Guess what i found under my sons bed... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 28 Old 07-01-2002, 02:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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No, not what youre thinking.... well,, candy wrappers, empty honey bears, popsicle wrappers, empty maple syrup bottles.

I have wondered why we go through honey so fast, and when i buy a pack of popsicles, they last about a day (?!)

I caught him the other day hiding behind his bed with a glass of milk, pouring honey in (from the elusive bear) he looked so guilty when i walked in (stealth mama) and when i checked there was almost a whole half of the bear inthere.

Also when cleaning his room another time, i found that he had taken my kitchen knives and they were hidden there...he is fascinated by knights and swords lately (!!!)

When i confront him about it, he gets really mad and will not admit it even when the evidence is right there.

I am really at my wits end, he is 7 and acts like an emotional, dramatic teenager...i don't want to padlock the fridge and the cabinets but also need to stop him from consuming such an alarming amount of sugary stuff

Any thoughts??

Blessings, Kelly


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#2 of 28 Old 07-01-2002, 04:43 PM
 
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That seems like an incredible amount of sugar, even for a kid! I would take him to the doctor and have his blood sugar checked. Those cravings seem way out of whack to me! Who drinks straight maple syrup? Rule out any physical cause and then stop buying the stuff that he is sneaking. Actually, if a physical cause is ruled out I would definitely look into why he feels the need to sneak around and hide all these things he knows he's not supposed to have. Good luck- I hope it all works out.
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#3 of 28 Old 07-01-2002, 05:07 PM
 
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I agree that perhaps the course of action would be to rule out a physical cause and then eliminate any unnecessary sugar in your home. I would be much more concerned about the emotional stuff your son is going through, and much less concerned with the sugar he is consuming. The sugar isn't good for him, but his body will adjust and it wont kill him, and it seems that there is an emotional issue that needs to be addressed first and foremost.

I have spoken on here before about growing up with an illness that caused me to have very severe dietary restrictions when I was young. I remember having terrible, insatiable, and irresistable cravings for anything that was on my "forbidden" list, and I would often sneak around with whatever I could get my hands on. When I was confronted, I felt ashamed and guilty, and I felt like there was something wrong with me that was making me feel so out of control around these foods. I didn't know it was a normal reaction to the idea of foods being "restricted" or "forbidden." It was no wonder that I ended up struggling for years, as a young adult, with multiple eating disorders. It would have helped me tremendously if my parents had approached my dietary restrictions as something that would have been healthy for the whole family, and not have bought stuff off my "restricted list," but even if they had done so (in fact, they did do this to a large extent), I still probably would have snuck around with whatever I could get my hands on at school and at friend's houses. I wish there was information available back than for parents dealing with the emotional issues involved with eating and dietary restrictions for kids. I learned through that experience a couple things. One is, kids will make choices based on what is available to them. And the second thing I learned is that "restricted foods" are a tricky and serious notion. I don't know why I am sharing this other than to say that the emotional issues here are really important, and I hope you are able to work this out with your son.

I imagine that right now he has a lot of questions and concerns about himself and about food.

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#4 of 28 Old 07-01-2002, 05:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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3boysmom, I agree, it is alot of sugar to consume, DH buys it (maple syrup)and uses it the most, the ones that DS sneaks are the little ones from cracker barrell (2 oz?) at any rate, we are in tune with the emotional issues...have really had troubles with DS for a long time, after interviewing several therapists, we finally found a ~play therapist~ who will help the whole family sort out things (not focusing on whats ~wrong~ with the child)

Sierra, i am very worried about DS's relationship woth food...we eat a healthy diet, i try not to have power struggles with him around food...i have been thinking of eliminating dairy and wheat to see if that is what causes his regular tummy aches ( i have always thought it was anxiety) of course, the sugar would probably have more to do w/ it.

We do not as a family consume that much sugar, honey goes on oatmeal and in herbal teas. I guess i need to have no sugar in the house, or have DH hide his maple syrup...it just seems so unhealthy (hiding things that is)

My dilemna is how not to power struggle over food, he probably sneaks food bc i do limit what he can have...if he had his way he would eat nothing except bread, butter, cheese, and sweets of all kinds. The only veg he will eat is broccoli and raw carrots on occasion. I prepare a nutritious meal , taking into account what he may enjoy as well as things i don't think he will eat (DD will eat a wider variety) I tell him "this is your dinner, if you don't want to eat this you can get an apple or a carrot" (or something else healthy) he gets it for himself. If he is hungry later, i tell him that we will have a big, yummy breakfast...i don't want to punish him, just want to encourage him towards a healthy diet. If he really is hungry, he eats something healthy, or he gets bread and butter

This does go much deeper, maybe that approach is contributing to the problem..?

