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Kids playing with and wasting food + Meal and snack scheduling discussion - Page 11

post #201 of 432
Quote:
Originally Posted by heartmama
Johub you keep going back and forth, back and forth *LOL*

If you always help your children eat when they are hungry, that is great! Why are you so defensive here?

Let me ask you something. When someone posts here (and they did) that their child can only eat at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, are you asking me to believe that this child is never, ever hungry outside of those times? Because I don't believe it. If it's true, then let them know they can eat when they want, and continue to serve regular meals. Aha. But then we get close to the issue. The parent *does not want* to let them think they can eat whenever they want. The parent *wants* to control this issue. The parent does not want to believe their child is hungry at any other time, because that is an unpleasant thought, and extinguishes the cues the child may have at other times through years of ignoring or denying or delaying those requests.
Aaaah well I just must have missed THAT post. Because I was under the very strong impression that you were telling me that my children just had to be hungry if I fed them 5x a day. In addition I was under the impression that you told ME that I was being very controlling.


Quote:
Originally Posted by heartmama
Second example. The child wants to make their own food. The parent refuses. The parent locks the cabinets, locks the kitchen door, and forces the child to ask them if they want food. The child does *not* want to ask for food. If they did, they would have in the first place.

Do you think these are respectful, attachment based parenting decisions? I don't.
I imagine not. HOwever I did not see a single post on this thread which described the above scenarios.
I may have missed some in the middle.
If there were such posts I would have imagined you would have quoted THEM instead of mine and Mamabug's.
post #202 of 432
mamabug~ again, I am not sure that what you are doing looks very different than what I am doing. However your comments seem directed at disagreeing with suggestings that limiting food and feeding by the clock isn't gentle parenting. So there must be something here you are trying to defend but I am not clear what it is.
post #203 of 432
I agree it seems we do the same thing as each other. I guess that even though I myself do not lock my cabinets I see nothing wrong with doing so. If my cabinets are were locked but any time my child asked for food I gave it, I see nothing wrong with this. And I guess that was my issue, ppl were getting all nuts that the OP wanted to use locks, to make sure her kids didn't waste food, and I agree 100% with her. Now if she were locking her cabinets to make sure the children could not eat except when she felt they should, well that is a totally different issue. Does that make more sense?
post #204 of 432
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaBug
I guess I took it that johub was taking in general terms, not necessarily her own. But honestly if my child eats too many grapes or cheese we have issues, so if they are eating these things all day long and I am unaware of exactly how many they eat, it could be something that actually makes my child sick, kwim?

but we're talking about ice cube tray sized portions, not the entire bag of grapes. a toddler can have a tray out of food that s/he can easily reach/eat. a slightly older child could have a certain shelf of pre-cut foods. a school aged child will be learning about good indepedent food choices.

i think one thing being argued here is that if a toddler/preschool child gets to choose and graze amoungst appropriate foods, it makes teaching a school aged child how to cook and eat healthy foods a little easier. of course there's a million reasons why any one particular child wouldn't eat right... but GD is about prevention through teaching positive behaviors (IMO!), and this is one way of teaching.



post #205 of 432
Johub~my second example was based on the OP. That is exactly what she said she planned to do.

My first example was originally based on a post made, I think, on page 7, by the mom who said what I described. However shortly after I questioned her, you came in with the post which I quoted earlier, seeming to agree that you also fed only 3 meals and two snacks, and you seemed to suggest this was best so children learn food is not always available to them. Later you clarified what you meant, saying that it was only junk foods (packaged foods) you were trying to avoid, and that in fact you were trying hard to prepare fresh foods whenever they were hungry, and it so happened that they were content with your routine, but if they should ask for a snack at, say, 11am, you would help them it.

However it took two pages for you to clarify that, and at this point, I am not sure why you seem to disagree with the idea that children should be fed when they are hungry. Since you do this, what are you disagreeing with here?
post #206 of 432
i was actually going to post a "Wow! Great list, AnnetteMarie! I never it saw it the first time".

Can I still say that? (At any rate, I just printed it out).

