Frustrated with Picky Eater and Bad Study Habits

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2002
Frustrated with Picky Eater and Bad Study Habits
23
Wed, 10-06-2010 - 6:56pm

Frustrated here...... I have a few issues. 1) a Picky Eater DS11, 2) DD7 is having trouble completing work in school, and 3) DF is losing his patience with all of them.

1 - My son has been a picky eater since he was a baby. I saw a doctor when he was 3 who said he'd grow out of it. The child has not. Clearly my son has issues with certain textured food, smells, etc. I let him get by with only eating the things he liked .... hoping he'd grow out of it and like more things. Then, enter DF, who feels that a child should eat what's on his plate. DF has done an amazing job getting him to try many different things. But DS11 still does not like them. DS11 will sit at the table eating very slowly for about 3 hours. DF has taken away his Wii and Computer time. Makes him eat the same thing for breakfast, afterschool snack, dinner again... etc. In the meantime, I think DS11 hates him for it. DF and I disagree with how extreme to be when it comes to eating his food. DF has sometimes said, "if he hasn't eaten all his food, then i won't let him go to sleep until he finishes." I drew the line on that form of punishment... I told DF that i won't agree to spanking for not eating, keeping him awake for not eating, and i'm not comfortable with making him eat the same thing for breakfast. I agree to make DS11 "try" a bunch of different foods but what to do after that and the child still doesn't like it?? I don't know. I'm frustrated. And when DF tells me how things are going at night when i'm not there... he sounds frustrated too. We do plan to have my son see a therapyst. I'm suspecting some form of sensory disorder or something. It just doesn't make sense. :(

2) Next issue is my DS7 who is now struggling with school work. Perhaps she is ADD. DF called me tonight frustrated that she sat and worked on her homework for 3 hours and only wrote 9 words. I really don't know how to help her... and it frustrates me that i can't really do anything. And can't do anything from work when DF calls me in frustration. He says, "i'm about to flip my lid."

3) so issue #3 is that these things get between our relationship. I feel like he's mad at me because they are my children. And I've raised them so far to have these "bad habits", if you will...

4) and not to mention DS11 also has a learning disability (deslexia). He takes forever to do his homework and is constantly forgetting his things at school. DS11 is a sweet child. It hurts me to see him so sad. It made me sad this morning when he had to eat his dinner for breakfast and almost missed the bus. DF shoved the food in his mouth. the sight of it almost made me gag.... And i couldn't let DS11 go to school with food dripping out of his mouth so i told him to spit it out and hurry up to catch the bus.

Maybe, DF is doing all the right things to help the children succeed. But i feel like I am their mother. I should be able to make some choices too. Like this morning I made DS11 a peanut butter sandwhich for breakfast. DF got up and snatched it out of his hands. threw it away. and said, "no you are eating your unfinished dinner."

I'm not sure anyone can really help (beside a professional at this point)... but i needed to vent. i'm getting scared that these troubles will ruin the relationship. DF has said he won't ever leave me. that we will get through all this... But i'm beginning to feel more and more horrible.

thanks for letting me share.

Loonybunny

Loonybunny

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-06-2008

Your husband is being too harsh on the child not eating.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2002
yes he has children of his own. and when they come over he will insist that they eat what is served as well. for all the other children, it is not a big deal for them to eat a veggie or two that they don't like. With DS11, he does not like anything and it is very frustrating.
And YES, he wants to see a therapyst. I think everyone is at our wits end about what to do. DF has been calling the pediatrician who said feed it to him for breakfast and take away the Wii. But a pediatricain is not a pscychiatrist, so who knows what advice the latter will give.
thank you for your reply
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999

I think what your DF is doing is abusive to your child and I would put a stop to it immediately.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2002
thanks for your input.
Yes, i feel the same way... why do adults get to have food preferences and children do not. Esp, when adult taste buds have changed and we can tolerate a lot more than children.
And yes, thank you for say, " really don't like it when a guy comes into your home w/ your kids who you have raised up to now and all of a sudden, he knows better than you how to raise them." This is how i feel. His reaction was, "I'm the one who's with them all day long". On the one hand, i understand his frustration. My solution may not have been the best. I let my son be picky and i stopped trying to get him to try new things long ago. I had that conversation with DF before he started being the main cook.... i told him that i've tried all those methods and he does not like most foods. I let it go (or gave up) and thought it was better to focus on school work and not eating. DF disagreed and wanted to try and see if he could get DS11 to like more foods.

I understand that people have differences. When i google picky eaters, i get a vast amount of differing opinions. I told DF we could try different methods, but my feeling is that at some point, we have to work with the child.

I had the same fight with my ex. And he WAS abusive and spanked ds11 when he was three. But there are many differences in this situation. DF says he will not spank him.

