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Dd's new friend is a super picky eater - WWYD? - Page 4

post #61 of 124
Have you talked to the parent(s) yet? I'm curious to know what they say. I have a very picky eater. When he is going over someone else's house I always send snacks and let the caregiver(s) know that he may not eat what they are having and he can eat this if he wants. I wouldn't expect them to go out of their way to make something different for my child.

Because I have a picky eater, when I have other kids at my house I always ask what everyone wants before I cook.
post #62 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by aprildawn View Post
I think offering a child something they don't like or nothing at all is extreme. How hard is it to make a bowl of cereal? The kid was rude. She needs some manners, but forcing her to eat something she doesn't like or go hungry isn't teaching her anything. It only will serve to frustrate her.

Eat this or eat nothing is mean, IMO. I don't buy the idea that "she must not really be hungry" either. I don't eat pork. If someone offered me a pork chop and potatoes covered in pork gravy I'd decline the food whether I was hungry or not. I just don't eat it. I don't like it. I've never liked pork. Even as a kid it grossed me out, but my mom would force me to eat a certain amount of it and I'd gag all the way through it.

Not taking a child's food preferences, no matter how picky, into consideration isn't very gentle, IMO.

If it were one or two things here or there, ok. But I wouldn't let my kids have cereal for dinner instead of dinner. It's not a food allergy. It's being picky. If the mom wants to send snacks and such so the kid can eat that instead, fine. I wouldn't demand the child eat, but I also wouldn't set an example that would make my kids think they can eat something else instead of dinner because so and so does. It's not forcing the kid to eat. It's giving them an option. And I know most people don't agree with me. That's their choice. But in my house if the kid doesn't want to eat what I've served then that's fine but don't expect me to offer something different.
post #63 of 124
I would offer food to the guest the same as for my kid(s).
This is dinner, I'm not making anything special for 1 person. I'll do my best to have at least 1 thing they'll like and will eat. But, if they don't want to eat, i'm not going to force them.
post #64 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by grniys View Post
It's not a food allergy. It's being picky.
In my dd's case, it WAS a food allergy (gluten). It just manifested itself in extremely picky eating. Don't discount it.
post #65 of 124
Here's a few possibilities:

Don't have her for meals
Let her not eat the meal if she doesn't like what you have -- surely there'll be something like bread an butter if she really wants it. And if she's not staying overnight, she can always eat when she gets home.
This is going to sound crazy, but my daughter's one ultra-picky friend's parents will send food for her that they know she'll eat, so we just heat that up. Would I want someone to do that for my kid? No! But she's a great kid and we like her parents and that's how they've decided to handle it.
post #66 of 124
Thread Starter 
I haven't been able to talk to the mom yet, but I will before the little girl comes over for a meal again. She will be with her father for the next few days though, so it may not be 'til next week. I will tell the mom what happened and apologize (I think that is appropriate) but I honestly don't think she will consider it a big deal. From what I've seen they are much less AP than we are and probably have more "traditional" (I don't know what to call it?) expectations of the kids.

For those of you who were wondering what actually happened, yes, I did insist that she have some vegetable although I gave her a choice of veggies. Earlier times I did not do this, I just let her eat what she wanted, but those were times I knew she was going home and her mother could attend to her nutrition if she felt it necessary. This time the little girl was staying the night and somehow that made it different to me.

She wasn't crying or upset, just way more stubborn than I anticipated because, as I said, I have never met a kid like her. Her mom was coming over to drop off her overnight bag so I basically said we would let her mom decide the issue. Before her mom came, though, she took a little bite and we called it good.

In retrospect, and in response to the kind responses on this thread, I've decided that I was wrong to insist that she eat a veggie. The whole hospitality thing makes sense to me. At the time I was looking at it from the perspective of feeling responsible for her, that I will probably have this kid at my house often over the summer, almost like she is one of the family and so I have the responsibility/right to see to it that she is well fed. I know many people on this board don't agree with that but it is how I feel about my daughter. But now I see that I should not go there unless I have talked to the mother first.

And yes, as I have reflected on the incident, I realize that I am also put out by the rude way she deals with dinner. I like her and want her to play with my dd but I sort of inwardly groan when I know I have to feed her. Honestly if she didn't ask and then say she doesn't like it every.single.time even after I gently told her it hurts my feelings, I may not have done that. I don't know. It's not an excuse because she is a kid and I am (supposed to be) the responsible adult. In the future I will simply focus on the rude behavior and forget about any power struggle over food.
post #67 of 124
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nextcommercial View Post
Yes. It kindof is. You said you would make sure the community knew that the new neighbor forced your child to eat.

