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Kids & Food

Posted by silversword (My Page) on
Mon, May 2, 11 at 13:54

I didn't want to hijack Mrs. P's thread but the whole food issue was niggling at me.

My DD will eat and will say she is hungry 99% of the day. When she was on her way back from her dad's house this last time he called me and said she'll be hungry. He got her a sandwich before the plane, but she didn't want to eat it and then she slept through the meal on the plane. So yes, she was hungry.

But a *real* hungry kid would have eaten the sandwich. IYKWIM.

Sometimes, even though bedtime is 7:30 at our house... she doesn't get to bed until 9pm. Sometimes we don't have dinner until very late. When DD came back her schedule was all messed up because she stayed up until midnight playing video games with her dad.......

She also had two splinters, a bruise, chipped toenail polish and uncut nails, unbrushed teeth (not hideously so, but I could tell it hadn't happened that day ;), was peeling on her shoulders, and had a bloody nose.

But, she was otherwise healthy and was wearing clean clothes and hair. I took those things to mean she had a good time and I am not going to nitpick the small stuff. I took her out to In N Out and she ate a whole cheeseburger, fries, two glasses of water and a milkshake. At 10:30pm.

Of course, if you suspect your child is not having the basics taken care of it is a different issue.

If a kid or adult misses a meal, it's actually good for them if it's not a constant. Give the kid a piece of bread and a hunk of cheese to tide them over until morning and start fresh. My DD comes home with new clothes and shoes all the time, and I know she's fed, but if I wanted to claim neglect I probably could drum up some complaints.

I don't know what my point was particularly. I guess just that a lot of time we do the best we can and kids will be subjected to situations we don't prefer but probably in the long run are not harmful to them.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Kids & Food

I guess if one wants to claim neglect, they can always find something.

Heck if somebody wants to scrutinize how DD was taken care in MY own home they could find neglect if they wanted to: DD's room was messy-neglect, forgot to brush her teeth on Sunday-neglect, skipped shower on Saturday-neglect, didn't do her homework on Tuesday and mom didn't know about it-neglect, didn't eat dinner because ate late lunch but then ate popcorn because we watched a movie so we skipped dinner all together-neglect.

Actually I NEVER checked DD's homework so i don't know when it was done right or wrong ir if done at all-I probably had to lose custody. I was probably rather lax parent compare to some, so i guess it could be claimed as neglect if one wanted to.

Personally i think skipping meals here and there is not a big deal. Unless we are talking about chronic malnutrition.

Then of course there are true neglect cases.


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RE: Kids & Food

Maybe the difference is whether the "neglect" in question is the exception or the rule? SS is allowed to stay up until midnight New Year's Eve (if he can), and he's been known to skip bath for a day (like camping!). But those are rare exceptions to our generally ordered routine. There's a big difference, to me, between the occasional exception for some particular circumstance, or if it's the norm because no one can bother to make sure child is fed, bathed or sent to bed.


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RE: Kids & Food

True neglect certainly happens. But it could be subjective (not to start the same argument but I recall heated arguments what is child abuse, everyone had entirely different opinion). Same with what is harmful for a child?

I think what silvers was trying to say is that even when we do our best, minor things happen and in a long run might not be a big deal (unless maybe someone makes it a big deal). It all depends. Just for example let me play devil's advocate(I don't think that at all just making a point) someone might say that chipped toe nail is a neglect and someone might say putting nail polish on young kids is harmful and neglectful-just example). Like someone might claim it is neglectful of me not checking homework and letting natural consequences happen, yet I could say it is harmful to always do homework with your kids because it does not teach them independence.

I am not saying of course that there aren't some awfully neglectful parents out there...I deal with them all the time.


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RE: Kids & Food

That's exactly what I was trying to say PO1. I actually have a friend for whom the BM thinks nail polish (in certain colors) is grounds for a fight.

So many things are six of one, half dozen of another. It's parenting style. I get upset about things others may not, and vice versa. It's so easy to point fingers at those who have different priorities. I have one friend who drills her little girl day in and out (ABC... are you kidding me??!!)... and others who I fear are too lax (really, your kid is eight and they can't read???).

My ex got really angry at DD's aunt over a sunburn DD got while with said aunt. He didn't shut up about it for a year. LOL. Last week the three of us went to the beach we both burned, and burned DD too. Oops.


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RE: Kids & Food

I think in stepparenting situations---when there is animosity between BM and BD--- there is often the oportunity to make "mundane issues" into huge deals.

I know from personal experience BM has certainly done this.

I can think of at least three or four occasions SS has had some sort of mild rash. He has super sensitive skin and the mildest change of shower soap/gel or laundry detergent, particularly when he was younger, sometimes caused him to get red splotches on his arms and torso.

It happened probably three or four times over the course of the last seven years; usually, we couldn't even figure out WHAT it was that had caused it but assumed something of the sort. It would always clear up on its own in a day or two.

But every time BM would FREAK and accuse DH (therefore, me--guilt by association, heehee) of not bathing him properly, forcing him to sleep on dirty sheets, etc. It was comical.

Good grief. If my DD (who lives with me full time) were to get a mild rash, I may give her some Benadryl and wait and see what happens.

And chances are, that's what BM WOULD do with SS if HE were with her full time. It's exactly what she would do with her two smaller children who do live with her full time. But normal kid issues like that are put under a microscope when you have an unreasonable, nitpicking, CRAZY parent. (And, in fairness to BM, she has calmed down extensively in this area.)

