. The fact that we are gluten free doesn't help. Sometimes I put perfectly nutritious healthy food that most people would drool over and the kids won't eat it. Sometimes we just can't put something on the table that they love. My kids have been known to say that we don't have groceries... we always have a pantry full of beans and rice and veggies. To a picky kid though they might seem ravenous to have treats that another family can afford. ( I may not have enough money to whip up a batch of cookies anytime) Right now they are sitting at the table eating rice pasta with a very very simple tomato sauce blended so that there are no pieces in it. It was what I could scrape up for them and probably cost over 5 bucks to make... they are fighting eating it. I just pop it in the fridge for later if they are hungry, but I can guarantee that if we went to a friends house that had fruit that they wanted or treats that they would appear ravenous and say that we had no groceries!
There is a big disconnect here in this area of the world. Are you sure that the family isn't providing nutritious meals? Is a parents obligation just to provide a balanced meal or are you obligated to buy all sorts of extras for them? If they only have a bucket of apples because that is what is available and in season and they go nuts over a banana is it somehow bad parenting? Just interesting how our lives have changed so much over the last hundred years that there are so many more things that people deem as nessessities.
post #47 of 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by tjjazzy View Post
all the posts haven't fazed me but no stereo? you've really sacrificed! i can't survive without music. do you have something else you play music on? lol i know so OT here...LOL
I have a little portable CD player upstairs, or I can listen to something in my car or on the computer. The speakers aren't great, but it works for me. I'm not a big recorded music person, actually. I play piano and DH plays guitar and we sing a lot.
post #48 of 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by jlobe View Post
If it was me... I'd talk to the mom about the child who is really all over the food as a parenting issue....

" When X comes over, she really wants snacks/food and I don't know what your policy is about this? Are there foods she can't have or times they can or can't eat? What should I do if he/she is unhappy with my response?"

It may be that she is unaware of their behavior at your house and it gives her a chance to inform you of any special/particular circumstances.


honestly if my kid was being a rude guest and gobbeling up food like I never fed her i would want my friend to tell me so I could address the behavior with my child. it would also give me a chance to assure her my children are well fed.
post #49 of 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by tjjazzy View Post
all the posts haven't fazed me but no stereo? you've really sacrificed! i can't survive without music. do you have something else you play music on? lol i know so OT here...LOL
we do not have a stereo system. we have a cheap little boom box.....big difference, still something to play music on. i can also play radio, CDs, and my MP3 player on my computer.
post #50 of 155
Quote:
Are you sure that the family isn't providing nutritious meals? Is a parents obligation just to provide a balanced meal or are you obligated to buy all sorts of extras for them? If they only have a bucket of apples because that is what is available and in season and they go nuts over a banana is it somehow bad parenting? Just interesting how our lives have changed so much over the last hundred years that there are so many more things that people deem as nessessities.
Great point. This is an interesting thread.

I am pretty sure some of my friends think we deprive our kids and that we are crazy to "waste" our degrees the way we do (we don't earn very much, and could earn more). I have noticed that people who grew up with plenty are often more likely to live simply voluntarily, and those who grew up with genuine want are less so. I wonder how my own kids will think of it one day? My husband is a lovely man, but he can sometimes talk angrily about how his parents tithed 10% but always said they couldn't afford to buy him the musical instruments and lessons he wanted.

I have seen my kids go crazy about processed, sweet snacks that we don't have at home, gobbling them up like mad. It's a little embarrassing. I sometimes have to think on the experience a little.
post #51 of 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by NellieKatz View Post
I agree with Diana (aka dmpmercury), and I would also like to add, that having "stuff" can be a huge burden. First you spend hard-earned resources on it, then you have to figure out where to put it; when it piles up you have to organize it, and when you try and throw it out, by then someone's attached to it. Simplicity is just plain SANE, and it's a more natural state of being and I am trying like heck to get there. It was initially fueled by lack of funds, but then when Freecycle came into being I found that having zero money doesn't mean you can't have too much stuff.

