not eating

Angela - posted on 03/09/2013 ( 4 moms have responded )

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Ok I need advice on at a loss. My boyfriend has a 3 almost 4yr old boy. Who refuses to eat anything weather he likes it or not. We have tried everything being nice patient calm an tried being firm. Nothing works. He rather goes straight to bed with barely eating or its a battle an he ends up crying. We give him small portions. Please help. I don't know what to do. Thanks

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Rebekah - posted on 03/09/2013

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Food is one of those things that can end up a power struggle, which is what you are experiencing now. I don't know why he's refusing... is it a reaction to a family dynamic going on? Are the visits with his mom/dad regular and consistent? Are other rules between mom and dad consistent? Does he eat for mom, or is he this way across the board? I'm just tossing ideas out there, but he may be upset about something and refusing to eat is his way of expressing his frustration, anxiety, or wish for more control.

Anyway, you can't make someone eat, and pushing the issue till tears come may only contribute to the power struggle, so I'd suggest continuing to offer him a variety of healthy foods at different times during the day and if he chooses to go to bed hungry, then that's his choice. I would have to think that the hunger would override the stubborn will at some point and he'd choose to eat as he needs to. Kids won't let themselves starve. Continue to be patient, supportive, and loving. Don't feed into the power struggle and make it a discipline issue. Try to partner with him and ask him how he might solve the problem. If you ask him outright, how does he explain what's going on? Would he be willing to help contribute to a family menu? Cook dinner or snacks? Go food shopping? That being said, maybe stay matter-of-fact about it, if you do try to enlist his efforts. The more emotionally charged it becomes, the more it feeds into the power issue. Just a suggestion. Hope it helps!

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Angela - posted on 03/09/2013

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First thanks for helping. An he gets frustrated a bit but nothing like my daughter is she can't communicate it right for me to understand she get notably frustrated. An as for his mom she never paid attention to him like a mom should she had lost her custody of her daughter to the father from neglect.

Rebekah - posted on 03/09/2013

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So he may be reacting to the change in custody? Maybe missing his mom? Poor little guy. Glad you guys are able to be there for him and give him what he needs. Hopefully with the speech therapy he will also feel more empowered...it must be frustrating for him not to be able to communicate well what he needs.

Angela - posted on 03/09/2013

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As for his mom they had no court appointed visitations. An with the neglect she has for her son. His dad decided to not give him back an is going for emergency custody. An he has a horrible speech delay my daughter who is a yr young talks better an clearer than he does an she's starting speech therapy he is to shortly. So he can't explain anything to us I mean anything. I feel bad cause I feel like I'm dealing with a 12mo old who just learning to talk. I'm mean its tht bafd

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