I will NEVER forget the time she wigged out because (and this was probably five years ago) DH dropped SS off at NOON on a Saturday, and he was---GASP--hungry. 'Cause it was lunchtime. She asked what he'd had for breakfast and he said cinnamon toast and applesauce. She completely flipped. I mean, seriously, the woman was ready to call CPS because we were clearly "starving" him at our home.She was a) appalled at the breakfast and b) appalled that he was "starving" at noon.

Can't count the number of gloves/mittens SS has lost at school and between homes over the years. (My DD loses them all the time, too---don't all kids?) But when she comes home and complains her hands were cold at recess, I tell her to search her backpack and desk at school and sure enough, she finds the lost pairs. Or if she doesn't, I buy some more at Walmart! No biggie, right?

If SS were to hop into BM's car after school without mittens/gloves, she would be all over us---neglectful, terrible parents DH and I are.

On and on and on.

As parents, MOST OF US do our best. And our best is more than good enough. Sh*t happens: kids get sick, we forget to send a hat to school one day, they wear clothes with stains on them, leave homework at home, have cereal for dinner, stay up until 10 on a school night for this or that reason....THAT'S LIFE.

My DH will run errands with the kiddos on a Sundat and stop at QuikTrip sometimes and get them hotdogs for lunch.

Lunch of champions? I think not. But is the occasional hotdog from QT going to kill them? Of course not.

But it's exactly the kind of thing *some* BMs (and I guess BDs, too) will choose to fly into a tizzy about.

Pick your battles. Obvious neglect is one thing and I think most of us would recognize that when we saw it.


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RE: Kids & Food

the food thing used to drive me crazy as well. It used to aggravate the crap out of me when the kids would come home from BMs house saying they were hungry because they only had popcorn the whole day. Infact a mutual friend (well not so much her friend anymore) was highly poed at her when they asked her to babysit their son (at their house) and she didnt feed him anything all day... with a pantry full of food. It was like it just didnt occur to her. Although I dont know how because I know these kids remind you of every stinkin meal and snacks in between. But, even more annoying was when she would change plans at the last minute decide that we needed to get the kids that night instead of the morning for one reason or another and then when I would pick the kids up at 7,8 or 9 at night, they would ask what is for dinner. I mean come on, I wasnt expecting to have them and therefore had nothing for dinner and now it's late and I have to come up with something... a little consideration please.

But, what can you do really... sigh shrug and break out the back up carton of eggs... Brinner time (breakfast for dinner)


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RE: Kids & Food

When you're the Gma you don't get questioned or called out on such 'neglectful' items as letting the kids eat pumpkin pie for breakfast the morning after Thanksgiving and the mommies are off BF shopping ;-)

Parents don't notice the skinned knee when they pick the kids up. They don't ask what they might have ate or when, and if I've given some childs tylenol they don't go all crazy on me or race their kid to the ER.

Difference? The trust me completely, have no reason to question my abilities and I'm not in custody disputes and/or disagreements with them.

Perks of being just grandma and considered safe and ok, neutral and undangerous, neglectful or irresponsible...kids will be kids, $hit happens and of course the kiddies are just fine. I've not killed a kid yet, starved one, beaten one or anything of the like. Now if I were just the babysitter, or the neighbor, let alone the opposite parent I doubt I'd get the same consideration and outcome of lack of suspicious thoughts.


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RE: Kids & Food

Justmetoo, you have an excellent point. Grandparents are almost expected to break the "rules". And I've noticed that even people who will be the first to admit that, as parents, their own parents (the GPs) were a bit lacking in some way - they'll still give the GPs much more benefit of the doubt than the other parent.

Silver, you said that you think it's good that kids eat late sometimes. I tend to agree that if kids have a routine that is SO structured that it never varies that that might not be best. At the same time, SS's counselor told us (and we've noticed) that he does much better with a regular routine. So our compromise is the routine is followed at home, so it's a "safe place" and SS knows what to expect here. But, when we go off on an "adventure" (anything from a day trip to a vacation) then the rules can be different. This seems to be working pretty well; SS has become a very good traveler who takes setbacks or delays in stride as part of the overall "adventure"; in return, he might get to stay up a bit later, doesn't have to finish his meals (it's not fair to ask him to try local food and then force him to finish it), or maybe watch TV during the day while we're getting ready to go.

(We're probably doing it all wrong; we should be doing the "Make the whole world England" kind of thing, and forcing SS to sit down for high tea in steaming hot jungles or something - LOL!)


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RE: Kids & Food

Hi Mattie,
I think you misunderstood. I didn't say that I think it's good kids eat late sometimes. I said "If a kid or adult misses a meal, it's actually good for them if it's not a constant. Give the kid a piece of bread and a hunk of cheese to tide them over until morning and start fresh."

What I was trying to say is that it won't damage a kid not to have three meals a day, as long as it's not a constant. There is nothing wrong with being hungry, it's an indication that the body is working right. And like I said about my DD, if she were *really* hungry, she would have eaten the sandwich.

We have so much food in America, so many options. We forget this is not the way it has always been for humans, indeed, this trend is recent. I'm not so sure it's for the best.


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RE: Kids & Food

Honestly I think both kids and adults eat too much in the US, portions are too big and people eat too often, and everyone expects to be always full and never hungry. It is not normal. Especially when it comes to snacks. Everyone needs to have snacks all the time.


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RE: Kids & Food

I agree 100% with you PO1. I think it's good to have hunger, to recognize the signs of hunger.

Especially since the quality of the "snacks" is often poor; with fillers and additives making up the bulk of the product. Indeed, much we eat in America is a "product" rather than "food".

I don't think eating often is the issue, I think it's important to keep fueled throughout the day, but it's the quantity and quality that need regulating.


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