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Single parents...

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by yazmeen, Sep 25, 2010.

  1. yazmeen

    yazmeen New Member

    I am a single mom. My daughter is 1 year 9 months now. Im quite having a difficulty feeding her...I really want her to eat nutritious food but she mostly want to eat processed foods..Anyone please help me...
  2. Kim

    Kim Well-Known Member

    Can others join in .. or do you have to be a single parent?

    For what it's worth.. here is what I think re this very common food preference in pre-schoolers, kids naturally love sweet and processed foods, it is our job as parents to steer them clear of these foods for as long as possible as they are incredibly unhealthy, and bad habits form very young in life.

    NOTE: This does not constitute medical advice - I only have limited experience with one child, I urge you to seek proper advice from an authority in this area.

    Here is what worked when my son went through this although he was a bit older perhaps 3 when he had a preference for plain pasta only and would eat nothing else -

    Firstly remove all processed or junk food completely from your house... do not buy it in any shape or form, even for yourself or older kids etc, it must not be an option at all.

    The trick is really just to relax a bit about it, remember who is in control here, you are! You also need patience.... realise that your daughter is not going to starve to death if you remove all junk food, no matter how much of a hissy fit she might throw on.. she will eventually eat the proper food if you are strong and do not cave in and give her what she wants.

    So long as she is adequetely hydrated she will be fine to not eat for a day or so, if she refuses proper food, there is no need to panic, just make sure she has plenty of water and the usual amount of milk she has.

    At meal times, present her with the new healthy option, but place no pressure on her to eat it.. if she spills it or throws it .. don't make a huge deal, just clean it up and remove her from her chair and that is that.

    Once she is calm, casually place a plate of "grazing" food.. that is things like, buttered wholemeal bread triangles, cheese sticks, carrot sticks, apple slices, banana, etc, healthy food that is age appropriate (sorry it has been a while - not sure what sub 2 year olds eat), on a plate near where she is playing, do NOT draw her attention to it, or make a fuss.. just leave it there and walk away.

    Try to observe what if anything she does with it from there, if she grazes, you have won this round Mom!

    Next meal time, again try a proper healthy meal, and repeat the exercise as above.. do NOT cave in to her demands, and do not engage in argument with her.. remember who is the boss here :) And stay firm.

    Be very firm with her.. make it clear that processed food is gone forever, but that is it.. no arguing.

    It usually takes about 2 days for this to work, children adapt unbelievably quickly to change.. and at this age all she is doing is learning, her brain is a complete sponge, within 2 days a whole new reality is fine, she will accept it very quickly.

    I wish you all the best with this, I know it can be a difficult thing to go through, we are so ingrained with the desire to give our babies what they want :)
    Peggy, Shanj, EQnoble and 4 others like this.
  3. yazmeen

    yazmeen New Member

    Thank you soo much! I really like your suggestion...am definitely going to try this and i'll let you know about the results. I am sure its difficult, coz my baby, at 1 year 9 months, can manipulate others,hahaha. Even her nanny whenever she asks something, she needs to get it otherwise she would roll down the floor, cry, scream and will really emphasize what she wants something till she gets it..but thanks anyway for this wonderful tip. :)
    Dragonfly likes this.
  4. Anthony Parsons

    Anthony Parsons Well-Known Member

    Argh... parenting 101. Kids will naturally steer towards the yummy tasting junk. Parents must stand their ground and enforce the discipline, regardless of what they want or peer pressures from other silly parents who end up with obese children because they feed them so much rubbish their bodies simply cannot process it... then allow them to sit in front of TVs and gaming machines, computers, etc... instead of making them exercise and socialise in sports.

    Don't give in Yazmeen... keep your kids away from junk I say. Use it as the occasional treat so they enjoy it once in a while... instead of something they take for grantant and expect as part of their daily diet.
    Dragonfly and Peggy like this.
  5. Brandon_R

    Brandon_R Guest

    May i suggest tough love. Just let her cry it out.
  6. Shanj

    Shanj Well-Known Member

    Brilliant advice Dragonfly.

    I'll just add a little bit to how to handle the roaring tempers.
    Accept these as natural at her age.
    Tell her that her noisiness and anger is important. Use whatever words she can understand - calm eye contact, saying yes, nodding so she can see you can hear her. A pat or stroke if she'll let you.
    After all it's fair enough that she needs to ventilate her frustration. because she's the one who is losing and has less power. Not nice to learn.

    If it goes on for a while do other things for very short periods but show her at frequent intervals you're still aware of her. It's scary for her to be abandoned to be upset.
    But show her that YOU'RE the adult so YOU'RE calm and OK. This is normal. This is normal.
    (Breathing out a lot helps keep yourself calm)

    She has to learn that her distress and anger is allowed its placeas a natural need
    - but that doesn't mean it gets her into domination.