When i read the list, I thought it could be helpful to this thread in various ways. I mean, the who discussion started because the OP said her children pulled out a tub of ice cream, scoooping it out with their hands, therefore making a mess of themselves and the floor, not to mention wasting all that ice cream.

Perhaps a tray of various foods like AM posted could keep things under control a bit more. Even if the OP's children might not stop at the little array of food before getting into the freezer, some other children might.

The list could potentially save a parent from a mess and waste.
post #207 of 432
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamawanabe
See that is what I am talking about. My parents did EVERTHING right re food (they simply were not controlling parents - young hippies), but I certainly would have gobbled down every single thing in Laura's snack tray. That Laura doesn't is due to her nartual tendencies, tendencies you haven't messed up by arbritarily restricting food. That she doesn't isn't due to the way you have approached food with her (except that your approach hasn't messed up her natural tendencies) My natural tendencies would have told me to eat it all.

We are not as powerful, as parents, as we think we are, which is why the means and not the ends is the important part of parenting.

You know, I think I see your point here. I remember feeding a very dear friend's little daughter when she was only about eight or nine months old. My friend had made a fairly big bowl of mashed yams, and I was feeding the baby, while her mama did the dishes and cleaned up the kitchen. Without even thinking about it, I just kept feeding her, and feeding her. I put the yams on the spoon, and if she opened her mouth, I popped them in.

My daughter would always indicate to me when she was done by turning her head, and then later, by making her "all done" baby sign.

So imagine my surprise when I heard my friend yelping "you didn't feed her the whole thing, did you?"

Gosh. Turns out this little girl would just eat until she vomited. She didn't have an "off" switch. She would just gobble down every single thing in front of her. As far as I know, she was demand fed as a baby, and weaned at about eighteen months, and her mama is very AP and GD.

Still, though, while my friend controls the size of her daughter's portions, she does not control what time she eats, or how often. She could never leave a full tray of snacks, because her daughter would just eat them all. But if her little girls wants a snack, she gets a snack. There is no "it's 9:30, time for your snack" kind of scheduling.

So I see what you mean, mamawanabe, but I think responding to the instinct to eat what is in front of you is different from controlled feeding. Does that make sense? In one case, you are responding to your child, and in the other sense, you are doing something for your convenience that doesn't respect the child's need for free access to food.
post #208 of 432
Only one person went 'crazy' and used the word abuse. the rest of us said locking up for saefty reasons was not so terrible.

I really do think that children having to ask for food could be a problem. Children should be able to eat food on their own, and to perhaps prepare it.

I am not saying all 3 yr olds can do this. But certainly a 5 yr old can. Setting up a home in a such a way that children can be competant and secure is paramount, imo, to children feeling connected and a part of a family. Having to ask each time a basic need has to met is controlling on the part of a parent. How does that control benefit the child's development into a thinking human being? What is it like to grow up having to ask for food whenever one is hungry?

A 5 yr old child should be able to access food as easily as he can access the bathroom.

Can you imagine if a child had to ask, in his own home, if he could please pee?

Even if i had a toddler who got into problems in the bathroom, I mightput a little hook lock on the door, but i would set a stepping stool near the lock for the 5 yr old.
post #209 of 432
Quote:
Originally Posted by heartmama
Johub~my second example was based on the OP. That is exactly what she said she planned to do.
It may have been a similar solution but it was not the problem. Apparently you read "my children were not hungry but they trashed the kitchen anyway and ate ice cream with their hands" as being "my children were hungry and did not want to ask me for a snack so they were trying to make a nice snack and accidentally trashed the kitchen and ate ice cream with their hands"


Quote:
Originally Posted by heartmama
My first example was originally based on a post made, I think, on page 7, by the mom who said what I described. However shortly after I questioned her, you came in with the post which I quoted earlier, seeming to agree that you also fed only 3 meals and two snacks, and you seemed to suggest this was best so children learn food is not always available to them. Later you clarified what you meant, saying that it was only junk foods (packaged foods) you were trying to avoid, and that in fact you were trying hard to prepare fresh foods whenever they were hungry, and it so happened that they were content with your routine, but if they should ask for a snack at, say, 11am, you would help them it.