I have had him help me w/ the grocery list, he tells me the foods he likes , i have asked him which vegs he would enjoy (brocc, carrots..which i serve alot) we are working on cooking together . That is new, i hope it helps.

Sometimes, i'm really worried about DS and i wonder if i have the right qualities needed to parent him.
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#5 of 28 Old 07-01-2002, 06:34 PM
 
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Just a suggestion that worked well for me in relation to food with my 4 older kids when they were little.

All of them were served small amounts of everything I made for a meal. They only had to take 2 bites of everything on the plate and then they could declare themselves finished and leave the table if they chose to do so. If they only ate 2 bites of everything, they did not get to eat something else later if they complained about being hungry. (I didn't enforce the size of each bite too heavily)

If they didn't like something that was served one day and it was served again as leftovers the next day, they still had to take 2 bites, even if they didnt like it the previous day.

By the time my kids were 5 or 6 they were eating nearly everything you could imagine and had a wide variety of things they liked. I wasn't having to struggle with "Oh I can't make that for dinner because Ross doesn't like it" THere were no power stuggles about cleaning plates and now as teens, they all eat healthy well balanced meals on their own! They don't care for sodas and chips and snack foods and will choose fruit and healthy snacks instead.

I think with your son - therapy will be good, but don't get too fixated on what he eats or doesn't eat. All kids go through phases where they eat strange things - one of my children ate nothing but green beans for 3 months when he was 6! Keep the food/behavior issue seperate from who he is. You still love the child, it is the behavior that you are having difficulty with. Maybe this will help you find the energy to parent him and finally - don't doubt yourself as a parent!!!!!
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#6 of 28 Old 07-02-2002, 01:58 AM
 
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When I was young I used to crave sweets, still do sometimes as a vegetarian. Usually means I'm not getting enough protein. Might want to check his diet out, but don't make food an issue. One of the reasons many develop eating disorders is that eating is one of the only things they can full control at that time in their lives.

When I was running cross country and track (was world class from age 9-21) I used to gorge on Little Debbie snack cakes and dougnuts in secret. I think I just needed those extra calories and my dad was so totally controlling over what I ate to the point where we never had butter or any kind of junk food or any sweets in the house ever. I used my allowance to buy these things for myself. He was so afraid that I'd get fat and lose my runninge edge.

The ironic part is that I've always been thin and probably always will be (except during pg) just because that's how my body wants to be. Even after I stopped running, had a baby, and don't excercise regulary or diet (except having healthy eating habits most of the time) I am still under 110, just like all the other women on my mom's side. I still resent my father for controlling me this much.

I saw a study on Discovery Channel that if you allow your kids a bit of junk food here and there as if it's no big deal they'll be less tempted to gorge on it or sneak it.

Hope this gets solved soon!

Darshani

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#7 of 28 Old 07-02-2002, 03:52 PM
 
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The fact that he is also taking your kitchen knives and hiding them in his room would lead me to believe that this is not necessarily just a food issue. I think there are likely many emotional issues going on here, and the food sneaking is just a symptom of a much larger illness. Get help.

The knives really scare me.
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#8 of 28 Old 07-02-2002, 08:00 PM
 
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I used to drink maple syrup and eat massive amounts of honey. I don't think that it was a sign of any deeper issues.
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#9 of 28 Old 07-03-2002, 09:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all for your replies, I know that deeper issues are at work with DS, we are getting help..really doing everything i can (or know to do)

I'm not sure if the eating itself is the issue, it is the hiding things, being so secretive and ~the knives~ that is extremely alarming to me. I have lately been very burned out in dealing with DS, i feel like i have let him down in some way.
Blessings, Kelly
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#10 of 28 Old 07-03-2002, 03:38 PM
 
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Kelly, stop feeling like you have let your ds down. Our children are just people with a whole range of emotions and problems to deal with. Your child has your genes, but he has his own personality, temperment, and problems to deal with -- problems that you did not necessarily cause. Your job as a parent is not to keep your child from having problems or tough times, it is to guide them and help them through those tough times. It is clear that you are doing that. Feel the big hug I am giving you and pass it on to your son.