When the OP only said she told the girl "We try a little bit of everything". That isn't the same thing as "You WILL eat this".

In actuality, if the child was even remotely polite and either kept her mouth closed, or said "no thank you" this mom probably wouldn't even have an issue. But, the child says "What are you making?" "Ewww... I don't like that".

I was very picky too, and I didn't eat a lot. But, I would have never even DREAMED of saying "What are you making?" or "I don't like that" to a parent. Especially at the age of 8. An eight year old has enough social skills to know this is not o.k.

I also think spreading gossip that would potentially destroy this kid's chances of making new friends is overkill, immature, and would most likely backfire.
Thank you, nextcommercial. Honestly I think it is reactions like 3Beans that give AP a bad name. I can understand a mom being appalled that I insisted her kid eat something they didn't want to, because different families do things differently and I shouldn't have assumed that right (I wouldn't be appalled if my friend insisted my dd eat something but that is our family culture). However I don't understand instantly demonizing a mom that did what you don't like. Basically assuming that the mom is evil, will never change her ways, and other children need to be kept away from her clutches.

I would hope that if something like this happens, the aggrieved mom would tell the other mom how much they disagree. If that mom were me, I would apologize and promise to never insist the child eat again. I would keep that promise. And, as my response to the kind posts on this thread have shown, I might even learn something.

A "one strike you're out" mentality like 3Beans only serves to make people feel defensive and more entrenched in their opinions. It turns people off to AP rather than turns them on. And honestly I don't think it sets a good example of gentle conflict resolution for kids.
post #68 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thao View Post
li



And yes, as I have reflected on the incident, I realize that I am also put out by the rude way she deals with dinner. I like her and want her to play with my dd but I sort of inwardly groan when I know I have to feed her. Honestly if she didn't ask and then say she doesn't like it every.single.time even after I gently told her it hurts my feelings, I may not have done that. I don't know. It's not an excuse because she is a kid and I am (supposed to be) the responsible adult. In the future I will simply focus on the rude behavior and forget about any power struggle over food.

Yes, this

You do not have to tolerate being treated in a rude and hurtful manner.

If she doesn't like what you are serving and expresses it in a rude way, simply say, "I don't like it when you're rude to me. It hurts my feelings. If you can't use your manners you won't be allowed here for dinner."

This doesn't mean she must eat what you've offered her, just that she has to be respectful and considerate in declining it. I.e. she can't say, "Ew, that's gross!" but she can say, "No, thank you."
post #69 of 124
Thao - I think its great that you have explored what happened and decided to modify your approach. Not everyone who starts threads like this is so gracious or so open. I think you've just demonstrated how this board is "supposed" to work.

And I think you absolutely have the right to say to the child that the rudeness is a problem. Gently and respectfully, of course. But "Its OK if you don't like it but please just say "no thank you" is really good information for a child to have. Whether or not she eats really doesn't impact you, but how she treats you *does* and thus you should coach a more acceptable response.

In general...

I suspect that how each of us intrepretted "insisted on trying" has a lot to do with our own style and that of our parents. My parent's idea of "insisting" I try something was truly horrid (literally involving force, beatings and/or being tied to the chair until I ate whatever). So naturally my picture was probably very different than someone who's parents "insisted" by say "Eat your peas or no dessert".

In general I think host parents need to tread very lightly on the line of disiplining other's children. I think verbalizing things is fine, but anything involving their body is over the line. And getting into a power struggle with any child other than my own isn't appropriate -- if it gets to that point its time to send the child home for everyone's sake!
post #70 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thao View Post
Thank you, nextcommercial. Honestly I think it is reactions like 3Beans that give AP a bad name. I can understand a mom being appalled that I insisted her kid eat something they didn't want to, because different families do things differently and I shouldn't have assumed that right (I wouldn't be appalled if my friend insisted my dd eat something but that is our family culture). However I don't understand instantly demonizing a mom that did what you don't like. Basically assuming that the mom is evil, will never change her ways, and other children need to be kept away from her clutches.

I would hope that if something like this happens, the aggrieved mom would tell the other mom how much they disagree. If that mom were me, I would apologize and promise to never insist the child eat again. I would keep that promise. And, as my response to the kind posts on this thread have shown, I might even learn something.

