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Kids playing with and wasting food + Meal and snack scheduling discussion - Page 12

post #221 of 432
Quote:
Originally Posted by LauraSusan
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.
<snip>

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.
Well see, I think here there IS some control in the feeding just by spoon feeding the baby. A 9 month old can eat with her fingers. However much she wants, she will eat. If she isn't hungry, she'll likely stop trying to stuff food in her mouth. You said "if she opened her mouth, I popped them in". A baby that is hungry will be grabbing the food and trying to eat it herself, IMO. Or fussing and ASKING for food in some way.

You said this baby was also breastfed...if she had no "off" switch, did she then nurse and nurse and nurse for hours at a time until the mother decided she was done? Instead she likely got full and popped off--but she was the one making the decision.
post #222 of 432
I've been really frustrated by this thread because like crazydiamond said it seems people are taking an all or nothing stance on the issue. She said exactly what I wanted to but couldn't figure out how to say it. And I don't think that children knowing you will offer food as linking food with love. I think it would let children know that food is there if they need it. My children eat whenever they are hungry. However, I see nothing wrong with asking my three year old to wait five minutes while I get dinner on the table. I wait too. There is a difference between a certain amount of structure and denying a childs needs. What's the point in cooking dinner if she is going to eat something else?
post #223 of 432
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teensy
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...
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...
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).
OMG!! You have my son!!! He is a month younger than your son (dob 10/22/99) and just today he created several different devices to rescue people who have fallen down cliffs. I have to hide my tape if I ever want to use it myself. And, ooohhh, my poor bathroom sink...he makes experiments, recipes, projects...
post #224 of 432
Quote:
Originally Posted by heartmama
Exploring the reasons why we set arbitrary limits isn't sinister.
I agree. My argument is soley about twisting the words of the posters to mean something sinister.
FOr example if I say "I have rules" and you misquote me by stating that I "enforce arbitrary rules" you are twisting the meaning of what I have said. THis may not bother others. I however get a little tired of stating something perfectly obvious such as "I offer my children three meals and two snacks a day" and having it misused to mean "I refuse my children food when they ask for it." Which was not my meaning but is an entirely different and more sinister meaning.
So I never meant to define you or your questions as "sinister" but only your attempts to "Understand" us by misusing our statements.

Quote:
Originally Posted by heartmama
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.
No perhaps not, but you have taken statements, restated them in a way which entirely changed their meaning and then made judgments on them such as ."That sounds controlling to me" or "refused to teach him how"
So while you never said "you are a bad parent" you have been arguing against arguments some of us never made.

Quote:
Originally Posted by heartmama
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.
You have not used vulgar or hostile language. You have however used insulting and condescinding language.
I am happy and delighted to be openly disagreed with. I really enjoy a good debate. But if you should choose to do so I only ask that you disagree with what I actually say as opposed to the additional meaning you have chosen to add to what I said.
I certainly cannot defend somethign I have not said and do not believe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by heartmama
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.
Again, you misunderstand my use of the word "attack".
I did not say you are making personal attacks.
I said it is hard to stand by and watch moms defend themselves against "this type of attack." To which I was referring to your debating style which is to argue with us against ideas we have not stated.
For example:
""It seems like you are saying the only reason you breastfed on demand was because no work was involved. Once feeding involved effort, you refused to do it unless you felt like it, and refused to teach your child how to do for themselves.""
You accuse ME of 1. only feeding on demand because I am lazy. 2. Refusing to feed my child if I dont feel like it and 3. Refusing to teach my child how to do it themselves. (to wit, my children are 3, 22 months and 22 months).
This is not an effort to seek information. THis is a judgment made towards me for stating simply that breastmilk is availible 24 hours a day ready made and at the right temperature, and regular food is not so easy to come by.

I can see that others do not mind having their words used falsely against them. As such I will gladly stand back and not interfere with your , ahhm. . . debating style.
Call it what you will. But I consider such a statement as you made above one of many examples of this type of "attack"
As for me, it is pointless to waste my time expressing my thoughts in a thread where their meaning will be twisted and rephrased in such a way as they have lost all meaning I have intended for them.
I am reminded of an old adage about never arguing.
However to post it would certainly violate terms of use.
post #225 of 432
Johub, I would be happy to go over this again. I think it's important that you figure out why I took such an issue with some of your words. I don't have time to scroll back tonight, however do you remember what you said about a baby's first bite of food?

You said that the minute they take their first bite of food, now things are happening on your schedule. Those are the kinds of comments you have made which seem excessively controlling and yes, arbitrary. You can say this is all about me, but you are probably going to feel misunderstood again if you come into a discussion, make a statement like that, and hope everyone assumes that, because you are on an AP board, you really did not mean what you seemed to be saying.

