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Seriously stubborn kid

Discussion in 'Optimal Kids' started by Sem, Sep 14, 2012.

  1. Sem

    Sem New Member

    I started adding seafood into my kids' diets about a month or so ago. I try to have one meal a day with some form of seafood. It doesnt happen every day but about 5 days a week. My 8 year old doesn't love it but eats it to be done with it. My 5 year old has a complete and total fit about it EVERY SINGLE TIME. I'm talking tears, screaming, gagging, the works. It can't be healthy to have this kind of scene every night at dinner. Anyone have a similar issue?
  2. Shijin13

    Shijin13 Guest

    Yep 2yo did this initially. Then we did the whole if you didn't eat breakfast then it becomes lunch if you didn't eat it for lunch it becomes dinner & so on. No snacks either. Eventually they'll get it & they'll start eating
  3. Jack Kruse

    Jack Kruse Administrator

    You think it is healthy to give in to what he wants at 5? you control his environment, you are the parent. IF he does not like dont let him eat. Gretchen is spot on here.
  4. Sem

    Sem New Member

    That's exactly what I'm doing. I just worry that I am creating negative emotions around food. But I guess I just have to wait him out. Last night he went to bed with no dinner and total hysteria. I'm just surprised it has lasted this long!
  5. Jack Kruse

    Jack Kruse Administrator

    who cares about WHAT might happen when you already know what happens when you eat bad food. That is how bad thinking leads to suboptimal living. Eradicate that thinking and you will have optimal kids.
  6. Sem

    Sem New Member

    Good way to think about it! That helps. Thanks.

  7. What really turned the corner for me was realizing eating disorders are brain chemistry disorders. You don't "give" someone an eating disorder.

    We did that whole tantrum and no dinner, and get served it for the next meal. Worked pretty quickly too. Still get fusses every now and then. . but he is 6, they come with a built in "I dont' like it" for everything right?

    The reality is they are not going to starve themselves at this age, if their bodies need food - they will eat what you give them!
  8. KiwiLauren

    KiwiLauren Gold

    Sem, I agree with what has been said. But I think there is another piece to the puzzle that can help. That is the relational piece. When we as parents have to insist upon something and be in charge, that's just a fact of parenting life. There are a lot of times we have to set limits with our children or enforce rules that make them upset but we know it's important to do. Our children must be able to count on us to do what is right, regardless of how much they don't like it. However, the relational piece means that we can do this with compassion. The ability to see things from the child's perspective and to empathize helps them regulate their emotions and bodies (and HPA axis) and can deepen their connection to use, even in the face of something they don't like. So while you insist that this IS dinner, you can also say 'I can see how much you don't like this. I can see how angry you are that I won't fix you something else. It's really hard to have to eat something you don't want to, isn't it?" We don't have to be stern or punitive when we are setting limits.

    As parents, we often think we have to solve our children's problems. But sometimes (most times), what they need is to be seen and understood. If we move to fix everything instead of staying with the experience, they don't learn how to tolerate difficulty and negotiate it. And to learn that they are always - always - connected to us in a heartfelt way, no matter what sort of issue we are dealing with. You can retain your parental authority AND be kind and compassionate. This sort of combo can heal a lot of ills.
  9. Shijin13

    Shijin13 Guest

    Just Awesome Lauren... true parenting from a primal spirit.
  10. indigogirl

    indigogirl Silver

    Lauren, that was wonderful advice, not just for parenting, but as a way to treat all human beings.

    We all just want to be acknowledged.

  11. Thanks so much for this Lauren, Such a nice reminder to me that guiding and correcting behavior does not have to be me bossing and bitching at my child! Sometimes in efforts to be stern, I find myself using a stern tone, and jumping in with my fast talking speech (instead of honoring his slower pace). This was perfectly said.
  12. Sem

    Sem New Member

    Couldn't agree more Lauren. I have a problem walking that line sometimes. I'm right there with them - the model of patience and compassion. And they keep pushing and pushing and bam! I lose it. All out the window. Very hard.
  13. KiwiLauren

    KiwiLauren Gold

    Sem, I think we ALL have trouble walking that line. It's really important to be kind to yourself and also to 'stay with' your own experience. As you are talking them through theirs, you can talk through your own (internally), reminding yourself that it's bloody hard to be a parent, not to mention one pushing an epi-paleo template! :) I also think the psycho-neurological concept of 'rupture and repair' is critical here. Not only does an apology mend things, but it shows our kids that we can get reconnected even after big breaks in connection. Relationships are never smooth and easy, no matter how much we love someone. It's important for kids to learn how to negotiate the rough patches; and it's important for us to know this can be done! Good luck. I really think we're all in this same boat with you, so hang in there.
  14. Linz

    Linz Gold

    I love your thoughts Lauren. When my children were small I always told them to taste everything we ate but never made them finish it so they didn't feel threatened by something they really disliked. Often they surprised themselves (and me) and usually ate anything they were given but I always let them have have something else healthy but not a favourite if they had really tried our meal first.

    A little of the thing they thought they were not going to like usually became a whole meal without protest quite soon and I was rapidly overtaken as far as shellfish were concerned - catching up now but MHS did make me consider a screaming tantrum! Seeing it back on my plate at breakfast wouldn't have made me want to try again.
  15. Sem

    Sem New Member

    Thanks ladies. Appreciate all the reassurance. I'm glad some people have made it through to the other side. We had another terrible experience at dinner tonight with him over eating cod. I think it's become a huge power play or something. I hope to see some positive changes soon.
  16. One thing that became a family habit for us was "Courtesy Bites". You must take courtesy bites of any food you are served - one day you may be having dinner with the president or a dictator, and refusing could get you killed! We play it up like a game, it's been fun.

    It goes right into "you have to eat it 7 times and then your tongue will like it".

    So, when we know he likes the food -we make him eat it, or serve it for the next meal, this isn't a restaurant. . if you are hungry you eat your food. Whoever pays gets a say! and on and on.

    But when it's a new food or one he doesn't like - we go the courtesy bite route! I put my hand to my forehead and swoon and say. . .you MUST, I can't have my baby being killed by a crazy dictator over fish eyes (or whatever).

    More than working for him, making it fun keeps ME on track and not gravitating to that bossy dictator tone that sets up a power play.

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