Kids playing with and wasting food + Meal and snack scheduling discussion - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 432 Old 08-11-2005, 10:12 AM
 
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Unless they are engrossed in a movie or their v-smile, they do this every time I am out of the room. For instance, yesterday while I was in the shower, they got into the kitchen, took the bucket of icecream out, and sat on the floor eating it wiht their hands. This was just after I had gave them lunch AND made them their own bowls of icecream!

They got into my blueberries while I was in the bathroom and threw them at each other then squashed them into the floor.

This morning as i was vacuuming they got into the burrito's AFTER I had given them bowls of cereal.
One more thought: do they only/mostly do this when you're busy/out of the room? Could they be looking for some extra attention? Sometimes kids will get it any way they want it. My kids can definitely be like this, going through phases where they're always doing something irritating, and often I think it's because they want some extra attention. And even if I'm not sure it's a bid for attention, I find that doing something to include them in my work around the house or giving them a project when I have to go to the bathroom or shower helps a lot (keeps them busy and all of us focused on the positive). My 6 year old can use the vacuum (with supervision), for instance. Our bathroom is near the kitchen, so I'll give them rags and spray bottles and have them wash every surface they can reach (they love this, it's messy). Heck, I'll even let them wash the bathroom vanity and walls while I'm in there if necessary. I give them wet towels to skate around on the kitchen floor with, which is fun and actually gets the floor pretty clean. We've come up with lots of interesting things to keep them busy helping out around the house-seems to keep them happier and less likely to do things that irritate mom and dad.

I hope you find something that works for you.
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#62 of 432 Old 08-11-2005, 11:02 AM
 
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if there is something "developmentally amiss" with a 6 y.o. boy who likes to make wasteful messes instead of serving up a tea party to guests and sibs... :LOL ... oh my!

This thread comes at a weirdly timely manner for me. My *8* year old has taken to dumping dish detergent down the sink, last night dumped an entire container of salt down the sink, has destroyed toilet paper, toothpaste, drawn on the wall.

I also take the "you waste it, you pay for it with extra chores and doing without for a little bit." I can't afford to just replace everything he wrecks.
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#63 of 432 Old 08-11-2005, 11:17 AM
 
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if there is something "developmentally amiss" with a 6 y.o. boy who likes to make wasteful messes instead of serving up a tea party to guests and sibs... :LOL ... oh my!

This thread comes at a weirdly timely manner for me. My *8* year old has taken to dumping dish detergent down the sink, last night dumped an entire container of salt down the sink, has destroyed toilet paper, toothpaste, drawn on the wall.

I also take the "you waste it, you pay for it with extra chores and doing without for a little bit." I can't afford to just replace everything he wrecks.
I am not saying there is anything developmentally amiss, really. Just wondering why he would continue to make a mess when his mom has asked him not to.

Maybe he's naughty and needs to be punished, I guess. He's normal and defiant, obviously.

Do I have the only 6 yr old who can scoop ice cream into a bowl and knows how to use a spoon?
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#64 of 432 Old 08-11-2005, 11:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am not saying there is anything developmentally amiss, really. Just wondering why he would continue to make a mess when his mom has asked him not to.

Maybe he's naughty and needs to be punished, I guess. He's normal and defiant, obviously.

Do I have the only 6 yr old who can scoop ice cream into a bowl and knows how to use a spoon?
:::sigh::: Yes, you have the ONLY 6 year old who can use a spoon. : You're completely missiing the point. So I'm gonna yell it at ya. YES MY CHILD KNOWS HOW TO USE A SPOON!!! YES HE KNOWS HOW TO SCOOP ICECREAM!!! HE KNOWS HOW TO MAKE JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING THERE IS TO MAKE IN THE KITCHEN!!!

Now maybe you understand that, I'll explain in normal terms that he did that because the icecream is cold and squishy, his brother wasn't using a spoon, he didn't either, and he thought it would be fun to rebel and eat it with his hands. I did something similar when I was a child, and my butt was busted so bad it hurt to sit down for a long time afterwards. of course I don't want to do that, so I came here hoping to get advice on how to handle this in a gd and age appropriate manner. What I didn't want was your smug "my child can do it, yours must be mental" attitude. :
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#65 of 432 Old 08-11-2005, 11:34 AM
 
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Marie-- you are going to need to punish him, then.