And to blunt, either I attacked someone or I did not. The moderator has stated I did not, so I suggest you direct your feelings to her.

If you feel misunderstood here, I honestly think you need to look at what you said. I wasn't the only person who had the impression your motivation to nurse was convenience. In fact, I am the one who asked you if my impression was correct, rather than assuming it. Why don't you go back and see what others said to you, how others took that exact statement?

This is not about my "style". I do not need to invent opposing viewpoints on this board. There's always more than enough to go around *LOL*

If you want to leave, I won't ask you to stay. But I think you are missing a chance to clarify some of the things you said.
post #226 of 432
Quote:
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.
Dependable when it comes to feeding. And it's only one small part of being all around a "dependable" parent. But you can't be dependable in all areas except for feeding, so naturally this is just one piece. Just like if you tell a child to wait 5 minutes for dinner, it really needs to be just 5 minutes. If that 5 minutes morphs into 30 minutes, then who can blame the child when he doesn't believe you next time? And if it's going to be 30 minutes, then it may not necessarily be fair to make the child wait, depending on age.

The other benefit of offering snacks even when they aren't asked for is that you can sometimes avoid a meltdown because a child got too busy playing to eat. Sometimes they need to be asked if they are hungry before they realize they are, whereas if you just wait for the child to ask they may already be famished. Making a child always ask to be fed could be a problem, too, because he may feel you've forgotten about him. That's where offering snacks gives a sense of dependability.

Quote:
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.
Well, I do agree with this, because my approach to feeding still allows the child to eat when they are hungry.

Quote:
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.
Certainly the way it's phrased makes a difference. Directly telling the child "you'll get a snack at 3" could have this effect, yes. As I see it, though, there's no need to phrase it as such because it DOES sound very rigid. But if you make it a routine to offer food at a certain time, without saying a word, then it'll leave a different impression. If you start the child off, before he can even remember, that he's free to eat when he's hungry AND you offer regular snacks without mentioning them at the prior meal, then what's the problem? Essentially, if he asks he gets a snack and if he's too busy playing to ask, then you're there offering.

Quote:
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.
If this is happening then the fault is cleary with the parent. If requests are consistently at 2pm, then the default snack time should obviously be 2pm! 1 hour is much too long to make a child wait. In fact, in a small child anything more than about 5 minutes is too long. But I see this issue as moot, as well, because I'd just serve the snack 5 minutes early! It's all very flexible, based on the children's needs, not the parent's.

I have a feeling we're much more in agreement than it seems. But maybe not, I'm not sure. Basically, it's got nothing to do with denying food or making a child go hungry, it's more about preventing the child wandering around the house all day with an endless stream of snacks and providing a bit of structure that toddlers need. Once the children are a bit older and that structure isn't as needed, then of course they can help themselves just as we adults do.

Quote:
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.
Power struggles with feeding is never good and yes, it can lead to a variety of disorders. But I don't see my approach being about control. Limiting meals and snacking without allowing eating in between is. I just don't understand how offering snacks on top of all makes it control.

Quote:
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.
Oh certainly! My post really had little to do with the OP's plight, but rather the current discussion. Obviously the OPs feeding approach is not working and change is needed. I think it's quite reasonable for a 6 year old to be able to get a snack and eat it without too much fuss. The meals/snacks structure I discussed is not so necessary for a child that age, like it would be for a 2 year old. I'm a strong proponent of letting a child do for himself what he is able to do, in all facets of life including food preparation and eating.

Perhaps her boys are just bored and acting out, which is a strong possibility. But I also have to question why she has to make 5 meals a day (I'd quote her but I don't remember what page she said it). It sounds like she's being a short-order cook or preparing multiple meals to get them to eat and because of that, perhaps her approach to feeding really is the heart of the problem. I'm just guessing here, though, since she didnt elaborate.
post #227 of 432
crazydiamond~as I said, I have no problem with a parent offering set meal and snack times *and* making sure the child knows they can eat any other time they are hungry as well. Personally, I would just fix a snack tray and be done with it, but if you really enjoy preparing snacks on request, and your children enjoy making requests, then bon apetite.

I agree that small children (heck, even my 9 year old) can be so engrossed in their play, they might wait until blood sugar drops and grumpiness sets in before stopping and getting a bite to eat. I have no problem with a parent, knowing this is a habit, reminding a child throughout the day to eat when they are hungry, or setting down a snack at intervals and saying "I noticed you've been playing here since lunch, it's 5 o clock, I thought you might like a snack".

