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My boyfriend has 1 child and she has no siblings. She just turned 8. In many ways, she's a great kid and in others she can be a little spoiled.

I have noticed that she feels entitled to whatever anyone is eating and if she sees you with food she runs to you with immediate interest. An example, if I am eating something she will ask what I am eating and I will tell her. If it sounds spicy or something she won't like I will get a, "hmm no thanks." In my mind, I am thinking, I didn't offer it to you. But it's just a given that if she does want it, she expects to get it because her father will give up anything she wants, even if she already ate & we didn't.

I've gotten into an argument with him already because if she just doesn't want something, she will make up excuses about not liking it or it's too spicy even though she loved it before and it's not even the slightest bit spicy. I caught on pretty quick that she was lying in order to get something else to eat but he just wants to go along with it & just let her eat what she wants. So, I am afraid to bring this up. I know kids can be picky eaters & they outgrow it so I am trying to just ignore it.

Basically, at 8 years old, shouldn't she be learning manners by now? Meaning - ask politely if you can try something or have a little rather than just assume because she wants it, it's hers? This seems normal for a 3 or 4 year old but not an 8 year old. Or am I expecting too much?
 

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It's doubtful whether discussing this with your BF will accomplish anything besides making him feel you're criticizing his parenting. If he's the noncustodial parent, it would be common for him to spoil his child, feeling it's important that she always feel happy with him since his time with her is limited.

But - as with any child - you are free to show her by your example and responses to her, what you consider polite or acceptable behavior. You might make a point of asking your BF politely - in front of her - to sample his dish at a restaurant. She will see how you think this ought to be done. And if she rudely demands some of your food - or if she's not that rude, but you just don't want to share - you can say no. Remain calm and polite and don't make it your mission to convince your BF he should also tell her no. If he or she complains about you refusing her, ask simple questions, like you're a little confused: "Are you saying I have to share my dinner with anyone who demands it?", "Didn't you already eat? I haven't and I'm really hungry."

Your examples may not affect any major change in her behavior. But it's not your responsibility to raise her. If you simply behave reasonably around her, at least you will know you're not contributing to the problem.
 

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I've gotten into an argument with him already because if she just doesn't want something, she will make up excuses about not liking it or it's too spicy even though she loved it before and it's not even the slightest bit spicy. I caught on pretty quick that she was lying in order to get something else to eat


I find your attitude about her eating odd and out of place. Kids have much more sensitive taste buds than adults, so many children find foods spicy that adults do not consider spicy. Many children have narrow food preferences. You are accusing her of very icky motives and behaviors for being a picky eater. You sound like you have a need to control this.


Let it go. It has nada to do with you. I agree with Vocal Minority to model what you consider appropriate behavior. Other than that, don't tell other people they are raising their kids incorrectly, or accuse their kids of lying. And never fight with someone because you think their child is spoiled. You can't win that one.
 

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It's pretty common for kids to change tastes frequently. Or if a child simply doesn't want something, they might really mean they "don't like it"-it's just that they happen to not like it *right now*. Maybe encourage her to think about if she really doesn't like something or if she simply isn't in the mood for it so she learns the difference. If you don't want to be a short order cook, then either stick to one meal and don't worry about it, or tell your bf he can take over cooking duties if he's willing to accommodate last minute changes. Not your hill to die on, IMO.

Try to remember that it's okay to say no if you don't want to share. Tell her actually this time you are really hungry and want all your dinner, or that you don't like sharing plates/forks/whatever it is that bothers you. Nothing wrong with that. Your bf is free to share whatever he wants with his kid, just like you are free not to. Or, if you don't mind sharing but just want to be asked, then tell her that! Remind her that she needs to ask you-politely-before grabbing off your plate or before you will share. This is totally fine as long as you are doing it nicely.
 

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What I would like to know is... if this child is in your home, and you have prepared and are eating something, why haven't you already offered to share with her?
 
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