So now I clean and get rid of a little more each week. I want my home environment to speak "peace" to me, both inner, outer and international. :-)
This is nice- you have just supplied me with motivation to start getting rid of more stuff (again). Thanks!
post #52 of 155
They (the children) probably eat ravinously because they most likely do not get lots of "treats" with mom and dad. The reason I am guessing this is because my own children act exactly the same way when they go to g-ma's or even to a b-day party or ANYWHERE where they are getting food outside their noraml everyday fair. I have been asked so many times "Don't you feed your children anything?" My reply? "Well of course not can't you see how un- healthy they are? My god these children are starving to death!" Never mind the fact that they eat everything in my house and anyone else's the happen to go to. It's very embarrasing.
post #53 of 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by aspenleaves View Post
ONe of the children in particular though seems more ravenous, like she will actually take food out of someone elses hands to eat their food and will eat, eat, eat anything that is given and ask for more continouusly. I see this as deprivation and wonder why someone would choose to do this to thier child. Like buy some cheese and let the child eat for goodness sake. I have no idea if they use WIC or foodstamps or anything like that. My point is that they are choosing to deprive their children. They could if they chose too, do more.
I've only ever seen one person eat like this, and she had an eating disorder (bulimia). I've never seen another person enjoy the act of eating so much. Not saying this kid has bulimia), but I second the PPs that suggested bring it up as an issue with the parents. I like the "what can or can she not eat" angle.
post #54 of 155
Thread Starter 
I really appreciate all the responses and encouragement to process this in a healthy way. I suspect after reading all of these posts that I have been viewing the whole scenario through the narrow lense of my own experience. Even though I think I stretch myself to see things in different ways I don't think I was stretching very far.

I do admire this family for some reasons and am quite sure they are not neglectful to a dangerous degree. I will try and appreciate the fact that if only a bucket of apples are available that that isn't entirely bad. I personally would have difficulty with this, but I suppose if you can handle it it is okay to hold these same values with your children. Again, coming up from not having much and always wanting more (like my friends had) I would not choose to deprive my kids of some more things, even though they may be frivolous or maybe even just trendy.

And also thanks for the suggestions about creating boundaries and not being afraid to ask the mom what their preferences are since one of the children has quite a strong way of going for whatever they can get their hands on. I initially viewed this a 'the poor child must be starving' but now see that it is totally normal even for a well fed kid.
post #55 of 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by fairymom View Post
On the food issue -which seems most to upset you- maybe they eat so differently at home that when they are over they over indulge because your food is more children "friendly" or "excotic" to them.
Yes, as other posters have already said, kids don't always use the manners we would like them to. My 2.5 year old son is well-fed (and large for his age both height and weight), but we limit sweets including fruit. He is on a GF diet and until recently also CF. He can't share most of the snacks at playgroups parties, so we usually take our own (avocado, fritata, smoked salmon). We usually take enough to share, and mommies like our snacks but not the kids. Whenever other moms bring fruit to share, my son make a bee line for it and won't stop. You should see him wolf down grapes! He is just excited to have something that is a treat in our house and that he can share the food outside our home. Other moms love to share and watch him eat far more enthusiastically than most kids. I can guarantee you that he eats better than ANY child I know. Diet is very important to us. I'm glad my biggest issue with his cravings is fruit, but I know there are some moms who probably worry over my son eating fruit like there's no tomorrow. I try not to elaborate on our food choices outside of the medical requirements unless people ask.
Your friends may make very different food choices than you do at home and not feel comfortable expressing this because they don't want to appear condescending. I would try to let it go.

Melinda
post #56 of 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by Village Mama View Post
My kids have been known to say that we don't have groceries... we always have a pantry full of beans and rice and veggies.
LOL, that reminds me of my house growing up. My friends used to say, "You guys never have any food, you just have . . . ingredients."

I enjoyed reading your post btw. Interesting food for thought.
post #57 of 155
I am so surprised to read all the posts. Nobody here sees a potential problem here?? I am concerned for the kids. It does sound like the kids are deprived to me. "they are ravenous for everything, including food" sounds like deprivation. THe food part would concern me the most (are they being abused? is food being withheld?) but their minds need stimulation too. Are they bored at home? What is an average day like? What do they do? Do they ever get punished and if so, what happens? Are you close enough to the kids that you could ask these last few questions?

I've had kids stay at my house and none of them act like this - we are usually so busy having fun and playing games that none of them ever ask for snacks, sometimes I worry that they didn't eat enough during "meals" when here that they might go home hungry, because kids do need snacks too, especially if they didn't eat a lot during mealtime.

I did read one of the posts where the parent returned a bag of pistachios and cheese sticks... seriously?!?! WTH is up with that?? Why did she have a problem with this , I can't for the life of me figure that one out, unless this child is being abused. We often send snacks and food and even little toys home with kids (they are relatives I'm referring to, but I can't really see the difference between friends either) and nobody EVER has a problem with it.. we probably do this because it was done for us when WE were kids... we would visit my grandma, and she'd always send us home with some of her healthy food from the garden, snacks or leftovers she prepared for us there... it was always much appreciated, a gracious gift, and we thought of her later at home and the next day because of it. Sharing your food with others is a GOOD THING, not something to be considered "rude" or implying some evil message that the parents aren't doing a good job!... its a gracious gift and you're supposed to be happy and accept it. If you don't like the gift given, you never return it and hurt their feelings!!