I also agree that very young children, especially one and two year olds, are very likely to be staying close to mom all day and turn to her (logically, because of breastfeeding) for food.

For us having a snack tray was very simple, and it did work quite well. Toddlers may be tempted to tip it over, play with the contents, or stuff their mouths, and I would definitely go back to bite sized portions, and supervision, as I would have during their first months eating solids, if this were a problem.

I still don't quite understand your use of the clock, since most people I know really don't get hungry *on the dot* every day. It seems like a needless factor based on what you've said about serving food whenever the child says they are hungry.

I was going to ask why you think a child would need the assurance that food was available with set snacks in the first place (since you mentioned this first). But I see you seem to be saying this is only for a very young toddler who really doesn't know food is available~ and that by 4 and 5, children should understand that food is available, and be capable of getting it.
post #228 of 432
heartmama, thanks for understanding what I'm saying

I don't have a problem with the food tray, in theory, it's just that I find that the kids tend to grab something and then run off to eat it. I prefer they eat food and drink (except water) at the table. . .just personal preference. I think the reason I find the scheduled snack thing to be effective is that when I offer, I rarely get separate requests for food. When I do I always give the snack, but I just find it doesn't happen all that often. And yes, most of what I was saying was geared towards toddlers. Once the child is 4 or 5 and capable of asking for or preparing his own snack, then the scheduled snacks aren't so important.
post #229 of 432
Quote:
Originally Posted by heartmama
Why?

because that's how I got to be obese.....I don't believe it's healthy to eat all day, I was allowed to do it as a child and was an obese child then an obese adult. Since my 9yo was 2 years old we've gone to scheduled meals (I've also had a daycare since then, and I can't feed 8 children constantly all day long AND homeschool AND do a preschool curriculum). Since we've gone to scheduled meals my weight has dropped without changing what I eat or the portions. I eat less because I eat less often. My children are happy and healthy....I've taught them the reasons for eating only 3-4 times per day, and they understand. I don't expect them to follow my rules without questions, they are always welcome to question. I've also found, since opening a daycare, that children thrive and are much happier on a schedule, without one things get chaotic, and there is more crying, more unhappiness...etc. Children under 2 years old are fed on demand and nap when they are tired. Once they are approx 2 years old I start slowy easing them into the meal/nap schedule. It is also LAW that i do this. I HAVE to have a meal scedule, and there has to be a certain amount of time between meals because my daycare is on the food program. If I wasn't on the food program I wouldn't have any clients. My family has been so much happier and healthier since we started using a schedule. Maybe they are OCD like I am (can that be inherited?) or maybe they just like knowing what comes next. My children like being able to go look at the menu on the fridge and see what they'll be having for lunch in 20min. Sometimes I wonder how I would get things done if everyone was eating all of the time, how would he have circle time? Do 7 of them have to sit and wait because 1 wants a snack? etc. This just doesn't work in a family childcare home. And you know what? They've all adjusted to the schedule, they are HUNGRY when it's time to eat. Daycare parents have told me that on the weekend their kids start complaining that they are hungry for lunch at 1145am when I normally serve lunch. They've adjusted, they aren't feeling hungry between meals unless there is a reason, like a growth spurt etc. Then I hand them a couple of crackers or something to hold them over till the next meal, and they usually eat a larger meal for a while until the growth spurt is over.

I'm sorry, I didn't mean for this to turn into a book....but a schedule has saved my health, and my husband's health, and probably my son's. He has the exact same body style as his father, who has been obese since he was 10 years old. I've not lost all of the weight I need to, but I've lost 30lbs slowly over time, without trying. I still have about 100 more to loose.

I also wanted to add, if we didn't eat on a schedule, my dd probably wouldn't eat. She's naturally a very thin child with hardly an appetite, who forgets to eat frequently. Having EVERYONE sit down to eat at the diningroom table 4 times a day has helped her to put on some weight and be healthy. She's 9 years old, size 8 jeans fall off of her, but they are way too short too. When she gets sicks he looses weight and it takes months to put it back on. I don't make a big deal about it, I just explain that the schedule benefits her in the opposite way it benifits me, that she NEEDS to eat.

-Heather
post #230 of 432
Quote:
Originally Posted by moondiapers
because that's how I got to be obese.....I don't believe it's healthy to eat all day, I was allowed to do it as a child and was an obese child then an obese adult.
With all due respect, and I can tell this is something you feel strongly about, don't you feel this is partially due to what TYPE of food you ate, and whether or not you were encouraged to be physically active? I don't think my kids are going to become obese or develop bad eating habits having free range to munch on apples and crackers and yogurt, and playing outside, doing yoga, ballet, and generally running around.
post #231 of 432
I've heard exactly the opposite. That waiting until you are HUNGRY and watching the clock before eating encourages gorging and overeating. Children stuff themselves, because they know they will not be allowed food until a set period that may or may not be the same as when they feel hungry.