A "one strike you're out" mentality like 3Beans only serves to make people feel defensive and more entrenched in their opinions. It turns people off to AP rather than turns them on. And honestly I don't think it sets a good example of gentle conflict resolution for kids.
My ds is a really fussy eater - I really dont mind my friend telling him (and her dd) "you try everything on your plate before I clear it.". That is the rules in her house. "Trying" a food only involves a lick btw He actually eats/trys a lot more there than he does at home. Likewise at nursery he eats things he doesn't at home because all the other children are. I would talk to the Mom - if she doesn't mind you telling her that, it could be beneficial to the child in the long run!

I am really not into power struggles with meals - like "you can't leave the table until you have eaten x" and at home we don't actually have any rules. It is just lately I have noticed my ds eats a lot better in the company of other children and moms who are "stricter" than me. Honestly, lately I can see the benefits. I really want my ds to try a wide range of foods and at home, he doesn't because he knows he can have fruit/crackers or something if he doesn't eat dinner.
post #71 of 124
I got hung up on the whole to eat or not to eat thing.

as for the rudeness . . .i would address that in short order.
post #72 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thao View Post
Thank you, nextcommercial. Honestly I think it is reactions like 3Beans that give AP a bad name.
Did you just SERIOUSLY say that? Seriously?
post #73 of 124
Thread Starter 
Quote:
My parent's idea of "insisting" I try something was truly horrid (literally involving force, beatings and/or being tied to the chair until I ate whatever).
: I'm so sorry.

Yeah, I know that people come at stuff from their own experiences. I was approaching the whole thing from MY experience of having to have 3 bites before we left the table (yes, we HAD to stay at the table until we had 3 bites) and it not being a problem. My brothers and I just ate the 3 bites of whatever it was we didn't like and went on with our lives. I came away from that with a very easygoing attitude about food and have the idea that I should try everything once to see if I like it or not. Of course, it’s a chicken-or-egg thing; I don’t know if I am easygoing because my parents forced me to try all foods, or if I was able to handle being forced to try all foods because I am naturally easygoing. As with most things in life, it’s probably a combination of nature and nurture. I was probably born with an easygoing personality but it was reinforced in terms of food by my parents making it clear that our food preferences were second priority to certain other things.

So I appreciate you realizing that I wasn’t beating my child’s friend! I will also try to keep in mind that not all children are like I was and for some forcing them to eat something they don’t like would be a terrible violation.
post #74 of 124
Thread Starter 
Quote:
I am really not into power struggles with meals - like "you can't leave the table until you have eaten x" and at home we don't actually have any rules. It is just lately I have noticed my ds eats a lot better in the company of other children and moms who are "stricter" than me. Honestly, lately I can see the benefits. I really want my ds to try a wide range of foods and at home, he doesn't because he knows he can have fruit/crackers or something if he doesn't eat dinner.
Yeah, that's a tough call. I think being open to a wide variety of foods is a value worth teaching, but that's just a personal opinon. And I'm sure it's not possible for some people. My dh is the picky type. He has a really sensitive nose and just can't stand certain smells. He was forced to eat foods he didn't like as a child and while he doesn't have any particular bad feelings about it towards his parents he also definitely is NOT an adventurous eater, so it didn't help him be more open to foods.
post #75 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thao View Post
: I'm so sorry.

Yeah, I know that people come at stuff from their own experiences. I was approaching the whole thing from MY experience of having to have 3 bites before we left the table (yes, we HAD to stay at the table until we had 3 bites) and it not being a problem. My brothers and I just ate the 3 bites of whatever it was we didn't like and went on with our lives. I came away from that with a very easygoing attitude about food and have the idea that I should try everything once to see if I like it or not. Of course, it’s a chicken-or-egg thing; I don’t know if I am easygoing because my parents forced me to try all foods, or if I was able to handle being forced to try all foods because I am naturally easygoing. As with most things in life, it’s probably a combination of nature and nurture. I was probably born with an easygoing personality but it was reinforced in terms of food by my parents making it clear that our food preferences were second priority to certain other things.

So I appreciate you realizing that I wasn’t beating my child’s friend! I will also try to keep in mind that not all children are like I was and for some forcing them to eat something they don’t like would be a terrible violation.
Of course I realized that this wasn't what you were suggesting or doing! But, what if that was what the little girl was experiencing at home? It doesn't sound like it, but you never know... I would love to think that no child today will experience what I did as a child. But I also know that there are families out there that have a really lousy way of disciplining, so I am always doubly careful about how I approach child guests. There are three boys who frequently live with their grandparents down the street from us. When they are there, they mostly spend the day at our house. The first time one of them heard me get stern (I doubt I was even yelling), he went and hid in the closet. I found him sobbing that he didn't want me to hit him. I was floored. Later I realized that he has all sorts of scars on his back, so he must have been badly beaten at some points! I an now doubly-careful around them to not frighten them and to demonstrate that there are other ways.