However it took two pages for you to clarify that, and at this point, I am not sure why you seem to disagree with the idea that children should be fed when they are hungry. Since you do this, what are you disagreeing with here?
What I am disagreeing with is your disparaging attitude to the moms posting on this thread.
If one mom says "I'm the mom and I make the rules" you say something to the extent of "that's not GD" or "enforcing all the arbitrary rules we might invent . . ." Which is obviously not what the poster had said.

And so we have a lot of really lovely women on this thread sharing some very useful ideas. However it does become somewhat difficult to share useful gentle ideas when every sentance we state is going to be expounded upon to make us sound like atilla the hun.
I should not have to "clarify" that I do not refuse my children food if they are hungry. Since I never implied such a thing it ought to be taken as a given.

The mom who said she asked her child to wait 5 minutes also should not have to "clarify" that she is doing so in a kind and respectful manner. It ought to be taken as a given unless or until she states otherwise.

I am not really sure why you are choosing to take everybody's statements and twist them so that they lose their original meaning and taking on a more sinister meaning. And really it should not matter.
I do however find it difficult to sit by and watch other moms try to defend themselves against this type of attack. And although I bowed out of this argument pages and pages ago, I suppose I returned to "go back and forth" for the mundane and pointless reason to defend the statements of myself and others which have been misused in this way.
Joline
post #210 of 432
The OP is no longer here, not responding, and so this thread has evolved in something greater, with more ideas and questions about whether we should control our children's acess to the kitchen and to food, no matter what time it might be.

Asking that question is not sinister.

Some of think it is wrong to ask our children to eat on our schedules.

It does not make one evil to insist on this, but it does tell children that what they need and what adults wish them to need are different things. And since the adult wins, the child learns his needs are less, or that his needs are wrong.

If a child is hungry, but a parent tells that child to 'wait'--for 5 minutes or 30, the parent is telling the child his signals are wrong.

People are even finding fault with suggestions to offer the child a carrot or some bread bread as they wait . I cannot see how that degree of control (and I strive not to control my children at all) is emotionally or physically healthy.

I do not think it is appropriate for cildren to always have to ask adults for food. And i think it is wrong for adults to deny children all food even if dinner is in 15 minutes. We can accomodate that if we think outside the box.
post #211 of 432
This thread had taken quite a different turn, but I'd like to paint a picture of my world because I think it is similar to the one OP is living in.

I'm not looking for advice. Of course the following gets me frustrated, but I am working with my DS to find a common ground where we can both be happy.

I'd just like to describe a day "in my shoes."

DS #1 has tons of energy and loves messes. Any kind of messes. He has almost free access to a one-acre yard that is part forest, part "garden," part mud, part grass. He is welcome almost anytime to get as messy as he likes outside. However, he also likes to make messes indoors. He also likes to create things. One of his latest passions is creating "recipes" in the kitchen. Sometimes this is done with my acquesience, more often it is done when I am not looking.

I will enter the kitchen (after changing the baby's diaper, taking a shower, peeing, getting dressed, the usual kind of stuff moms do) and discover, using this morning's example, that he has made "banana soup" - he had mashed a banana on the table with the potato masher, put some in a frying pan, stirred it with a spoon, added salt, pepper, coffee and water, poured it into cups and placed some of them in the freezer and carried other cups containing this concoction into the playroom where one gets spilled onto the carpet.

He also doesn't do "pretend" very well. Not content to play with the pretend food at his disposal, I will discover that he has made "soup" in the pot that goes with the toy kitchen in a bedroom with water, toilet paper, shampoo, and bits of paper - all stirred together. Yummy.

Now, at five, almost six, years of age, I don't feel though I need to follow him around every minute of the day. Often when he is playing quietly in his room I will discover that he has built a complex vehicle using his K'Nex. Or maybe he created a spider's web using a purloined ball of yarn, tape and every coat hanger from his closet (the clothes tossed into a pile).