I've heard that "grazing", eating lots of small meals all day long, is actually healthier.

I find the "hunger training" mindset to be very similar to the "sleep training" one. My mind rebels instinctively against "training" a small child to do anything. I'm more of the "watch for an opportunity to set a good example"mindset. And no, I did not toilet train my child. I provided a potty, gave lots of encouragement and let her figure it out for herself, which she did.

I feel badly for anyone struggling with food issues. Eating is such an elemental part of life. But as the pp mentioned, I think WHAT you eat is just as important as WHEN you eat it.
post #232 of 432
Quote:
because that's how I got to be obese.....I don't believe it's healthy to eat all day, I was allowed to do it as a child and was an obese child then an obese adult.
I respect that you are struggling with this issue personally, which is going to make it harder to feel flexible with your child.

This is from the American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines for preventing childhood obesity:

Quote:
Encourage parents and caregivers to promote healthy eating patterns by offering nutritious snacks, such as vegetables and fruits, low-fat dairy foods, and whole grains; encouraging children’s autonomy in self-regulation of food intake and setting appropriate limits on choices; and modeling healthy food choices.
I don't see anything there which explains your no-snack, strictly scheduled policy. It says to limit the choice of foods your child can eat~it doesn't say you should be limiting food. It says you *should* be letting your child have snacks, and you should be letting your child self regulate food intake.

I read 7 or 8 websites on childhood obesity before I came back to your post.

Every single one emphasized the importance of activity level, limited media, and healthy food alternatives. Only one even suggested that restricted caloric intake could be a consideration.

Again, I sense you are going to be very defensive since this is a personal struggle you are facing.

However there is nothing on any of these sites which says a child having access to a tray of low fat, whole grain snacks, fruits, or veggies, will increase their risk of obesity. Your opinion about this does not seem to be based on fact.

Exercise level, limited media, and access to healthy low fat foods were key.
post #233 of 432
I think there is a difference between grazing and mindlessly filling one's mouth with food all day. Grazing on healthy foods, and according to hunger, is a very healthy way to eat. The body knows when it is hungry, and it knows when it is full. It can be difficult to tune into the body's needs and "hear" what our bodies are telling us, but just as a baby knows when it needs to eat, we do too.

Geneen Roth has written some excellent books on eating & learning to tune back into hunger after compulsive eating.
post #234 of 432
Quote:
Originally Posted by moondiapers
.I've taught them the reasons for eating only 3-4 times per day, and they understand.

3-4 times a day of eating is ok for an adult, if that is what sh/he chooses. A child should be eating **at least** 6 times a day, their stomachs are smaller than ours and should not be completely emptied in between meals. Their activity levels and metabolisms are higher than ours so they burn through the food much faster. Combining a small stomach and high metabolism means they need to eat almost twice as often as we do. otherwise their blood sugar drops in between meals. 3-4 times a day is a diet. children should not be on diets unless there is a medical need.


most nutrition experts recommend access to healthy snacks as a prevention against obesity. if a child eats only 3-4 times a day, they actually have to expand their stomachs to take in more food. once you expand your stomach, it takes more food to make you feel full. more frequent, smaller amounts of food (i.e. unlimited access to healthy snacks) do not stretch your stomach-- that's why it's recommended that children learn how to self-regulate hunger.

children should not have to complain of hunger at 11:45. that means their blood sugar already dropped and it's *past* the time they could have listened to their own cues and ate something small.
post #235 of 432
I just wanted to add that in older children that might be gearing up for school, they will eventually have to wait to eat. My child had breakfast around 7:30 in the am, then snack was not until 10:30 and lunch at 12:45, he then didn't have access to food until 3:30 when he came home for a snack. If a child is used to eating all day they will surely be hungry alot in school, kwim? So how would one prepare a child for this? I give my son a big snack and a big lunch, he eats what he wants, I give him many choices so that he will possibly not feel hungry btwn 1-3:30, but what if he is not in the mood to eat a big lunch at 12:45 and becomes hungry? Would like to hear suggestions about that, because if your child is used to eating every hour at home, which btw is fine imo if they are hungry, they will not be able to do that once they are in school. I realize this is different for those who homeschool.
post #236 of 432
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamawanabe

