Originally Posted by TripMom
I did. That is the part where I re-offer food and he doesn't want to eat it - until I start to clean it up.
That's what I get - you seem to think I have ill-will toward my child. I don't. I just have a normal little 3 yo who is dealing with control issues. To withdraw from the ask/give cycle was the only exit. He was not expressing hunger. He was trying to exert control.
And again, I gave him the food when he said he was hungry - he didn't eat it -- thus my conclusion, he is not hungry, he is interested in control. It wasn't a matter of "what" I gave him - that's a new little fact pattern addition from you. It had nothing to do with only offering him the dinner I made - I actually offered other choices.
I guess my only observation and question here then TripMom, and this is in a *genuine* spirit of helpfulness, is that if he did say he was hungry again at bedtime, and you said, "I'll go get you some cheese (or yogurt, or whatever small tidbit to tide him over)" that would literally take 2 minutes to run downstairs and do (so I am not suggesting preparing him a meal, just a ready to eat snack) - and I assume is something you would do for yourself, your husband, or a family member or friend visiting - and add in the 5 minutes it takes for him to eat it and then not be hungry, ends the power struggle and maybe makes food not a control issue for him and gets him to start eating dinner again. Woudl he eat the cheese, or whatever you offered or he asked for, or just keep asking for diferent things? I guess it comes down to trying to not make food a control or power issue for me, either, so I would probably find some way to diffuse it.
We have nipped the 'one more drink' thing at bedtime in the bud by ALWAYS supplying DS with a sports bottle full of cold water each night at his bedside - so there's no need to get up, he gets to drink when he's genuinely thirsty, and there is no "stalling" bedtime over it. It just automatically happens.
Maybe you could automatically bring up a plate of cheese and a couple crackers and say, I know you weren't hungry or couldn't decide what to eat at dinner - so I brought you this to tide you over until breakfast tomorrow - that way he has the opportunity to eat whatever it is if he really is hungry; if he then insists on other things, or doesn't like anything you siggest and cannot come up with his own solution, then I would wager that he really is in fact not hungry and by not engaging in it, you're doing the right thing.
That's the ONLY suggestion I would make. to automatically bring something healthy that he likes up to bedtime, and then it's his choice to eat it or not.
Actually, come to think of it, DS only had about 2 bites at dinner last night....so at bedtime, I brought a granola bar to bed in addition to his usual water, and told him, "since you hardly ate any dinner I thought you might be hungry now, you can have this to keep you until breakfast", and he ate it - so he was hungry. And he's not even 2 years old yet.
Anyway, hope this helps. Sorry it has gotten out of control.