You're right-- I have no idea what the point is.

Your kids are bad, they are wasting food and they ignore you.

What else can you do?
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#66 of 432 Old 08-11-2005, 11:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Marie-- you are going to need to punish him, then.

You're right-- I have no idea what the point is.

Your kids are bad, they are wasting food and they ignore you.

What else can you do?
Is there any point to your posting except to act like a jerk? Because everyone else has given me great advice, made me think of what my child could me missing in his every day experiances to want to get into different foods, and child-respectful ways to deal handle it. You've just acted like a pompus jerk.
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#67 of 432 Old 08-11-2005, 11:42 AM
 
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My first post was nice. You just didn't like it.

I didn't call you a jerk or anything.

I think you're over-reacting.

i also really think the tactics of locking children out of their own kitchen is drastic.

I know you don't want to hear that, but the whole deal sounds completely punitive and that's not AP or GD. And this is MDC.
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#68 of 432 Old 08-11-2005, 11:50 AM
 
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I am not saying there is anything developmentally amiss, really. Just wondering why he would continue to make a mess when his mom has asked him not to.

Maybe he's naughty and needs to be punished, I guess. He's normal and defiant, obviously.

Do I have the only 6 yr old who can scoop ice cream into a bowl and knows how to use a spoon?
I understand what you are saying. If the OP's 6 yr old has not learned to scoop ice cream into a bowl then it's time for her to teach him.

To the OP: He is certainly old enough. And this is not implying he is developmentally behind. Everyone is ignorant until they are taught properly

And yes, if he if he naughty, there should be consequences. I think you should take the advice offered to you and have a heart to heart with all the kids. Tell'em whatever you gotta tell'em "things are going to change around here" whatever...And I don't think you need to invest in locks or gadgets, just teach your kids what you want them to learn.

If you don't want them into the kitchen without asking you first... tell'em and if they disobey you choose and use *your* consequences.
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#69 of 432 Old 08-11-2005, 11:52 AM
 
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it seems like there could be something wrong here...

I have a child who recently turned six.

If she were to get ice cream out of the fridge--which she can do at any time-- she would put it on the table, get a scooper, put it in a bowl and get a spoon.

And many times she has served friends & sibs---but she always gets bowls and spoons, and napkins.

Do your children have much experience in the kitchen? I am not being mean--but why doesn't your 6 yr old know that if she/he is going to serve the younger siblings , sitting on the floor eating ice cream with your hands out of the container is germy & difficult to clean up? Can you teach him what to do?

Are they not allowed to serve themselves and to feel their own hunger? Have you always served them? Perhaps they are more interested in getting at forbidden things -- perhaps they have learned not to listen to their bodies' hunger signals.

i would be more concerned about these issues, and why they are sneaking around. I would think closing them out of the kitchen is the lesser part of the issue. I would think that a 6 yr old should be a little more cognizant of how to serve food??? I have 4 kids and I have not exp any of this...so bear with me.

I am almost inclined to wonder if something is developmentally amiss? i ask this gently...as this doesn't seem like regular 6 yr old behavior??. Maybe. Please don't jump all over me MDC mamas.

This was my first post- and i didn't even use the word abuse. :LOL
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#70 of 432 Old 08-11-2005, 11:55 AM
 
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What are these magnet locks you keep talking about?
http://www.babysupermall.com/main/pr...1173-item.html

they work really well, I have them on all of my cabinets because I have a daycare, and you really can't open them without the key. They are a bit of a pain to install, but worth it.

Heather married to my highschool sweetheart 6/7/02 :cop: Mother to Dani age 14 and Timmy age 10 Nadia 1/29 :
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#71 of 432 Old 08-11-2005, 11:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by sledg
One more thought: do they only/mostly do this when you're busy/out of the room? Could they be looking for some extra attention? Sometimes kids will get it any way they want it. My kids can definitely be like this, going through phases where they're always doing something irritating, and often I think it's because they want some extra attention. And even if I'm not sure it's a bid for attention, I find that doing something to include them in my work around the house or giving them a project when I have to go to the bathroom or shower helps a lot (keeps them busy and all of us focused on the positive). My 6 year old can use the vacuum (with supervision), for instance. Our bathroom is near the kitchen, so I'll give them rags and spray bottles and have them wash every surface they can reach (they love this, it's messy). Heck, I'll even let them wash the bathroom vanity and walls while I'm in there if necessary. I give them wet towels to skate around on the kitchen floor with, which is fun and actually gets the floor pretty clean. We've come up with lots of interesting things to keep them busy helping out around the house-seems to keep them happier and less likely to do things that irritate mom and dad.