Three bites to an easy-going child probably wasn't too bad. But my guess is that you were an easy going child to start with, not that the three bites rules made you that way. People have really different approaches to food and kids, as this thread has demonstrated. And kids have vastly different reactions to food, as you have discovered. My kids are great about trying just about anything, which I would *like* to think is due to my very laid back approach to family meals. But the reality is probably a combo of my approach, my kid's temperament, the fact that we all enjoy cooking and eating, and maybe the fact that I've never served liver (to this day I can't even be in the room with it without a total psychological meltdown). Who knows!? As you say, probably some long complex combination of stuff, all the way down to how many taste buds each of us has.
post #76 of 124
I am pretty laid back about my picky DS trying foods these days. I tried being stern about what he ate, but it became this huge power struggle and one time he even puked. He's just as stubborn as I am. I remember not trying new foods and there was nothing anybody could do until I decided for myself that I might be missing out on some things in life. The more I dig in, the more DS does, and it's not pretty. He just eats what he knows and someday he'll try new things when he's ready. It does bother me because when we go to people's houses I have to make sure I have food with me, it's not a pretty sight if he doesn't eat. And it's kinda embarrassing.

The one thing that has gotten him to try veggies is growing a garden. He'll eat anything that we grew!! Today he actually ate spinach for the first time!
post #77 of 124
I babysat a girl like that last summer and I just asked what she did like. I'm used to making a variety of food since I have two picky eaters, but this girl was way beyond that and what some would consider rude about it (she critisized my housekeeping and constantly complained she was bored; I was SOOOO glad when I was done babysitting her ). I just tried to find some common ground before preparing a meal so I wasn't make too many different things (besides, leftovers are good )
post #78 of 124
I'd ask her parents, does she have any allergies or sensory issues which would stop her from eating any regular foods you prepare. Then if you know nothing is wrong, I plonk a plate of what we are having in front of her, I usually try to have one food that the fussy child will eat, even if it's only dinner rolls. If she eats she eats, if not she can wait till the next meal or snack. She won't starve to death.
Ds has a friend who won't eat anything without a side of mustard He has been here when all I had was Gray Poupon, he won't touch that, he picked at dinner and ate a bit, but he survived, and it didn't harm the friendship. He's been back since. His mom hates that he's so picky, but she buys into it and lets her three boys all be picky, so each night she is a short order cook. I refuse to go there.
post #79 of 124
If you don't want to make something for her, tell her to bring her own food, that's what we do for the kids that come over, as we're vegetarians and we're not cooking anything special for their non-vegetarians friends.

My dad would have said "No" to the hamburger and the fried chicken of course.
post #80 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by MCR View Post
I'd ask her parents, does she have any allergies or sensory issues which would stop her from eating any regular foods you prepare. Then if you know nothing is wrong, I plonk a plate of what we are having in front of her, I usually try to have one food that the fussy child will eat, even if it's only dinner rolls. If she eats she eats, if not she can wait till the next meal or snack. She won't starve to death.
Ds has a friend who won't eat anything without a side of mustard He has been here when all I had was Gray Poupon, he won't touch that, he picked at dinner and ate a bit, but he survived, and it didn't harm the friendship. He's been back since. His mom hates that he's so picky, but she buys into it and lets her three boys all be picky, so each night she is a short order cook. I refuse to go there.
She lets him be picky? How do you know that?

Is it because he will occasionally try other foods in your home? That's pretty common for kids to at least try an unfamilar food in a home other than their own, peer pressure partly playing a part.

I wouldn't presume she was allowing him to be picky, considering the stories I've read from so many mamas here about their picky eaters and how their kids would really rather starve than eat certain foods, their parents have tried various means to get them to eat with little result so I think it's rather judgemental and unfair to accuse her of letting her kids be picky eaters.

Back to the OP for a moment. I'd have no problem with you politely telling my child that he/she is being rude, criticising your food, I agree that is rude and unacceptable.

However I would be furious if you insisted my child try a bit of everything on their plate, asking is fine, insisting is most certainly not.

I'd just stick with having one or two 'safe' foods and making sure she has some of those on her plate and not worry too much about her going hungry, she'll make up for it the next day.

I'm not a picky eater but there are some foods I couldn't and wouldn't possibly try if they were on my plate, even if my host thought I was being rude, not that I'd comment on it, just push it to one side.
Coleslaw being one of those, not even an incentive of money could make me put a forkful of it to my lips.
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