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Old 10-24-2008, 04:43 PM   #4
5babyz4me's Avatar
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: TX
Posts: 546
Re: How do I make her eat?

It sounds to me like she's manipulating you. She knows that it makes you upset and she can control that. Kids her age can't control much of anything at this point so they will find what they can control. For some kids it's bedtime. For others it's eating. Still others it's the potty ( you know they can do but they pretty much refuse.) It seems that maybe this is her area that she's trying to control.

I have 5 children and I had one that didn't eat much. She's also very petite and didn't start really putting on weight until just this past year. She's also as tall as her older brother so I think she HAD to start eating or she knew she would starve. She's pulled this before and I just let her go. If she chooses not to eat, OK. She'll have to wait until next meal.

You might simply trying waiting this out with her. Serve her a meal each time (maybe less than what you normally would.) Tell her that there is a specific time to eat it and then the meal is over. After that, let it be over. Don't make a big production out of it. Reminder her that if she doesn't eat she'll have to wait until the next meal. She's young enough that if you do have snacks then offer that as well but make it healthy. And no more Raman until she starts eating again. Don't tell her that just do it. In a way you are trying to beat her at her own game.

Do be cautious with this? you certainly don't want to push it so far that she starves herself. But I have learned from experience that they rarely do starve. Some kids do have health issues that cause this but it is rare. If she's health otherwise you are probably dealing with a child that wants to have a bit of control. just keep an eye on her and don't pay attention to the weight right now. Just do what mom would normally do but don't allow her to make you sit there for hours on end. You kind of have to work to beat them at their own game. This is the approach I take to all meal battles and I have rarely had one that lasted for long. Once they realize that mom wouldn't play they give in and decided that eating was worth it.

Let me add quickly, if you serve the meals and then allow her to decide what she's going to eat and when, she's in control. It's just not the kind of control she wants per se. She doesn't even have to know your beating her at this game. It's kind of sneaky on your part.

Oh, and I do have meals that I make that will make them happy so there is less chance of them skipping meals. Sometimes people interpret what I suggest as kind of mean but I do work with the child to help work this. For instance, I might serve Raman for lunch one day because that is what is on the menu. But I will not serve it when it's demanded, KWIM?

wife to Chris (13 years)
mom of Jenny(10), Josh(8), Ally(7), Andrew(4), Josiah(2), Ashley (1), Baby Bean EDD May 2010

Last edited by 5babyz4me; 10-24-2008 at 04:49 PM.
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