I hope you find something that works for you.
I think you have a point. I used to have them take showers with me, but recently I felt my son was too old for that. He's probably just bored. Since reading this thread I can see definate possible causes for this. We haven't had a backyard since the middle of June, for one. We just recently moved here, but are waiting to finish out the fence because there is a vicious dog next door that I don't trust around my kids. So they cannot go out to play.They love playing in dirt and things like that. I have thought about putting some dirt into the bathtub for them to play in, but does anyone know if it would cause plumbing problems when it got washed down the drain?
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#72 of 432 Old 08-11-2005, 11:56 AM
 
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Is there any point to your posting except to act like a jerk? Because everyone else has given me great advice, made me think of what my child could me missing in his every day experiances to want to get into different foods, and child-respectful ways to deal handle it. You've just acted like a pompus jerk.
This is WAY out of line.
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#73 of 432 Old 08-11-2005, 11:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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This was my first post- and i didn't even use the word abuse. :LOL
I never said you did.
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#74 of 432 Old 08-11-2005, 11:59 AM
 
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Maybe it's time to take the disagreements over tone and content to PM?

He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.  ~Albert Einstein
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#75 of 432 Old 08-11-2005, 12:00 PM
 
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I am wary of child centric, self-sacrificing mothering. The entire family (including parents and moms) are equally important.

However, there did seem to be a lot of "my food," "my stuff," "my kitchen" in this thread. It could itself be the problem. If the 6 year old doesn't feel like he is a full participant in the household, he could then not see food and mess as his responsibility.

I think this is what UU is trying to get at. I wouldn't lock a 6 year old out of a room in his/her house. The room is as much the 6 year olds as mine, and 6 is old enough not to abuse stuff unintentionally. If the 6 year old was abusing stuff intentionally, I'd address that (by talking to the 6 year old about what he thinks is the reason and what he thinks could be the solution). Your explanations about money and waste are falling on deaf ears, so I'd get him involved in the conversation. It would help him feel responsible and a full participant in household issues.

good luck
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#76 of 432 Old 08-11-2005, 12:01 PM
 
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Originally Posted by meowee
if there is something "developmentally amiss" with a 6 y.o. boy who likes to make wasteful messes instead of serving up a tea party to guests and sibs... :LOL ... oh my!

This thread comes at a weirdly timely manner for me. My *8* year old has taken to dumping dish detergent down the sink, last night dumped an entire container of salt down the sink, has destroyed toilet paper, toothpaste, drawn on the wall.

I also take the "you waste it, you pay for it with extra chores and doing without for a little bit." I can't afford to just replace everything he wrecks.
To me, this is punitive. It's not GD. You have to get at the larger issue.

I also wonder how a small child would be able to get the money together to replace the food he ruined? If the parent pays the child for doing extra chores, isn't that money coming from the same source as the one used to buy the food intially? So the "i can't afford to replace this food' is not really true. I don't agree with a child wasting food, even if a parent can 'afford it', but I also don't agree with a parent telling a falsehood to the child.

There is a lack of respect here--the child does not respect the parent, and the parent show lack of respect for the child through punitive behavior towards the child. It's an endless cycle disrespect.

I wold also think an 8 year old can understand that ruining food is not in anyone's best interests. Again, I would try to figure out why the child continues with behavior the parent has explained is not in keeping with family values. If the child doesn't care , why?
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#77 of 432 Old 08-11-2005, 12:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Mod, feel free to lock this thread now. I've gotten a lot of great responses. Now that I realize my children must just be missing out on the stimulation they used to get from playing outside (and we went from being outside all day to being inside all day, so it has been quite a change) I'm not angry at them. Still frustrated, yes, but now I have a real plan for handling this. Thank you all for your advice and support.