Have a great weekend and try to spend some fun time with your ds. Forget your fears and concerns and just enjoy him. I'll say a prayer for you.
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#11 of 28 Old 07-03-2002, 04:37 PM
 
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This is really wierd and something I don't tell most people:
From the time I was 2 I was on a very restricted, macrobiotic diet. By the time I reached school age (4 or so, in nursery school) all the other kids made fun of me about what I ate. So I started to sneak food, eating junk food when my parents weren't around.
When my mom found out, I was so guilty about it that I didn't eat or drink anything for 3 days. I was 6! I got dehydrated & was hospitalized. The doctors called it "a nervous breakdown".
I am sure you won't but I just wanted to stress the importance of not shaming your child about it and not too strictly enforcing his diet. This episode marked a very long struggle with serious eating disorders for me.


Not to be too dramatic or anything... I'm sure this is not the case with your son.

Knittin', knit.gifsingin', cookin' Sara , newly single, doting auntie.
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#12 of 28 Old 07-04-2002, 09:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Beth, thank you for the hug , i just worry so much about ds and try so hard to do the right thing .

Sarah, i'm so sorry you went through that, why were you on such a strict diet from 2? anyway, i will be conscious about shaming him (w/out intending to) for him, possibly just catching him at it and acting displeased is enough to do it.

We saw the play therapist yesterday and she gave me some good insights, DS and i are also starting to cook together so he will have access to the kitchen in a different way.

Blessings, Kelly
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#13 of 28 Old 07-04-2002, 09:13 AM
 
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DH used to sneak corn syrup and fruit cake mix (those little candy fruits). He said it was because he was never allowed candy or much of anything sweet. With dd, we have had behavioral problems with even small amounts of sugar (even fruits), so we limit what we have in the house, but when we do have something (like grapes in season) we let her have as much as she wants.
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#14 of 28 Old 07-24-2002, 03:24 AM
 
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Ok, so if you do allow sweets in moderation, and your child is still hoarding and sneaking, then what do you do? My mother visited at Easter, so we had about twice the candy as usual, and my dd (4yo) insisted on hiding the plastic eggs for us, but we didn't realize that she was hiding candy in them so she could eat it later!

We've always had dessert as part of dinner. The size is somewhat proportional to what the child has eaten at dinner (if you're too full to eat much dinner, you must not be too hungry for dessert), but we try not to make it a behavior issue.

Even though she gets this regular dessert, she'll sneak sweets during the day. I once caught her eating semi-sweet baking chocolate blocks. I'm afraid that this is an addiction for her. My mother feels that she (my mother) is addicted to sweets and blames this for her weight problem. I don't know what to think.

I've stopped having candy in the house, although everyone is welcome to some other type of dessert after dinner. Is she going to sneak candy when she goes to other kids' houses, or will she get used to not having it and refuse it?

I'm editting this the next day for an update.

Dd and I went to the grocery store, and she asked for some cookies she saw. We agreed that we would buy one box of cookies to last the week. She could have some as dessert after dinner (and sometimes lunch), but that if she started sneaking handfuls in the afternoon, that would be it for the cookies. We've only gone one day, but it seems to be going well.
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#15 of 28 Old 04-03-2003, 08:28 PM
 
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Another thought: a child may crave, and binge on, a food he or she is allergic/sensitive to.

Take the time to heal from your marriage before you move on with someone else. Make a list of all the qualities you would like in a new partner and then work on growing that way yourself. ~mandib50
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#16 of 28 Old 04-04-2003, 08:16 AM
 
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I used to sneak frosting and hot chocolate mix. In high school I would buy and consume an entire package of little debbie swiss cake rolls within 15 minutes. I found out later in life that I was hypoglycemic. My parents kept sweets out of the house because they noticed I couldn't deal well with sugar...high and crashes...but didn't have a name for it...termed is as "sensitivity/slight allergy to sugar". (looking back, that was pretty insightful).

I agree with the statement made earlier that they could be craving what they have problems with. My two biggest cravings I have are for cheese and sugar, both of which give me problems.

