We sent our son to bed without supper last night. Our youngest kid has some special needs, plus he’s also a very picky eater and a very tough kid. He gets angry over nothing sometimes and then will forget why he’s angry 10 minutes later. He won’t remember why he was mad and then he acts like nothing happened at all. Maybe I indulge him too much. Maybe I make exceptions for him being so picky and serve him what I think he’ll eat. Maybe it’s my fault. I should stop enabling him so much. It wasn’t about the food, it was a control thing and my husband wasn’t having it. When It’s Not Just Being A Picky Eater: We Sent Our Son to Bed Without Supper Last Night
Last night my in-laws served a delicious meal (we’re in Upstate NY right now). But it really didn’t matter how much we all enjoyed it. My youngest kid wanted no part of it.
“It has things I don’t like”, he said.
“It had beans,” he said.
“It has peppers,” he said.
“I won’t eat it,” he said.
But for once, no one brought him a new plate. No one picked all his veggies and the beans out of his food (yeah, that is usually me). No one gave him what he wanted.
My youngest kid just turned eight and I’ve been making excuses and serving him what I mostly think he’ll eat for a long time. I’ve made excuses for behaviors that an eight-year-old shouldn’t be doing, even with special needs. I don’t share exactly what his special needs are because this is something we’ve chosen to keep private.
He is a picky eater, but this was more than just pickiness. My older son was very picky and very skinny and while that has nothing to do with my older son’s Type 1 Diabetes, I still feel guilty that we didn’t catch that until it got dire. With our youngest, it’s a much different situation. There were nights that he wouldn’t eat if things weren’t right and I was scared to let him starve. He’s been losing baby fat for a while and while he isn’t as skinny as my older son is, I’m scared to have him get skinner. Plus he gets so angry and frankly, I just can’t fight over dinner when he gives us a hard time about getting dressed, washing his hair, picking up toys, doing homework…etc.. You name it, I get a hard time. So I am careful what food I serve him because I just don’t want a fight every night. Last night, my husband had had enough. Our kid HAD to eat his dinner.
My kid yelled. My kid screamed. My husband was furious.
“Go to bed!” He yelled. “This isn’t acceptable.”.
My kid yelled more. My kid screamed more. He went into his room at my in-laws’ house. He came out a short time later.
“I’m hungry,” he said.
“There’s your bowl (of food)” I told him.
He started screaming again. My husband chased him back into the room.
He came out again later. “I’m hungry.”
By this time we had cleared his bowl away. He asked for food, and usually, I would have given in again at this point. But this time — no. I wasn’t going to give in either. It had been too much. I had taken it too many times. I told him that if he was hungry, he could have the dinner his grandparents made. That was it. Nothing else. I didn’t capitulate.
He screamed again and went away and then came back and said, “Okay. I’ll eat it”.
I made him a bowl of the dinner (it was still hot).
He sat at the table and complained, “I’m not eating the peppers.”.
He took a bite. And then another. He still wasn’t a fan (which is too bad, because it really was delicious).
“Did I eat enough to get dessert?”.
“No” I said, “I can’t give you dessert for your behavior.”
Then he stormed off again.
He came back for a bite or two and had another meltdown. My husband got even angrier and chased him back into the bedroom he was sleeping in.
“Get ready for bed.”
Our son got even more enraged.
My husband stuck to his guns and for once, I really didn’t get involved. And that was hard.
Then our kid starts crying that he was going to starve to death because he didn’t eat any dinner.
“I’m going to waste away to nothing,” he cried.
That went on for another 2o minutes (and in the midst of this, my son with Type 1 Diabetes has a low blood sugar that needed to be treated).
Finally, our son asks for one Cheerio. “I want one Cheerio so I don’t starve.” At this point, he had accepted that I wasn’t going to whip up a feast for him. He has his one Cheerio and goes to sleep. I hear him growling in his sleep.
Today he woke up like nothing ever happened and was back to being our sweet boy. What???? Parenting this one is not fun.