I'm sorry the thead took such a bad turn. But I think any mommy would get angry if someone focused one one thing she said and used that in a "my child can do this so your child must be off balance" way.
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#78 of 432 Old 08-11-2005, 12:10 PM
 
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Thanks, those look great, but our's are metal cabinets. How would one with metal cabinets and no handles keep the cabinets locked?

What about installing handles on the cabinets and then using the locks that are 2 thick cables with zipper like teeth on them, that go through a square. You ahve to push down two firm buttons at the same time, and pull the zip tie out. My own 8yo can't do it by herself. (I have a hard time undoing them sometimes)

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#79 of 432 Old 08-11-2005, 12:10 PM
 
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My kids are about the same ages as yours-almost 6, almost 4 and almost 2. They have always had free access to what they can reach in the kitchen, and for whatever reason they just don't waste or play with food. I won't claim it's entirely because they've always been welcome in the kitchen to play, cook, clean or whatever-but I think it does help. We spend a lot of time in there eating together and cooking and talking about the value of food.

That said, I think you really do have to restrict access somewhat until they learn to respect food more. Despite having an "open kitchen" policy in our home, some things are still off limits. Anything we don't want them to have is up in high cabinets or on top of cabinets where they can't reach. No cabinets are locked, so most lower cabinets contain only pans, bakeware, bowls and kids' dishes-all stuff they can safely play with anytime they want. We keep canned goods and snacks they're allowed to have in one lower lazy-susan cabinet. If they start wasting food or the baby dumps it, up it goes into a high cabinet. At times all we've had in lower cabinets is canned food. For us it's the best of both world's-the kids feel welcome in the kitchen but they can't really get into trouble. (Yes, there have been times my littlest one has pulled chairs up to the counter to climb up and rummage in cabinets. Some of those times I have actually removed chairs from the kitchen because she tried it every time I turned my head.)

The refrigerator is a different problem, though. I have seen refrigerator locks, and I think if your kids are just going into the fridge to dump things out there's no harm in a refrigerator lock.

I also agree with whomever said a little snack shelf is great. With small quanities of snacks, and perhaps some cups with lids that you keep filled with water (or water bottles) for free access to drinks.

And maybe I'm way off base here, but if my kids were doing something like that I'd also suspect that they love the reaction they get from me and look into ways to modify my reaction.

excellent post.
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#80 of 432 Old 08-11-2005, 12:11 PM
 
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Just had another idea. If you have a door to your kitchen does it have a latching door handle? Why not install a lock like on your front door? Or an alarm of some kind so that you can hear it when they go in there?

Heather married to my highschool sweetheart 6/7/02 :cop: Mother to Dani age 14 and Timmy age 10 Nadia 1/29 :
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#81 of 432 Old 08-11-2005, 12:18 PM
 
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Mod, feel free to lock this thread now. I've gotten a lot of great responses. Now that I realize my children must just be missing out on the stimulation they used to get from playing outside (and we went from being outside all day to being inside all day, so it has been quite a change) I'm not angry at them. Still frustrated, yes, but now I have a real plan for handling this. Thank you all for your advice and support.

I'm sorry the thead took such a bad turn. But I think any mommy would get angry if someone focused one one thing she said and used that in a "my child can do this so your child must be off balance" way.

I totally didn't say that. I can see how you could read it like that, but that was not in my heart.

The behavior does seem a bit out- of- line for a six yr old, and also someone said that 6 yr olds can't understand about germs. I think they can. It's true, I thought there could be a developmental lag, but not that there *was*. It's true he wasn't understanding what you want from him.

Thinking the child might be a little young for his age a lot nicer than suggesting your kid is a disrespectful brat. Or that you are abusing your children.

I mean, *does* your child know what you expect from him? If he doesn't, why? Teach him what you want him to know. Power comes from knowledge, not from locks.

But I also think locks can help keep children safe if they don't get it. But you don't want children growing up thinking their home is a fortress or that they must be locked out of the kitchen, beyond safety reasons fro very small children. You don't want kids thinking they have to sneak and break into their own kitchen (which you said they do) to get stuff.
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#82 of 432 Old 08-11-2005, 12:20 PM
 
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There is a lack of respect here--the child does not respect the parent, and the parent show lack of respect for the child through punitive behavior towards the child. It's an endless cycle disrespect.
What you see as a lack of respect, I and others see as holding a child accountable for their behavior. It would be very nice if talking to kids and explaining how their behavior is out of line with family values would always solve the problem, but if that were true, we wouldn't have these thousands of threads from parents whose kids are doing things they shouldn't be doing. Putting the onus completely on the parent to solve the problem is, to me, unfair to the parent and also to the child. At some point the child has to be held accountable for their own behavior, and if the child already knows that he/she isn't to do something and does it anyway, I don't see how restricting the child's access to that thing or activity is punitive. It's just natural, to me. If you can't handle the responsibility, then you won't have the opportunity.