    Another very good tip is to make sure that your chest is not facing her blast. Chest and tummy are very sensitive to others' emotional lashing out/ noise. Turn your body just slightly away so the blast hits you from the side where you're less sensitive.
    This is also useful when enduring an adult male having a tantrum.

    When asked in the shop about bad food keep the answer firm. "No no that isn't REAL food."

    An excellent method I used with my son about sugar was Sweets Day. This was once a week and he could have "anything" he liked. The rest of the time no sugar. He loved the abundance of Sweets Day and of course had little appetite for sugar as he wasn't used to it. I used to throw a lot away.
    When we visited the dentist the dentist was\ fascinated said he'd never ever seen a child with no fillings to do at all.

    I did allow it for a birthday party or Midwinter.
    Dragonfly likes this.
  7. Kim

    Kim Well-Known Member

    You're very welcome, I hope it works for you :)

    Again I preface the following by saying I am not any kind of expert.. so seek expert advice for her behaviour issues also.

    There are very well known and researched methods for dealing with bad toddler behaviour, I really strongly suggest you get a good book on dealing with Toddlers , there are a lot available :) Nothing of what your daughter is trying is unique, toddlers will all try this, remember that they are continually pushing the boundaries of their existance to try to learn what is and what is not "how to live". Everything they do is an experiment, and when a behaviour gets a result they like, they very quickly learn to use that behaviour next time they want something.

    Temper Tantrums can also be modified with a similar technique to the eating issues, ignoring her tantrum and absolutely never giving her what she wants when she is in the throws of tantruming goes a very long way. Be strong, she is not going to hate you if you say NO to her, far from it, she will grow up with absolutely no repect for you or any other authority figure if you continually indulge such bad behaviour.

    It sounds like she has been allowed to get away with this and of course has learnt that throwing a tantrum is how you get what you want, you and her nanny have in effect taught her how to be so badly behaved by postively responding to her when she is misbehaving. You must immediately remedy this as it will be come a lifelong pattern if you do not.

    What works for many people is to impliment a safe "time out" area, that might be her bedroom with the door shut, or any other safe contained area that is not scary or horrible, just away from yourself and her nanny. The idea is to quickly teach her that bad behaviour results in being alone and that no one responds to it favourably.

    When she starts a tantrum, calmly and quietly remove her from where you are and put her in the time out area, quietly and calmly telling her why... "This behaviour is not acceptable and I would like you to calm down in the time out area" She is very young so this is going to be hard on you both, as she will get distressed by being seperated, and will not understand why what worked (throwing a tantrum) one day suddenly results in a very different reality the next day... it is up to you to be Calm, Strong, and remain always the one who is in control.

    It doesn't take long for such techniques to work, but it does take a huge effort on your part to stay strong.. do not attempt this unless you are really committed to seeing it through.

    Conversely you must reward her good and positive behaviour, whilst ignoring or dealing with the bad, praise her when she does something good. :)

    Give her good positive feedback when she asks nicely for something, or does anything that is on the right track behavour wise.

    Again, I urge you to go and buy a good parenting book specifically a toddler behaviour book - the one I used is an Australian one from many years ago now, and it probably isn't available where you are, but there will be dozens I am sure, and most will offer somewhat similar advice to above but in far more depth and specifics.

    I'm just offering my advice one Mother to another :)

    Best of luck Yazmeen, again it is not easy, being really calm and strong in the presence of a highly charged toddler is no fun, but in the end it makes your life a million times easier to spend a week or two going through this.
  8. Tigratrus

    Tigratrus Well-Known Member

    I know it's really hard... But the good news is: Food is the single best self-correcting problem there is with really young children. When they get hungry enough, they WILL eat, and it won't take anywhere even vaguely close to the time that you should be concerned about their getting enough to eat. They flat out WILL eat when they are hungry.

    Other than that, Dragonfly and Shanj are both dead on. Just remember that tantrums are not the end of the world... And this might sound like bad parenting advice, but you might consider trying some partial earplugs during the transition period, just when the tantrum is really getting going? It might help you have an easier time being strong if the sheer volume is toned down a bit.

    My #1 rule with little kids is never... NEVER lose a battle of wills with them, try to avoid one though the mantra of "Distraction, Redirection and Tickling :)". But if you can't avoid the battle of wills, NEVER EVER lose. If you do, you are only teaching them that they need to push harder and throw a bigger tantrum to get what they want. The trick is to pick your battles, don't say "No" casually, but if the answer IS no, then that's what it is, period.