You might look into hypoglycemia if he is craving sugar...really hard to get a firm diagnosis on it, but it is controlled with good eating habits. (small meals, healthy foods, more meals). I have also found that when my blood sugar is off I get really cranky and illogical...which means I make bad food choices and give in to cravings. (very PMS like)

I can't give you much advice on how to deal with...I am still dealing with food issues. I am quite overweight and really have to work to even maintain it, much less try to lose. If I were in your postition, I would first try and see if there is a physical cause, then an emotional one.

Mom to 10yo Autistic Wonder Boy and 6yo Inquisitive Fireball Girl . December birthdays.

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#17 of 28 Old 04-04-2003, 11:33 AM
 
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The sugar cravings may be coming from him having a growth spurt and needing the extra calories. Also, he might be lacking in protein. Whenever I need protein I crave sugar for some reason.

Hope you find the solution!

Darshani

7yo: "Mom,I know which man is on a quarter and which on is on a nickel. They both have ponytails, but one man has a collar and the other man is naked. The naked man was our first president."
 
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#18 of 28 Old 04-04-2003, 06:45 PM
 
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Hiding sweets all over and weird behaviour
It turned out I had some hypoglecemia
so even the knives *could* be part of it because when your blood sugar is out of whack a lot of things get out of whack...

good luck
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#19 of 28 Old 04-04-2003, 11:49 PM
 
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I second the protein idea. Can you give him some kind of protein drink with some *green food* powder in it? If he likes it (like a milkshake - heh heh), it may stabilize his sugar a bit. Even without diabetes or hypoglycemia, too much sugar can lead to bingeing and crashing and is a cyclic thing. If I don't get enough protein, I eat too frequently, and crave simple carbs, and so on, and feel terrible! There's also some OCD at play with me, but I do hoard things...I hope your therapist works well!

Also, it's normal and natural to doubt youself as a parent when something (temporarily) incomprehensible comes up. Later on, you will look back, knowing what was happening then and having handled it well, and know you *do* have what it takes to parent your son well. I wish you grace and speed in getting to that place!

Hugs,

Jen
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#20 of 28 Old 04-05-2003, 12:05 AM
 
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Beloved, I just want to second what so many have said here today, You are a wonderful Mom to your son. Gos doesn't make mistakes, and you are your son's mother for a reason. Your concern, and compassion for your son are beautiful to see. Don't doubt yourself, just know you are doing the very best that you can do for your son. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Hope you don't mind a CHristion praying for you. Hee Hee.

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Before you were conceived, I wanted you. Before you were born I loved you. Before you were a minute old, I would have died for you. That is the miracle of life. ~Maureen Hawkins~
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#21 of 28 Old 04-05-2003, 11:02 AM
 
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The knives:

It occurs to me that the behavior about knives could be

1) a behavior change for a health/chemical reason, as the other moms suggested, such as food allergy, blood sugar, nutrition issue.....

OR!!!

2) It could be a reaction to something else in his life. You know him best but a few things that pop into my mind are: feeling unsafe about Iraq on TV or being discussed,

reacting to the playing with other kids, if they had violent play he might be mirroring it,

imitating or reacting to something in a video game or story or movie or TV show........

As good moms as we all strive to be, we CANNOT be perfect and there are violent influences everywhere in our society. And I do limit the violence in images my kids see, but I also feel good-vs.-evil when playing can be good for kids.....it's complicated. We all have to find our own balance.

Don't know if that applies or not.....

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#22 of 28 Old 04-05-2003, 10:34 PM
 
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Kelly,
I would try to limit his refined sugar. If he consumes too much, it could pass to the kidneys and urine. One way to tell if it is too much sugar is how his urine smells--if it smells fruity/sweet, that is one indication. This is what happens to me whenever I eat something with too much refined sugar.

Also, eating too much sugar can cause a yeast infection.

I would ask if there is anything bothering him.
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#23 of 28 Old 04-05-2003, 11:10 PM
 
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Hi Kelly,
I just want to encourage you to have faith in yourself. Even if it is hard. When you find yourself thinking stuff like "maybe I just don't have what it takes" - challenge that thinking. Those thoughts are your enemy. Be strong for yourself - when you feel confident you will be able to see more clearly what is going on, and act decisively.
Best of luck to you!!!
Eve

I just wanted to add for the cause of perspective that I consider myself pretty normal and happy and successful and I did WAY stranger stuff when I was a child. If my mother brought a box of Mystic Mint cookies into the house I would consume ALL of them in a go! And I loved the powdered drink she took to gain weight so much that I drank it all the time - with obvious results as I am NOT prone to being underweight! Maybe he's just working something out - food and violence issues may be ones we just can't realistically shelter our kids from. But most of us get through them one way or another!
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#24 of 28 Old 04-07-2003, 02:18 AM
 
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Quote:
Who drinks straight maple syrup?
My dh pours himself shot glasses of it!