I think that was very rude of them to return the bag of treats you sent over - I understand they do not have computer or tv (I don't have an issue with) - but, do they have no manners too? That is unbelievable.

This sentence here really haunts me: "ONe of the children in particular though seems more ravenous, like she will actually take food out of someone elses hands to eat their food and will eat, eat, eat anything that is given and ask for more continouusly"

Are you sure she's not being abused? Is food ever withheld from her as a punishment? Does she have "rations" or is she allowed to eat as much as she wants at mealtimes?

IT sounds to me like she's being physically abused (doesn't necessarily have to be intentionally) by NOT getting enough to eat. OF course, it is also possible she has a medical disorder, and she IS getting enough to eat at home, but a medical condition is causing her to act this way. Someone mentioned an eating disorder, but perhaps even a nutritional deficiency of something that is not yet recognized. Like if she's deficient in something in her diet, her body may seek to get it by increasing her appetite, hoping the next thing she eats will fulfill her need! I hope she's been to the doctor for a checkup.

I think you should follow your intuitions on this one, and make sure there is nothing deeper going on that you are not aware of. ON a more positive note, perhaps if there were serious abuse going on, the mother would never let the child to your house to eat to her fill (which I sincerely hope she gets to!! - if this parent has given you ANY sort of food instructions or 'rationing' for the children, that would be setting off red flags for me.)

I don't have problem with limiting computer, tv, or toys, but let the child eat for god sake, WHAT is this mother's problem!?! Why in the world would she say "you can take this home we won't eat it" when the kids were just asking to eat it! The kids are old enough to be out of choking hazard risk (I can understand if they were toddlers, her having a problem with nuts), these are both healthy snacks, I just don't get it
post #58 of 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by newmum35 View Post
I am so surprised to read all the posts. Nobody here sees a potential problem here?? I am concerned for the kids. It does sound like the kids are deprived to me. "they are ravenous for everything, including food" sounds like deprivation. THe food part would concern me the most (are they being abused? is food being withheld?) but their minds need stimulation too. Are they bored at home? What is an average day like? What do they do? Do they ever get punished and if so, what happens? Are you close enough to the kids that you could ask these last few questions?

I've had kids stay at my house and none of them act like this - we are usually so busy having fun and playing games that none of them ever ask for snacks, sometimes I worry that they didn't eat enough during "meals" when here that they might go home hungry, because kids do need snacks too, especially if they didn't eat a lot during mealtime.

I did read one of the posts where the parent returned a bag of pistachios and cheese sticks... seriously?!?! WTH is up with that?? Why did she have a problem with this , I can't for the life of me figure that one out, unless this child is being abused. We often send snacks and food and even little toys home with kids (they are relatives I'm referring to, but I can't really see the difference between friends either) and nobody EVER has a problem with it.. we probably do this because it was done for us when WE were kids... we would visit my grandma, and she'd always send us home with some of her healthy food from the garden, snacks or leftovers she prepared for us there... it was always much appreciated, a gracious gift, and we thought of her later at home and the next day because of it. Sharing your food with others is a GOOD THING, not something to be considered "rude" or implying some evil message that the parents aren't doing a good job!... its a gracious gift and you're supposed to be happy and accept it. If you don't like the gift given, you never return it and hurt their feelings!!

I think that was very rude of them to return the bag of treats you sent over - I understand they do not have computer or tv (I don't have an issue with) - but, do they have no manners too? That is unbelievable.

This sentence here really haunts me: "ONe of the children in particular though seems more ravenous, like she will actually take food out of someone elses hands to eat their food and will eat, eat, eat anything that is given and ask for more continouusly"

Are you sure she's not being abused? Is food ever withheld from her as a punishment? Does she have "rations" or is she allowed to eat as much as she wants at mealtimes?

IT sounds to me like she's being physically abused (doesn't necessarily have to be intentionally) by NOT getting enough to eat. OF course, it is also possible she has a medical disorder, and she IS getting enough to eat at home, but a medical condition is causing her to act this way. Someone mentioned an eating disorder, but perhaps even a nutritional deficiency of something that is not yet recognized. Like if she's deficient in something in her diet, her body may seek to get it by increasing her appetite, hoping the next thing she eats will fulfill her need! I hope she's been to the doctor for a checkup.

I think you should follow your intuitions on this one, and make sure there is nothing deeper going on that you are not aware of. ON a more positive note, perhaps if there were serious abuse going on, the mother would never let the child to your house to eat to her fill (which I sincerely hope she gets to!! - if this parent has given you ANY sort of food instructions or 'rationing' for the children, that would be setting off red flags for me.)