When my mom was watching him, she was frustrated too. She tried to get him to like more foods. Didn't work. when DS11 was younger, another babysitter tried starving him all day to see if that would get him to like/try new foods. It did not. I explained all that to DF saying... yes, i have tried. And perhaps i was saying the same thing you are saying that I "have known your DS for 11 yrs--you know what works w/ him, so now this guy who has known him a year or so contradicts you and suddenly he knows better? "

But, yes, sometimes DF makes me feel like i don't know how to raise my children. What I'd like is a way that DF and I can discuss it. Come to certain agreements. Meet in the middle. I have oftened been accused of being too nice or leiniant with my children. There are diffferent parenting styles. I understand this and i am open to someone elses ideas.

But lately, i feel like DF is, in essence, behaving as if my opinion doesn't matter or that he knows better than me.

Deep down, tho, i know that DF's heart is in the right place. For example, how he consulted with the Pediatrician on what to do. He has more patience than my mother did when she watching them.

As far as the homework, DD7 is in second grade. I think this is the first year that homework is more important. My mom helped them before... and before that it was random babysitters. My mom was too frustrated to help them. Random sitters didn't help much either.... Gosh, I NEED to get a day job so i can be home at night.

still venting.... thanks for letting me share,
Loonybunny
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Wed, 10-06-2010 - 10:43pm

What's funny is that 2nd DH also thought I was too lenient--however, my kids are doing fine.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-12-2003

hi, usually a lurker but had to jump in to say OMG! your post put a lump in my throat....extremely concerning red flags re: your DF IMO Loony....awful to read about your 'sweet child' having last nites dinner shoved down his throat at breakfast! why are you allowing that??....and scary to read hes threatening to 'flip his lip' with your 7 y/o!

why are you leaving him home alone for hours at nite unsupervised

    

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-12-2003

my son was a very picky eater too, and i understand it can be frustrating....just to say hes now a young adult who enjoys most ALL foods and has a varied/healthy diet...i wouldn't force this issue, i think you were handling it well by encouraging him to try new foods.....i'd say your DF is handling it terribly and the results will likely be miserable.

    

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-31-2010

First, I'm sorry you are dealing with this situation. My youngest son, 10, has ADHD and a mild case of dysgraphia which makes his school work difficult for him. And my DD15 is a very picky eater.

I wound up making a rule: "You do have to try everything once, you don't have to like it, but you have to taste it." This way I can expose her to other foods outside her preferences.

Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006

Oh sweetie,

Serenity
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-15-2005

Oh wow, that's harsh. Forcing your son to eat his dinner for breakfast. I took a child development class and learned that while the average adult has 3,000 taste buds, the average kid has....wait for it....10,000. Yes, 3x as many taste buds. And we wonder why they can be so picky. I also agree with the double standard of adults being picky and kids. I know one man....all he eats is pasta and steak, and the flavors of both have to be very specific. He wont' even eat chicken. His kids are just as picky, however, he does ask them to try it first and see if they like it. Another person I know, only eats chicken. And yes, cooked certain ways. And very specific. As a kid, both these men were forced to eat everything on their plate and hated their parents for it. I feel for DS, because he will grow up to resent DF.

I would definitely seek counseling for everyone. Family, child, and maybe marital. Maybe you can also find out what is going on with the 7yo, but honestly, she's SEVEN!!!! I know I didn't have homework until I was in 5th or 6th grade. And how many 7yo have a longer attention span than a gnat? I'd think after 30 mins, she would be done. I don't mean done with the homework, I mean done "trying". Maybe you (he) needs to work with her differently. It's not like sitting down with a teenager doing homework for hours.

Personally, I think your DF is expecting a lot out of these kids. The fact that your DS is trying things IMHO is amazing in itself. For a very picky eater, to try things is exceptional. He should be praised and rewarded for that. To be forced to eat something and punished, I hope he doesn't grow up with an eating disorder. Sigh.

Definitely seek counseling. For the family, for your son, maybe your DD and definitely for you two. I know your DF is in charge at night, but I think he needs to rethink his way of "teaching".

Lastly. when I was a kid, i loved loved loved stuffing. by the time i was 15, i hated the stuff. i'm very picky about what i eat how things taste, feel, etc. but yet, i try it. My mom used to force me to eat my meat (I'd eat the veggies, lol) or I couldn't leave the table. Seriously, I'd sit there until she gave up. I would have rather sat there all night long than eat the meat. In the game of "what is more important" I'd say that your DS would rather not eat, than eat things he doesn't like. Your DF isn't getting that. DF won't win the fight. And also, I am worrying about your DS's health. Is he getting enough food to eat? Enough nutritional things? Should you be giving him supplements? Etc.

My cousin's son was extremely picky, she'd make him a buffet and he'd eat 1 tiny thing, but only if you picked out xyz and it was cooked a certain way. She had to give him supplements because he wasn't eating very well. He only slightly has grown out of it. He's now 14 and still picky, but eating better. Mostly because she would give him new things all the time to try. Thankfully, he'd at least try it. Its like he wanted to eat, but he hadn't found the thing he wanted.

Big big hugs to you. I really think your DF is expecting a lot out of a 11 and 7 year old. Family counseling would help with learning to handle things differently and hopefully with positive results. It may also help you figure out why your DD isn't doing her homework (she may not understand it, understand DF, hate it, etc).

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