Namaste!
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#83 of 432 Old 08-11-2005, 12:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Our house is sort of weird. It's rented,so I'm not sure I could make the changes. But the cabinets are all metal ones with no handle, so I'm not sure how I could install a temporary lock on them. The door is a sliding door that comes out from the inside of the door way and slides in place. There is no door knob. I had tried the eyelet latch near the top of the door, but the boys (my 3-4 year old mainly) just pushed a chair over and undid it. Please understand that I am not looking to lock them out for a long term, nor am I not allowing them access to food. If they come and ask me for something, I will accompany them to the kitchen while they get their snack. I just do not want them being able to go in there alone until they learn to respect the food, or their need that makes them want to play in it is met. I don't see how that is not a natural consequence. Just like "You abuse the playground equipement, so now you can not go there for a while", it's "you abuse the food, so I cannot let you around it unsupervised for a while." I feel that is not mean at all. I'mnot saying "you poured out the cheerios, now you can't have breakfast."
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#84 of 432 Old 08-11-2005, 12:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm sorry if I misunderstood what you were trying to say. It's the momma bear in be coming out. I get very defensive of my children, and sometimes that means I have deaf ears (or is that blind eyes) when I think someone has attacked my child.

He knows a little about jerms such as "cover your mouth when you cough because you could spread your jerms around", but not so much about food. We do wash our hands before eating, but that was just to make them clean, I never explained about washing jerms off hands, so I doubt he ever thought his hands were jermy. I should explain that to him.

He is a young 5-6, but not developementally delayed at all. He just has so much fun playing with his little brother that he often forgets reason.
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#85 of 432 Old 08-11-2005, 12:28 PM
 
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What you see as a lack of respect, I and others see as holding a child accountable for their behavior. It would be very nice if talking to kids and explaining how their behavior is out of line with family values would always solve the problem, but if that were true, we wouldn't have these thousands of threads from parents whose kids are doing things they shouldn't be doing. Putting the onus completely on the parent to solve the problem is, to me, unfair to the parent and also to the child. At some point the child has to be held accountable for their own behavior, and if the child already knows that he/she isn't to do something and does it anyway, I don't see how restricting the child's access to that thing or activity is punitive. It's just natural, to me. If you can't handle the responsibility, then you won't have the opportunity.

Namaste!

We have a *very* different view of children, for sure. It's not wrong to see things differently, of course. But I am constantly struck by how not punitive I am compared with so many other MDC mamas.

It obviously gets me into trouble. :LOL

The other problem I have is that my children don't 'misbehave' and sharing that comes off as sounding like a pompous jerk. It's not that they have always made the right choices, but we have always taken their development into account and assumed they wanted to know what we expected from them. We have been able to share this information with them without punishment or spanking.

I think my children don't 'misbehave' because dh and I have never been punitive, but it could also be genetics. I don't know. One of our children is adopted, but dc mght also be from the 'not bratty' gene pool as well. So maybe we're just lucky.

All I can continue to do is share my thoughts on GD, AP and what I think as long as people contiune to ask for opions on a public AP/GD/NFL board.
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#86 of 432 Old 08-11-2005, 01:03 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MPJJJ
Our house is sort of weird. It's rented,so I'm not sure I could make the changes. But the cabinets are all metal ones with no handle, so I'm not sure how I could install a temporary lock on them. The door is a sliding door that comes out from the inside of the door way and slides in place. There is no door knob. I had tried the eyelet latch near the top of the door, but the boys (my 3-4 year old mainly) just pushed a chair over and undid it. Please understand that I am not looking to lock them out for a long term, nor am I not allowing them access to food. If they come and ask me for something, I will accompany them to the kitchen while they get their snack. I just do not want them being able to go in there alone until they learn to respect the food, or their need that makes them want to play in it is met. I don't see how that is not a natural consequence. Just like "You abuse the playground equipement, so now you can not go there for a while", it's "you abuse the food, so I cannot let you around it unsupervised for a while." I feel that is not mean at all. I'mnot saying "you poured out the cheerios, now you can't have breakfast."
we have a door like this on one of our bathrooms, the one with the meds in it. The sliding door has a handle that is a loop. I put an eye bolt next to the handle and Then I use one of these http://www.safety1st.com/product.asp?productID=196 It works great to keep daycare kids out of my private bathroom and I don't have to try to install locks on my medicine cabinate.