None of this is dangerous, but it is very frustrating to deal with messes in almost every room of our home on an almost daily basis.
So I sympathize with the OP and other moms of such children. The qualities that will serve our children well as adults (creativity, thinking outside the box, etc.) can certainly make it difficult to keep a home as well as we might like to.
post #212 of 432
He cleans up the messes, right? If he is willing to clean (and at five he should be able to clean) than some, at least, of your headache will be lessoned
post #213 of 432
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teensy
I will enter the kitchen (after changing the baby's diaper, taking a shower, peeing, getting dressed, the usual kind of stuff moms do) and discover, using this morning's example, that he has made "banana soup" - he had mashed a banana on the table with the potato masher, put some in a frying pan, stirred it with a spoon, added salt, pepper, coffee and water, poured it into cups and placed some of them in the freezer and carried other cups containing this concoction into the playroom where one gets spilled onto the carpet.

He also doesn't do "pretend" very well. Not content to play with the pretend food at his disposal, I will discover that he has made "soup" in the pot that goes with the toy kitchen in a bedroom with water, toilet paper, shampoo, and bits of paper - all stirred together. Yummy.
Wow! What a fantastically creative little guy you have!
post #214 of 432
I admit I have not read the whole thread so this may have already been suggested- I think the reason the kids are getting onto the kitchen is to get the reaction they are getting from you. I bet if you change your reaction, they will stop. Of course, they will probably find something else to drive you bonkers :LOL You might try pointing out when they are doing what you want them to do. So, the one time they DON'T sneak into the kitchen- praise them for playing with their toys and not the food.
post #215 of 432
Quote:
I am not really sure why you are choosing to take everybody's statements and twist them so that they lose their original meaning and taking on a more sinister meaning. And really it should not matter.
Exploring the reasons why we set arbitrary limits isn't sinister. It is a vital part of any discussion on respecting children, and treated them with integrity. It is so important that we do ask each other to look at issues in a new way, to question, to not shy away from that kind of discussion. This thread evolved into a deeper discussion about our attitudes towards food. There is no reason to view those questions so negatively, or to assume they are threatening. I have not, and would not, call someone a bad parent, abusive, terrible, etc. Asking whether something is really respectful and gentle within the context of ap is not saying "You are a horrible cruel parent". You may choose to hear that but I never thought it or said it.

Quote:
I do however find it difficult to sit by and watch other moms try to defend themselves against this type of attack. And although I bowed out of this argument pages and pages ago, I suppose I returned to "go back and forth" for the mundane and pointless reason to defend the statements of myself and others which have been misused in this way.
You were not attacked by me. I have not used vulgar, hostile, or threatening language in this thread. I asked you to explain and clarify opinions you chose to post here, I have openly disagreed with you, and welcomed you to keep discussing this with me.

That is not an attack. However if you feel "misused" please contact the administration immediately. I don't have it front of me, but I think that accusing someone of personal attacks and "misuse" of the user agreement should go to the administration. Using that kind of accusation to justify your presence in a thread is a reflection of your integrity here, not mine.
post #216 of 432
Johub, I agree 100% with everything you've written!

It seems some of you have an unclear picture of how the regular meals and snacks routine works. Firstly, meals and snacks are offered regularly, so that the children know when to expect them. They do not have to ask for them. If they are hungry, they eat. If they are not, then they don't. The important thing is for meals and snacks to be OFFERED even when the child doesn't indicate they are hungry. It does NOT mean they must eat. This teaches the toddler and preschooler that you are dependable, that you WILL offer food regardless of whether they ask for it or not. They will be much more willing to skip a meal if they are not hungry because they KNOW that a snack will be offered in 1-2 hours. That is the key. However, if they truly are hungry and it'll be a while before the next snack for meal and they ask to eat, then YES feed them.

Some people here seem to think that feeding must be an all or nothing approach. Either feed them on strict schedules and ignore hunger, or let them have free range to the kitchen and graze all day. IMHO, neither is healthy. There certainly is a middle ground, where meals and snacks occur regularly, giving the child the chance to eat if he desires but also giving him an out if he's not quite ready. It also allows children to be part of the family meal and socialization instead of running off to play because he just had food 5 minutes prior. Toddlers don't always know what they need, such as some structure and limits, and they WILL take the easy way out if given the chance.

Infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and older children are all at different developmental levels. Taking the approach for one group and applying it to another can spell disaster. Just like it would be cruel to make an infant wait 10 minutes for the next feeding, it would be just as destructive to let an older child eat a snack every 45 minutes around the clock.
post #217 of 432
Quote:
The important thing is for meals and snacks to be OFFERED even when the child doesn't indicate they are hungry.
You said this is important so that they know you are dependable. IMO this is equating food with larger issues which do not need to be invoked in order for children to feel cared for and secure.

I do not see anything wrong with a parent setting aside certain times in the day to prepare a meal, and offering it to the child. I also see nothing wrong with the child feeling secure in their freedom to refusing to eat then, and eat half an hour later instead. One does not have to negate the other. You simply don't have to choose. You can streamline your time in the kitchen, and still give your child the freedom to decide when they want to eat.

I have seen the argument made before that the child can always refuse to eat knowing "a snack will come at 3 o clock". However if someone said this to me, what I would hear is "Eat now, because you can't have anything else until 3 o clock". The first statement is only a nicer way of telling the child you, not they, decide when the child is hungry.

So what is wrong with that?

Well, it can go along nicely for quite a while. If a child has always been scheduled, and subtle or overt encouragment was given to stick to the schedule~ requests to eat at 2pm, not 3pm, were met with distraction and admonisments to wait just a little bit more, a bit more, a bit more...well, fairly mild tempered children may accept this for a good long while. The parent comes here and reads this thread and thinks "What is the big deal? What is wrong with these people? My kids are fine. They like the schedule. No problems here".

This is where the really interesting discussions can take off. This is the same logic used by anyone doing anything which ap discourages, but which, for various reasons, "works" for some parents nonetheless.

A large part of the reason why this approach is met with so much criticism is because *there are so many posts on AP boards by parents who reach the day where this system no longer works*. I can't stress this point too strongly.

I have seen countless posts by parents who post in shock, frustration, disbelief, and anger to have met with a variety of situations where their attempts to control a child's eating dissolved into a power struggle. All of those posts describe a child who suddenly and seemingly without warning, will no longer go along with this schedule. They sneak food. They skip more meals than seem healthy. They are defiant when asked to wait to eat, and throw tremendous tantrums. They deliberately waste food, destroy food, and sneak behind the parents back to get around the rules set down in the home.

I think for some what we saw in the OP's post was not a need for more locks, but a real paradigm shift in the way she was speaking and thinking about the food in her home.

I agree with you that different ages call for different approaches. But I think if your 6 year olds needs you to lock the kitchen closed and is not allowed to fix his own snacks, or cannot do it without dumping the contents of the kitchen all over the floor, it is more than reasonable to ask whether the way to meet his needs is more locks and stronger latches.
post #218 of 432
And it's not all or nothing- we have set meal and snack times, and they can help themselves if they want something. It's amazing how capable they are at self-regulating!
post #219 of 432
johub I understand your frustration with this thread. However, heartmama was not attacking us with her statements, or misusing this thread in any way. It was our choice to *defend* what we do at home. Yes she asked for clarification, but while it might irriate us to feel we have to explain something we think should be obvious by our participation at an AP board I don't feel that she is attacking us personally, just trying to get her point across. I just wanted to go on ther record with that.

I also still stand by my opinion in general about food and having my children ask me before they take something. I am going to keep on an eye on this discussion but for the most part I have stated my point of view and am done defending it. now johub where is our boat?
post #220 of 432
I've read all 13 pages, and found the discussion wonderful and thought-provoking.

I want to revisit the issue that a poster mentioned and the OP felt was correct: the boys were being destructive because they needed an outlet for their energy. They were used to spending time outdoors, and after the move were inside much more and going a little nuts.

Sometimes the answer to a problem has nothing to do with the "problem" itself. The answer is not about the kitchen. It is not about food, or snack trays, or locks. It is about seeing the *cause," instead of focusing on the result. (I have loved the conversations about food, snack trays, and locks, btw. I'm not slamming those discussions.) The answer is not even an answer to the question, because it turns out we (as parents) have gotten the questions wrong. "How do I keep my boys from trashing the kitchen?" should be "How do I give my boys outlets for their energy?" I run into this all the time - asking the wrong question. I'm thankful for the mamas at MDC who provide insight and a little stick poking, because it makes me rethink how I think.
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