I don't have problem with limiting computer, tv, or toys, but let the child eat for god sake, WHAT is this mother's problem!?! Why in the world would she say "you can take this home we won't eat it" when the kids were just asking to eat it! The kids are old enough to be out of choking hazard risk (I can understand if they were toddlers, her having a problem with nuts), these are both healthy snacks, I just don't get it
Okay...WHAT?

We have friends and relatives who, when we visit, will send us home with special treats from the garden or some special cookies they made..THAT is sharing food. The OP CLEARLY thinks these people aren't feeding their kids enough and is puzzled at the way they live and is probably sending off that vibe pretty strongly....THEN she's trying to send them home with little baggies of snack food...NOT some cookies they made while the kids were at her house, NOT something from their garden....SNACK food that is readily available from many sources...the poor mama was probably sick of feeling like her friend doesn't think she feeds her kids enough food. TBH, depending upon the situation and how big a "you know what" I felt like that day, I would have sent it back...I would not take kindly to a "friend" of mine constantly judging me and acting like my kids weren't eating enough. THAT is the rude behavior in this situation.

I don't know what kind of kids play at your house...but I don't know many kids who don't eat like raptors when they are at someone elses house...like I said, my own kidlet is only 16 mos and she already gets the difference between my boring brown rice, beans, etc and aunties baked FRENCH FRIES...mmmmm! She GOBBLES food at other peoples homes...you would think the girl hadn't eaten in a week to see her shoving it in her mouth the way she does..when the truth is, she probably had a snack in the car on the way over!

I think you're way off base with your "abuse" comments....honestly, the OP already said that these people are not abusive, unkind, etc...that they are good and loving parents. I'd be willing to bet the farm they aren't "withholding food for punishment" - come on! Come ON!!

OKay, their kids gobble food while at other peoples homes...most kids I know do. They are crazy with toys which don't belong to them...yeah, it's like Christmas morning, all new toys to play with. And as far as the girl reaching over and grabbing food out of other peoples hands to eat....ONLY someone who was not abused as a kid would EVER see that as a sign of abuse. My mother WAS an abusive mother in both physical and emotional/mental ways...she DID have crazy punishments for us like withholding food and she WAS sometimes neglectful in order to teach us a lesson about something...let me tell you, the VERY last thing I would have EVER had the balls to do at ANY point, is something so rude as to grab food out of someone elses hand to eat it myself...if my stomach was so empty and hungry it was eating my liver, I would NEVER have risked the punishment it would have ment to do something so rude, which would have embarassed my mother so much.

People going around pointing fingers at people who are different and screaming "abuse!" is the reason why kids who are REALLY being abused slip past anyones notice...kids who are really in dire trouble, who are being abused at home and are truly fearful, are too busy trying to help their parents keep up the image that everything is okay at home to be going around snaching food out of other peoples hands. To me, the fact that the girl did that, leads me to believe that she has done it at home and that her parents are permissive enough that they haven't corrected the behavior...but then, that is their RIGHT....just like it's their right to have one parent stay at home, even though it means much less income. Just like it is their right not to stuff their children like pinatas, just like it is their RIGHT not to have tons of toys, tv, computer time, etc....THEIR right, because THEY are the parents.
post #59 of 155
I'm sorry if this is a repeat--i can't read all the posts.

If you think those kids are going hungry, then that's something to look into. Perhaps they're not, and they just want "your" food b/c it's different from what they get at home. But perhaps not. I'd seriously look into that--whether it's discussing this with a parent and helping them find ways to get food (angel food, food stamps, WIC, etc.) or sending some food home and seeing how they react--whatever. But if you have serious concern about the health of these kids, please do something about it.

Regarding the toys, i agree with many others that this isn't really a problem. I'd like to think that the sahp interacts with them and helps them create games and provides them with things to do. Does s/he? And i've found that my kids attack and destroy others' houses and we are completely overrun by toys at home--in other words, it's common for kids to get excited about others' toys. Just my two cents.
post #60 of 155
The kid who is particularly ravenous is probably going through a growth spurt. Or maybe she just has a faster metabolism. Really, we can read too much into things. If this is all she's seeing, there is no evidence of abuse here at all.

My dd is relatively thin though not skinny, and eats like a horse, and used to beg for food everywhere she went until I asked her to stop. But she begged for food from people enough where I suppose someone could have thought I was withholding food from her. And it seems like all the neighbor kids beg me for food. I keep a bowl of apples out and they all see them and want apples. Always. Begging for them, and they could eat two or three apples a piece, easily. It's like they've never seen an apple before. These kids are not denied food. They just see apples and want apples.
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