Heather married to my highschool sweetheart 6/7/02 :cop: Mother to Dani age 14 and Timmy age 10 Nadia 1/29 :
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#87 of 432 Old 08-11-2005, 01:05 PM
 
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I'm not trying to be difficult, honestly, but I really fail to see how holding accountable=punishment. Really, I don't understand.

Namaste!
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#88 of 432 Old 08-11-2005, 01:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dharmamama
I'm not trying to be difficult, honestly, but I really fail to see how holding accountable=punishment. Really, I don't understand.

Namaste!
I don't know where I stand on the whole accountability stuff. But I guess it is a little about how you expect to be treated. I eat at the computer and get dh's mouse all sticky. It drives him CRAZY. But he doesn't make me do extra chores around the house to "buy" him another mouse. That would be punitive and weird. He leaves cd's upside down out of his cases. I don't take them and put them up until he can respect them. Instead, we negotiate (he'll try to remmeber to put cds back if I try to remember to put teh cap on teh toothpaste) and remind each other and make empty promises and problem solve together (we'll eat at the table more so that we get out of the habit of eating at the computer).

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.
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#89 of 432 Old 08-11-2005, 01:40 PM
 
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Just a few observations for the OP~

I think this is all age appropriate behavior. I certaintly don't agree with anyone who suggested otherwise. Howevever I think your oldest is capable of learning new behavior in the kitchen, while a 2 year old might not be able to do that yet.

You may or may not notice that you speak very possessively about the food in your home. You said "my" food many times, and seem preoccupied insisting you serve or assist your kids in the kitchen, even with simple snacks, though they clearly don't want the help. That does not make you a bad parent at all! But it is the dynamic you seem to have set in motion, and I think the way your kids are acting, is a logical extension of it. They crave freedom yet have no idea how to behave correctly when they sneak in there and have a moment alone with the food.

I have no problem with locks for real genuine safety issues that are just too dangerous to risk even short term. But I think for what you describe, locks are only going to put off the inevitable learning your kids need to do in the kitchen. And putting off that kind of learning can make it harder, not easier, to begin later.

Eating is a fact of life. You can't make food seem dangerous or hard to get without putting a child at odds with his own biological existence. Isn't that why we nurse on demand? We seem to know how much a baby resents feeling he must wait for his food, and then expect older kids to put up with all kinds of arbitrary expectations. Food is not sharp objects, or glass ornaments, that needs to be carefully kept from reach. Children don't *need* to hold the can of paint thinner. They do need to eat and they love to eat and they may resent anyone getting between them and their food. The only way I can picture real peace in your home is to work with them continuously in teaching indepedence in the kitchen, involving them in all aspects of the kitchen routine, giving them lots of little jobs and responsibilities in there, and generally make it a space they feel safe and confident and *responsible* for using correctly. Be a team. Especially with the oldest. He might really like feeing in charge of "teaching" the younger one's how to put food away or serve it neatly.

I love the idea of giving them other sensory play. That is brilliant. If they play with food, of course, acceptable substitutes are so important as part of the solution.

Mother is the word for God on the hearts and lips of all little children--William Makepeace Thackeray
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#90 of 432 Old 08-11-2005, 02:11 PM
 
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I've only skimmed the last few pages, but my first reaction to reading the OP, was that the natural consequence I thought of would be no more ice cream in the house. I know you said you and your dh like it, but maybe everyone needs to just go without for awhile. If the kids can't respect it, it goes away.

I know this doesn't work for things like cereal being squished all over the house, but it seems like you've gotten some good replies about that kind of behavior and are on your way towards dealing with it.

But for treat foods like ice cream, I would definitely remove it from the house if they were shoveling it with their hands on the floor.
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