Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Mommy Advice Needed, Por Favor.

***Warning!!***
Before you continue reading please take note. We DO spank our son. The Scriptures talk about sparing the rod and spoiling the child. We do not beat our son, encourage him to hit others, or spank him anywhere other than his tush or with anything other than our hand. If you feel this is wrong than feel free to CLICK OFF!

So this is my little monster.
His name is Caden and he will be 5 in October.
Recently Caden has started refusing to eat the food made for him. Which as I am sure you can imagine, is a very frustrating thing.
It started a long time ago but has gotten worse. Sunday morning Seth was making eggs for breakfast. Caden said he wanted  some, helped make them, then didn't want any. REFUSED to eat them. He was yelled at, spanked, time out, grounded...but still wouldn't touch them. He went the rest of the day without eating.
Last night I made potato soup for dinner. Something I make often. He sat in the kitchen with me while I cooked and told me about how it was his favorite. I served it, he ate his sourdough bread, wouldn't touch his soup. Him and Seth argued, he was spanked, FINALLY he ate it and then went straight to bed.
Today he was grounded from any TV for makin us fight with him all night. So I assumed things would be better. But no. I made blueberry pancakes for breakfast, he said he wanted one so I made him one. Then he said he hated pancakes and wouldn't eat it. I told him he wouldn't get anything else till he ate his pancake. That was at 10 am. He hasn't touched his pancake.
I started making dinner and Caden came in asking me for something to eat. I gave him his pancake. He started screaming/crying. I spanked him and sent him to his room till Seth got home. Seth came home and tried laying in bed and talking to Caden. Caden still refused to eat it.
After I made dinner tonight, chicken salads YUM, Seth took the pancake into Caden's room, set it on his table and told him as soon as it was eaten he could come out. He has been sitting on his bed since pancake untouched.
We left his bedroom door open and ate our dinner in the living room talking loud enough for Caden to hear. How we missed him, how proud of him we would be if he would do as he was told. We talked about playing Rock Band with him. How he could help me make a cake and we could eat it tonight. All he does is sit in his room and cry every once in awhile till he gets our attention, then pouts.
I am at my wits end. I admire his stubbornness. Except for now of course. I have tried every disciplinary action I know! I understand it won't kill him to go a day without food but I don't like it.
Have your kids ever been like this? What have you done/do/or recommend trying? 


6 comments:

Alexandra Skye said...

I have had experiences like this a few times. My kids are 12, 10, 5 and almost 2. We did much what you did...spanked, (love the click off link..great idea!)grounded, etc. Sometimes it worked and sometimes not..as you have seen. Here's the thing...you need to outlast him and be consistent. This is a power play on his part. He instinctively knows that you will not allow him to starve...so he uses it to get the upper hand. It's just another form of rebellion.

Okay..with one kid, we spanked and grounded...NO arguing. We did NOT give our son the satisfaction of causing a tiff and giving it attention. It took a bit of time and consistency but he learned to eat what was given to him. Yet, at 10, he still sometimes needs to be reminded to eat a salad before getting more bread. If that isn't to his liking than dinner is simply over for him. He understands...no fussing or arguing..usually he sides with reason or claims he is not hungry anymore.

With another kid...I tried a different approach. Why? I was tired. lol. I wasn't going to interrupt dinner to spank my little monster. First, I allowed NO snacks a few hours before dinner. Second, I put proper portions on her plate. Third, she (actually no kid) is allowed to get more of any one thing until they eat the food on their plate. So, no more bread unless you ate your green beans, etc. We only make exceptions for veggies...you can have plenty. Fourth, if she decides eating is not on her schedule that's okay too. No fuss...no arguing...complete indifference. It's her choice not to eat. She just disqualified herself from dessert though. She is not our best eater...but she eats her dinner or at least 1/2 of it every night.

So, in the end, I have found that consistency and indifference work wonders. I will spank if the child lashes out or cries at the dinner table. Once they learned that I didn't care if they had dessert that night or if they went to bed hungry by their own refusal to eat..they ate.

I hope that helps you. Know this..it is a phase. However, you are setting a stage...so be consistent. Sounds to me like you are not a mommy to back down..so I am sure you will get the right message across. But they sure can keep their shenanigans up for awhile! :)

-MissC* said...

Alexandra YOU ARE AMAZING!
Ok We kept feeling like this was some kind of powerplay...but who wants to believe their 4 year old is that crafty?
We have the same dinner rules that you do too. No snacking, no seconds till the plate is clean except for veggies, no arguing at the table blah blah blah.
I am prepared not to back down. lol He got this stubborn streak from me and I have had years to perfect it. Thanks so much for your time and advice! I really appreciate it!

♥Cari♥ said...

My daughter is 2 and she has been doing this kind of thing. We are fine letting her go to bed without eating. If they get hungry enough, they will eat what you put in front of them, and it's worked very well for our daughter so far. She always ends up going back to the table. Sometimes, it's not until several hours later, but she does go back. If not? That's okay too. I can't force her to eat, and I don't like to let it ruin my night. She just doesn't get anything.

Laina said...

WOW! Well, my daughter is only 22 months so I have yet to experience this lovely milestone. It seems obvious that he is testing you and your husband. Testing his boundaries as to how far he can push you to get his way. I would imagine it would be heartbreaking to see your child not eating. Maybe try giving him one of two choices of something to eat. Tell him, it's time to eat, you can have this or you can have that. If he chooses neither than he doesn't eat and when he gets hungry give him two choices again. Doesn't have to be the same two. That will at least give him a tiny bit of control but still letting him know you're in charge. Don't give in though. Or it will only get worse. Good luck to you!

Nikki said...

Bailey does this too, and there are a few things we've done that helps.

1) Sometimes its best to give him the credit for the whole meal. He helped make it or chose what was to be made, then praise him and make it a HUGE deal that he made/chose dinner and now everyone gets to eat his special dinner.

If he still says no, then don't let him leave the table until he eats some of it. Making him eat the whole thing can cause major eating issues late. The bigger the deal you make the longer he'll refuse to eat it. I lost my temper and Bailey refused to eat an entire day until dinner because I didn't explain it to him right. I told him it was this or timeout/spanking/bedtime/losing something. Once I explained in a calm tone why he had to eat it, and how much and what would happen if he didn't, it took a bit but he finally did what I asked.

2)if he doesn't like/want what you have made and you know he's had issues in the past with it, give him another option. Like either you eat this or you can have blah instead BUT that means no dessert or no something.

I am not a short order cook, I cook what I cook and you either eat it or you don't, and will lose something if you argue. There are things I know he doesn't like so he gets another option on a condition. But he knows that its not an option every night, and the longer he doesn't eat the longer he sits at the table.

Oh and Bailey pulls that whole "I'm not hungry right now" thing a lot, to which he gets told that if he doesn't come eat before we're done eating he gets nothing. Sometimes he comes right away, sometimes he waits until the last possible second and he loses something because of it.

Kids have a tough time understanding they have no control. One way to help them deal with that, is to compromise someway so that you are still in charge but they feel they had a say in it somehow. He gets to choose one meal a week, and so far he's doing much better with eating what is in front of him. It's taken a while and lots more patience than I thought I had, but its finally paying off. Lots of consistancy!!!...good luck!

~J said...

All of my kids have been SUPER picky eaters...if they don't eat-I don't push it...I figure they'll eat when they get hungry enough.

This is TOTALLY normal in my house! I feel ya.