    Once our kids were older, we would happily listen to their reasons and point of view, and if they made a good case the answer might be yes. But when they are too little to do that, you need to keep in mind that YOU are the adult. They simply don't know what is good for them yet, and if you let them have everything they *want* now, you're setting yourself up for major problems later on.
  9. Kim

    Kim Well-Known Member

    Some great advice in there James :)

    I completely agree with the above, and forgot to mention about the distraction and redirection... So glad you brought it up James! lol that is a brilliant and very easy method that really does work.

    A few months ago we were at a dear friend's place to stay for a few days, they have a 2 year old girl who is absolutely adorable, a real little doll, but very willful, and they have not diciplined her at all, she is quite out of control... they were asking me what they could do etc.. and I gave them the same advice I have given Yazmeen, and at their urging did a bit of it whilst there. Starting with the distraction and redirection when she started a tantrum.. it really worked, and she responded so positively to it that she spent the whole few days wanting me to play with her, and following me around lol was so cute, she is a little darling.

    But the point is that little kids actually want this level of control from the adults around them, it makes them feel safe and they quickly learn that life is a lot more fun when they follow the rules.

  10. GofD

    GofD Well-Known Member

    Remember this: If you say, "no, no, no, no, no...ok, maybe. Yes," you are teaching your child to continue pushing until you give in. If you say no, mean it and don't back down. If you mean maybe, then don't say no.

    Very good advice here - you have a young child and now is the time to set the patterns for all of his/her life. If you think it's amusing that your child is manipulative at this age, wait until puberty! It won't be funny then.
  11. Peggy

    Peggy Well-Known Member

    Boy I can testify to this. My son has a mood disorder in addition to the asperger syndrome/ADHD, and he is very prone to tantrums and severe 'meltdowns'. The distraction/redirection method is the only thing that works for us. However, it doesn't always work and sometimes I just have to let him have his tantrum or meltdown. Over the past year or so, he's beginning to realize that when his tantrum is over, the answer he got before he let loose, is still the same answer afterwards. The tantrums have been decreasing, needless to say. :)
  12. Brandon_R

    Brandon_R Guest

    Don't let your kids cry.
  13. chousho

    chousho Well-Known Member

    Do parents still spank? I think that helped me a lot.

    I think it still helps me somedays, too :(
    alexD likes this.
  14. Brandon_R

    Brandon_R Guest

    No, it's illegal and you can go to prison for that. If i ever see a parent hit their child, i will call child services.
  15. Peggy

    Peggy Well-Known Member

    BS. Sometimes you just have to.
    chousho likes this.
  16. Anthony Parsons

    Anthony Parsons Well-Known Member

    You can here in Australia... thank goodness, because sometimes kids just need a smack on the bum. All this naughty corner crap just isn't working. Hey... even I gave it a shot, and what we ended up with was a disrespectful bugger. A smack on the bum is different to flat out laying into a child / hurting them by leaving marks. Straps and things, whilst we got them as kids, they do hurt and shouldn't be used. Threats go a long way with children... and they are a parents best friend. We often have to carry through with them to ensure the child knows we are serious, but most kids avoid punishment when they know a parents boundaries.

    Saying that... teenagers are then vastly different again and require an entire mindset change...
    Peggy, Ceri May and chousho like this.
  17. Brandon_R

    Brandon_R Guest

    BS. But i respect your opinion :)
  18. chousho

    chousho Well-Known Member

    Well, I know plenty of parents in the US that do, as well. It seems a bit too much of a coincidence that around the same time that "SPANKING IS CHILD ABUSE, GIVE THEM COOKIES" and "NOBODY CAN LOSE A GAME, WE'RE ALL WINNERS!" became the theme for children that we came upon the "What can you do for me" Generation. I'm not going to say it's definite, but I think if more parents spanked their kids there'd be less teen pregnancy, fewer murders and more unicorns running wild in freedom.

    Also, Brandon_R, you're not a parent, are you?
    Forsaken likes this.
  19. DaKat

    DaKat Well-Known Member

    Wow. Just . . . wow.

    I'm glad I've got my single parenting days behind me.
  20. Cezz

    Cezz Well-Known Member

    I feel where you are coming from with this one, I am not a single parent but had similar issues with my daughter at that age ALL she would eat was waffles and beans... with us though it was actually surprisingly easy to get her out of it because she just decided herself one day she didn't want waffles and beans and ever since will list a number of different things she wants...

    Keep in mind though for about a year latter she still wouldn't eat meat, and it was only about 6-8months ago she decided she liked turkey and by telling her that other things like ham etc was turkey we got her eating that then once she agreed she liked "pink turkey" we broke it to her it was actually ham and ever since has had no problem.

    Got to love kids and how they develop, also amaze what things we say as parents.
    chousho likes this.

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