I think the biggest thing I really need help on is my new sc's diet. They think vegetable is a bad word, they live on macaroni and cheese and chicken nuggets. My dsd is the worst, she is 5. If I make fish sticks, she will refuse them if they are not the long and skinny ones, if the macaroni even looks like homemade, she won't touch it. I love health food, I try to eat organic as much as possible and have cut out refined sugar and simple carbs from my diet. I hate to cook meals anymore because it is a battle every time. You would think she would die if she put that food in her mouth, the way she carries on. Every day for lunch, she has a peanut butter sandwich (with the crusts cut off) becasue that is all she will eat. EVERY DAY! I can't just say to her to go without if she doesn't like it, because she is underweight as it is.
We have a 50/50 split with her mother, we switch on Mondays. She eats whatever she wants at her mother's house and her father (my dh) hates to push her because he doesn't want to look like the bad guy and when you only get so much time with them, who wants to spend the wholetime fighting?
Is it worth the battle? I tried just makeing her eat just one bite of something (like a piece of melon) at mealtimes. She cries and whines until I or my dh just give in. I refuse to let her grow up eating like this, my ds (2 yrs) is already catching on to her antics, if its green he "don't want". She's not healthy. I don't want this to be a power struggle, i just want her to learn the value of good eating. But I am pulling my hair out. Any suggestions? Besides mealtimes, we get along great. I hate to be the wicked stepmother. Any suggestions you have would be appreciated. Thanks!
For now, give in, is my advice. Make the long skinny fishsticks.
I ate what I wanted at mom's. I remember eating cerial for dinner for a week straight while everyone else ate their regular meals. My siblings complained, but mom said nothing so I continued.
Mom also let me take my lunch to school or she would give me money to by candy, chips & soda at the convienent store near the school (which was against the rules of the school) because I hated the school lunches.
At dad's, I was forced to eat the meal served to me. It was awful. He would tell me that I had to eat what everyone else was eating. His way of thinking was right (I realize that now as an adult, but as a child I thought he was just being mean to me), but his way of getting his point across was wrong. He complained about how my mom let me do anything (now, not only was he being mean by making me eat stuff I didn't like, but he was saying bad things about my mom). He complained about how I need to learn to eat like everyone else, etc.
He even forced me to chew with my mouth closed, not smack when eating, and never spit in front of someone (especially spitting sunflower seeds). I seriously thought he was just picking on me.
Luckily grandma lived with dad. She would defend me and tell me I didn't have to listen to my dad. She would have me come over and sit next to her and she wouldn't let him do anything to me. I was free to do what I wanted again.
This behavior shifted from food to every day living. I learned to never be alone with my dad because he would force me to follow rules and have manners, etc. I would only go with him if there were someone else there that could back me up or at least tell mom and grandma on dad to get him in trouble.
Now that I'm an adult, I'm thankful for the manners he taught me. These simple teachings my mom never taught me. As a child I thought she was the better parent because she was so nice to me and let me do anything. I thought dad was mean and picked on me for no reason. As an adult I feel that dad cared enough to teach me right from rong (although his technique was right out of boot camp) and mom was just wrapped up in her own social life to worry about raising me.
Right now I'm going through a similiar instance with my step-son. We hold him accountable for his homework, etc. Mom sweeps it under the rug to let him have fun. Hopefully when he grows up he'll see what I see now.
I also have trouble with him and eating. The boy is 12 and he still tries to pretend to throw up if he doesn't like what he's eating. We make him leave the table and until we're done and then he must eat his cold food alone.
I know this was long-winded, but hope I got my point across. You can struggle all you want with your children/stepchildren, but if you have someone counteracting you, you're fighting a no-win situation. Just pray that you're children/stepchildren will appreciate what you are doing for them when they grow up.
And remember...if you are tring to force him and the other house is relaxed, you will look like a bully rather than a concerned parent.
I agree that trying to force them to eat vegetables along with adjusting to all the new changes will probably backfire. Imagine if you were used to healthy organic food and suddenly entered a house where they tried to make you eat orange mac n' cheese and fish sticks. You'd probably cringe as well.
My little brother always ate chicken nuggets and prepared foods (he would use his allowance) even though my dad made wonderful healthy food. Now my little brother is the best cook in the family, and cooks along with my dad.
I think having a peaceful relationship with the children is better than trying to get them eat their veggies. Just keep them on the table and make them look yummy. Maybe they'll come around on their own.
If I'm making something for myself and they want to try it or even have it as a meal, they're more than welcome to. But I gave up on trying to make them eat healthy. I know this sounds harsh, but if you don't have support from their dad, there's not much you can do.
It's tough, though, that you have a small child of your own who is seeing these bad habits. My child is a newborn, so by the time he's old enough to notice these things my stepkids will practically be out of the house. And they're only with us 1/3 of the time, not 1/2 of the time. You have my sympathies!
also talk to them. take them shopping. what would they like to eat, bring them into the kitchen and ask them to help cook. see what you can bargin with them. maybe they will eat carrots if you let them dip them. will have fruit for a snack etc . . .
also talk to your dh. in the end I htink it is more important to present a united front. so the two of you need to get together and decide what is exceptable and what will be done about it.
I think you definitely need to address table manners. sit down witht he kids and discuss what they may and may not do if they don't like what you are serving. will they get something else? do they need to try it first? etc . . .
The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it. We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.
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