It took him until he was 40 to eat a Twix tbf
They are quite chewy.
I wish I was this organised. Although having a 12yo is slightly easier:
- chuck him a bag of Quavers and an apple when he gets in
- put dinner on
- stock answer to any query about how long dinner will be is ‘about 20 mins’
- drink red wine until it’s ready
Well here’s the thing - she USED to do that but we figured out that in all instances of explosion there were only 3 underlying reasons; a) tiredness (less often now she’s approaching 5, but if there May be a sign of approaching illness), b) needing the toilet or c) hungry/thirsty
a & c are the ones we’re all used to creating routines for - fixed meal times & bedtimes - but we found that it was absolutely crucial to create routines for b as well - first thing in the morning, when coming in from pre-school, last thing before bed and also before we leave the house to go on an hour+ journey and before we put on a film on those rainy days where she gets to watch Frozen or Lion King or w/e
And by doing that, despite some resistance at the beginning, she quickly found out for herself that she felt a lot more physically and psychologically comfortable in having these safe, fixed solutions. Tantrums have almost entirely disappeared & trust levels for what we ask her to do - especially when it comes to what clothes she should wear, and actually putting them on, have gone up massively
and believe me, we did all this out of neccesity because we were dealing with daily and even twice daily meltdowns before we cracked this solution
I’m no longer stab screening while parenting so just to say: she is a snacker and we’re trying to wean her off it. I think she has my hollow legs thing, though. I rarely stop eating for more than a couple of hours.
Basically we don’t pick her up without snacks which normally means some nuts, apple and rice cakes. Coming home is an arse because the buses are not super reliable and about 20 mins apart at the best of times so you have to get to school, find her in after care then walk back to the bus stop and wait for the bus. The bus drops us at the station and then it’s another 5-10 mins walk back. If she was older we could just walk it both ways as it would be about 20-25 mins at most but there you are.
When we get in there’s trying to get her to say which of the incredibly limited foods she likes she will eat tonight and then trying to get that cooked. 20 minutes for the chicken is just IME the upper limit. Fishfingers take 15 mins in the oven and that’s really about the most I can get her to wait between deciding she’s hungry and being hungry.
One of the main issues is that if I started making her something 30 minutes before there’s a reasonable chance she’ll change her mind on what she wants by the time it’s made and then you have to have a full meltdown argument with her over eating it while basically being a horrible person to her to force her to do so.
It’s already a battle enough to get her to eat some sweetcorn. She used to eat peas and now they’re ‘yucky’ so you end up standing over her while she shovels in 4 teaspoons of peas and sweetcorn while crying and making a massive deal over it. It’s just very wearing.
Yeah, food battles are awful. All kids are different, innit. Some will be good, some will be bad no matter what you try.
Ours was great and then from 1.5-4 was pretty terrible and now middling and getting better.
Sounds like the journey home doesn’t do either of you any favours
How about breaking the walk up? Is there a park or square somewhere about halfway between daycare and home where you can stop and have a little rest and snacks there? I think this would do you both a world of good. Just sit and chat about her day without the stress of busses. You can also use this 10/15 minutes to talk about what she wants for dinner so that if she does change her mind then it’ll be on the way home before you’ve actually cooked something else. Make sure she drinks plenty of water too
I cannot overstate however just how crucial it is that you try and get her into the routine of going to the loo as soon as you get in the house. Our one was so against going to the loo unless she was bursting that it really became a vicious circle of negativity. Peeing was associated with pain, stress and anger which meant that she didn’t want to pee, which meant holding it in, which meant more pain, stress & anger, which meant …and so on - even the occasional screaming fit during which she peed herself when she was younger. The routine completely solved all this and totally disassociated the toilet from stress plus taught her that she can actual have control over her body & thus her moods. So much positivity has come from just this simple change.
A couple of things helped to get over the hump. Try and see the bathroom from her point of view - most kids hate bathrooms. They’re not comfortable with being on their own in a small room that smells with the door shut but neither are they entirely comfortable with having their private moments watched over. They’re often cold and sterile.
Ask her what would make the bathroom nicer. Ours decided that one of her soft toys being in there would be good so there’s always a little rabbit called Sally sitting on the radiator and for a while before she got used to the routine Sally would have a pee first & then her. It took less than two weeks to go from screaming meltdown to coming in and going straight to the loo herself without being asked.
As for the actual meal times, yeah it can be a real drag to try and get them to eat but we’ve found that getting her to help with the cooking - fetching stuff from the fridge, holding the jug/cup/pan while I pour things out, holding the timer so she’s in charge of something while it’s boiling or baking - all of this helps massively when it comes to eating because I guess she feels like she’s made the food and made the choices.
Sometimes she’s keen to ‘cook’ sometimes she wants to do something else.
When it comes to actually refusing her food …the pee routine helped hugely with this - she simply felt more comfortable at the table with a newly emptied bladder.
The bribery of a dessert if she finishes everything on her plate usually works with us. It’s not ideal but it seems to be ok, though sometimes it creates conflict when she eats round at her friends’ and they have parents who lay on ice cream even for their little one who has only eaten one bite of a potato and half a meatball. Delayed gratification is really good for her mental development though so we tend to insist on it where we can.
TV is a case in point. Sometimes she wants to watch TV when she comes home (around 4:30pm). She usually eats at 5pm. Her favourite TV programme is a Swedish kids show for pre-schoolers called Bolibompa which is on from 6-6:30pm. So we limit her TV to 30mins per day and when she comes in and wants to watch TV we give her the option of 30 mins of whatever is on the kids channel now or 30 minutes later when Bolibompa is on and she usually chooses Bolibompa and because it’s her choice it isn’t an issue and watches from 6-6:30 and turns it off herself.
And if she’s been really good, eaten all her food, listened and been attentive etc sometimes we surprise her when Bolibompa is finished by saying ‘because you’ve been so good you can watch the next program too’ which is invariably a 15 minute science program aimed at 8-10 year olds so it’s win-win
Basically anything that’s a negative experience you just have to try and put a positive spin on somewhere and pretty soon they work out for themselves that they prefer it that way and everyone is happier, more calm and more comfortable and thus everything goes better
Just be cool honey bunny
Hi theo, feel free to ignore but why do you cook your child meat? (rather than a veggie diet)
Do they ask for it, or is a case of letting them choose their own diet when they’re older?
Or is it just easier to bung them a few sausages now and again?
My wife eats meat.
If she didn’t eat chicken and sausage she would eat:
- pasta with tomato puree on
- pizza margherita
- corn on the cob
- rice cakes
I mean basically it’s one of the few things that might actually give her vitamins and keep her from getting hungry.
(She has porridge in the mornings with bananas at least.)
Your wife needs to give you a lesson on how to cook/handle meat.
Glances over at Lino
TBH she cooks it so rarely she isn’t very clear either.
oh god lord
When I have kids they can eat when it’s ready or just go feral.
Yeah that’s what you would think isn’t it.
I’m from north Manchester and a proud lineage of feral kids
“Have a bowl of cereal”
(Thirty minutes later)
“I’M STILL HUNGRY”
“Have another bloody bowl of cereal then”
Repeat for fifteen years.
I’m also from North Manchester & this is how I was brought up
Things change though innit
There is a school of thought in Sweden however that says if your kids don’t want to eat the food that’s in front of them then take it away & let them go hungry (not as a punishment but as a lesson)
Not so dissimilar to North Manchester really
I don’t eat vegetables but obviously want my hypothetical kids to eat vegetables.
Just gonna have to be a complete hypocrite or liar aren’t I?