Anyway, this may be kind of OT but:

When I was 10 and living with my dad I did some of the same stuff - ate most of the mini candy bars out of the freezer, chowed down on Tang powder, and one day my dad found all the evidence under my bed and just asked if I had been eating the stuff. I confessed, since there was no way I could lie with all the wrappers there and all that, and he just said "Well, don't worry, you're not in trouble. Next time just take what you want; don't hide under the bed and eat it."

It was great to know that he was being understanding, and that he wasn't setting up further power struggles by saying "You'll never have candy again!" After that, it didn't happen anymore.
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#25 of 28 Old 04-07-2003, 03:09 AM
 
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Mothering mag had a great article years ago called raising children free of food & weight problems. Some of the points it outlined was the importance of a child having their own personal food. It was suggested to have a container in the fridge of stuff that was just for a specific child. The thought was that this would prevent the hoarding caused by the thought that 'I better eat this before someone else does', mentality. I have always let my son have access to all the candy he wants from halloween treats to his Easter baskets-he keeps them in his room so I really can't keep track of how much he eats. But i can tell you every Easter/halloween when i go to reuse his basket with new treats there is always chocolate & jelly beans & lots of candy left over that I end up throwing away!(I mean GOOD stuff that I would have eaten 1st!, not just jujubees!) This always amazes me because I was just the opposite as a child & would (try to) gorge on sweets because they were doled out to me and I never got my fill. So in light of all this I would suggest giving him his own bottle of honey or syrup and saying this is just for you. Label it with his name and give him all he wants. As long as you are providing him the options of well balanced diet also he will come to kilter if given a chance. I was in an eating for emotional reasons group years ago. The 1st thing the therapist did for us was said eat all you want of whatever you want! Yippee!! I went straight to the bakery & then to the store & filled my cookie jar with candy bars. I was eating 4-6 candy bars a day on top of ice cream & whatever else. Well after about 2 weeks I wanted a baked potato as badly as I had wanted all that candy. I had satiated the place in me that hadn't ever got enough 'of the good stuff' and was able to tune into my body's real needs. I no longer obsess over sweets and give myself whatever I want, which ends up now being more healthy than any other time. My whole relationship with food is healthier because I have no limits or restrictions which I think is the cause of obsession. Seeing how this worked on my Son convinced me that not restricting sweets for good behavior or treats and seeing it as a legitimate form of sustenance -albeit inferior- has created a balance in him that is superior to my own self control. If you can get your hands on that article it is really a worthwhile read.
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#26 of 28 Old 04-14-2003, 09:49 AM
 
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sugar is as addictive as heroin in my opinion. i would talk to someone in overeaters anonymous. I am not saying take him there, don't!!!!!!!!!! Just get some feedback. It sounds like he is wanting to escape from feelings for some reason.
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#27 of 28 Old 04-26-2003, 08:51 PM
 
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Another person who craves sweets when she needs protein.

try eliminating a lot of carbs and replacing it with lots of good tasting protein.

Get him in on the cooking/shopping. Just an idea.
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#28 of 28 Old 04-27-2003, 01:06 AM
 
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I used to sneak and hoard sweets and other junkfood too.

There is a book that I haven't read yet, but I have heard great things about: Preventing Childhood Eating Problems (sorry, I couldn't give a Powell's link because their website is apparently down). I have recently started reading their book for adults (Overcoming Overeating), and I like what I see so far.

Their recommendations are along the lines of what myrhhmaid recommends -- allowing children more freedom with their food.

I do some of the things myrhhmaid does as well these days. When the girls get lots of candy for whatever holiday (most recently Easter -- my MIL goes insane), instead of keeping it from them I put all of it in a big basket, right out where anyone can take whatever they want from it whenever they want it. It is incredible to watch how moderate my children are with it. They take just a couple of pieces a day, and it lasts forever. When I used to hide the candy, they constantly begged, and when they got hold of it, they couldn't stuff their faces fast enough -- which was exactly how I was my entire childhood and still am to a certain extent. That's why I'm reading their adult book.
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