I hope when I have kids it is less me telling my kids that if they do X (dump out cereal) than Y will happen (they have to scrub the bathtub) and more the kind of respectful problem solving between equals that me and dh engage in.
But see, you're creating a situation that I didn't. If my kid dumps out the cereal, I'm not going to tell him to scrub the bathtub. If my kid dumps out the cereal, I am going to put the cereal where my kid can't reach it or stop buying cereal. But my kids are 3 and 2. When they are 10, what I do will change. What will I do then? I don't know, it will depend on my kid. But I do know that, with my son, I can explain to him ad infinitum why he shouldn't dump out the cereal, why I don't want him to dump out the cereal, how dumping out the cereal is not in line with our family values, etc., and he's still going to dump out the cereal. That's my son. I don't expect that he will do that forever, but he does it now (and no, my son doesn't actually dump out the cereal, but I could substitute several comparable things that he does do). So, instead of badgering him and constantly getting after him, I just remove the cereal. Why spend hours and days and weeks battling a problem when the problem could just be short-circuited? Yes, we should teach our children and work with them, etc., but why bother when it's a time-limited problem that will eventually go away on its own? Why clutter up life in that way? I'd rather spend my time teaching my kids things that really matter rather than chasing down every little fire.

Namaste!

Namaste!
post #237 of 432
Quote:
Originally Posted by Altair
and would this be a way you want your children to act when angry? if so.. then that's great. if you'd rather your kids not show their anger that way, then the parent needs to also. kwim?
Do I want my kids to yell when they are angry? Not really, but I know it's going to happen because my kids are human and not perfect. Same as I am. When I get really angry, sometimes I yell. So do my kids. Then we apologize and move on. I don't believe that, even if I were perfect and never, ever yelled at my kids, that they would never ever yell at me (or anyone else).

Namaste!

ETA: I guess what I am trying to say is that I don't hold my kids to a standard higher than I hold myself, and I don't hold myself to a standard of perfection.
post #238 of 432
Quote:
Originally Posted by dharmamama
But see, you're creating a situation that I didn't. If my kid dumps out the cereal, I'm not going to tell him to scrub the bathtub. If my kid dumps out the cereal, I am going to put the cereal where my kid can't reach it or stop buying cereal. But my kids are 3 and 2. When they are 10, what I do will change. What will I do then? I don't know, it will depend on my kid. But I do know that, with my son, I can explain to him ad infinitum why he shouldn't dump out the cereal, why I don't want him to dump out the cereal, how dumping out the cereal is not in line with our family values, etc., and he's still going to dump out the cereal. That's my son. I don't expect that he will do that forever, but he does it now (and no, my son doesn't actually dump out the cereal, but I could substitute several comparable things that he does do). So, instead of badgering him and constantly getting after him, I just remove the cereal. Why spend hours and days and weeks battling a problem when the problem could just be short-circuited? Yes, we should teach our children and work with them, etc., but why bother when it's a time-limited problem that will eventually go away on its own? Why clutter up life in that way? I'd rather spend my time teaching my kids things that really matter rather than chasing down every little fire.

Namaste!

Namaste!

Umm, my posts were about the posters that had their children do chores to pay for wasted food etc. AND they contained caveats about how i am still deciding about parental "consequences." AND they said that I would be inclined not to buy ice cream or ceral for a awhile (toast and smooties for breakfast). AND they talked about how these discussions would actually be discussions - with the child offering solutions rather than explanations and lectures.

????
post #239 of 432
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaBug
I realize this is different for those who homeschool.
Well, honestly, this is just one more reason in a long line of reasons why I'm choosing to homeschool.
post #240 of 432
This has been a very interesting topic!

We're pretty scheduled in this house - breakfast, lunch and dinner, and yes, my kids ask before they get snacks. Did I force them to ask? No, it just seems like they always have, and it seems that it is working pretty well so far! Most always I tell them to go get whatever it is that they are asking for, but yes, sometimes I say dinner is almost ready and that they need to wait, and they do. I can count on one hand how many meltdowns there have been through three children over the period of almost twelve years because they have had to wait for a little bit for dinner. They know when I say that dinner is almost ready that it is, in fact, almost ready, and they also know that it will almost always be worth the wait! :LOL

I was also going to bring up the school issue - my kids are on the bus at 7:15, they will have a morning snack and lunch at school, and then they will be back home at 3:45. Yes, lots of people choose to homeschool, but some of us don't, and our kids have to be able to follow the rules at school. And even if you homeschool now, what about college? Or when they get jobs? Most companies I know don't allow their employees to take snack breaks whenever they feel like it....

Okay, I just reread my post and I think it sounds a little snarky, but I don't mean it too, and I don't know how to fix it - so please trust me when I say that I don't mean to be snarky, I'm honestly wondering what your thoughts are...
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