Why do they feel it nessesery to over feed my child

S. - posted on 04/12/2011 ( 19 moms have responded )

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My in laws seem to try n over ride me all the time especially with food, now I let my 3 year old have treats but with in reason. We go to there house for a family meal to which my fil will pile hight the plate full even I would struggle then out comes the pudding usually a huge dollop of ice cream after all that they get her more, the other week my husband said "no don't give her more" only to be ignored so I got a bit annoyed n shaped for her not to have more n for them not to ignore us as it's making our job 100% harder, I hate confortation they no this n I hate the fact they push me to it. Last time we was there in came grandad with a bowl of sausages then in came a bowl of veg, she's 3 she decided she didn't like veg so wasnt eating that, I told her to eat it n ended up in a battle which I won, in came a bowl of ice cream followed by another one. My daughter has gotten wise to this she's a intelligent kid n I can see the cogs ticking (well grandma will let me) if grandma is at my house the battle starts again bagging for junk cos she thinks grandma will give her it. They have no idea the problems they start as when we've been there we have battles round food all the next day too n I know it's cos of what they do. Like I said I don't mind treats but after she's eaten all her tea n in small portions ( i dont mean this offensive but there all fat and un happy) iv told my husband if they carry on they'll be no more treats Cos we will no longer visit. Mil also has to bring round big bags of sweets or 2-3 packets of them never just one, at one point I told her to stop as it looked like it was Halloween to which she ignored Just wondered what u all think? Am I over reacting?

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Krista - posted on 04/14/2011

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You're definitely not overreacting. In this case, I think it's best to talk to her when she isn't actually in the midst of trying to stuff your child full of sweets. It may be worth a white lie -- tell her that every time you've gone over, she's wound up throwing up all night afterwards and that you talked to her doctor who told you that she has a sensitive stomach and should only eat sweets in very small quantities.

I know -- lying is unethical. But if she cares at all for your daughter, this might make her see reason.

Sherri - posted on 04/14/2011

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Eh the swiping to me no big deal. Although we spank and my parents have full permission to spank if they deem necessary as well. However, the food issue just tell them you will make her plate for her. Once she is finished she may have one sweet and once that is finished if they give more simply take it away and say sorry she has had enough. They will be offended but you will be back in control.

Sylvia - posted on 04/13/2011

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Yikes! OMG, hitting kids is DEFINITELY NOT OKAY. I would have something pretty sharp to say about that.

It's obviously not just the food thing -- these people have boundary issues, and they need to be addressed. IMO this should really be your husband's job, since it's his family, but somehow something needs to change.

My DH's family can get caught up in the drama, too. It makes me so tired. (Particularly his oldest sister, 'cos she has 3 grown kids, 5 grandkids and a great-granddaughter so she thinks she knows it all, and naturally I am doing *everything* wrong with DD.) Fortunately we don't actually end up spending that much time with them ...

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Ashmir - posted on 04/15/2011

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omg stacey are you sure we don't have the same in-laws!!!! i am also struggling with EVERYTHING you have posted. i think the issue goes deeper though. i just found out that my mom-in-law had a bad step-mom who wouldn't give her and her siblings enough to eat or new clothes to wear. So i think a lot of her problems with over feeding everyone and her shopaholic symptoms come from that. But still I feel trapped because i know this brick wall will never come down. she will always be how she is no matter what i say. Her main point is she has raised so many kids so she knows what she is doing. :(

Jenn - posted on 04/15/2011

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Grandparents like to poke food into their grandchildren. It is how they nurture. However, you are still the mom and what YOU say is how it should be! However, you do have to pick your battles. My sister goes rounds with my mom because her children are on gluten/casein free diets and my mom just doesn't understand that not everything literally says it has gluten or casein on the box. FINALLY, she wrote down very specifically what her kids could and could not eat or drink. But it took months of bickering for her to finally do that! There must be mutual respect between grandparent and parent in order for any agreement to ever work out about the grandkids when they are in the grandparents' care.

Our parents were parents a loooong time ago. Their grandkids are only temporary responsibilities, it isn't the grandparents' job to raise them...only shower them with love, gifts and FOOD. haha :) I know how frustrating it is but communication is key to happy family gatherings!

Sharyl - posted on 04/15/2011

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I do not know if you husband has talked his parents but that might be a first step. I know my husband had to talk to his mom for the same reason. There were other issues with my MIL around raising kids and respect. It got so bad that we did not visit them or vice versa for 3 years. There is a little bit of distance between us geographically. However since that 3 year break, my MIL with discussions from my husband has stopped trying to tell us what to do about raising our kids. She is more respectful and she actually asks me is it okay if .... has this? I am hoping that you might find ideas from my story and hopefully it doesn't end up like mine did. By the way, my MIL is very overweight as well.

Kristy - posted on 04/14/2011

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I have a similar issue - my daughter is now 7 and I've been fighting with the (ex) in-laws since she was probably 2. The sad part is they have diabetes and many family members have been very ill because of it so they should know better! I started telling my daughter very young to eat slow and stop when she's full. I also explained to her repeatedly that her tummy is only the size of her little fist so she can't fit a lot in there (might have been a tough concept for a toddler but I was running out of things to try!). My daughter is 'overweight' (I say 'overweight' because she is heavy for her age but VERY active). She has slowly learned to recognize when she's full and that she doesn't need a ton. Good luck!

Alison - posted on 04/14/2011

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How often do you visit them? If it is once a week or less, I would encourage you to let go. It may not be worth fighting over.

S. - posted on 04/14/2011

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See my mum is very respectful and would never go against anything we do so I find this all so hard, tbh from the off my mil is quite forceful and controlling but my kids are something I will not back down about so it's like one battle after another, it's like she will not learn to leave it and back off. My hb always backs me up but the often end up having a blow out, we are moving across town soon and are hoping the distance will keep her away a bit more. The hitting thing was a horrible situation to have to be in n I know 110% none of my family would have ever done that n the way we handled it was really calm for the situation bit she still managed to create a drama out of it, like we was in the wrong for asking her never to hit our child. I have a 11 year old from a previous relationship whom I have brought up mostly on my own and she is a polite well behaved nice girl were as my mils children, swear and are disrespectful towards her. Thanks for all your supprtive comments, sometimes I feel like I'm over reacting and she wears me down x

Jodi - posted on 04/13/2011

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I agree with Sylvia, this is an entire boundary issue. I have personally never experienced it, because my parents and my in-laws are both very respectful of the way we choose to raise our kids, and while they spoilt them a little when they see them, they do it with my blessing.......but hitting my children is not an option. Ever. Definitely time for a discussion. Or you and your hubby just make the decision that if they can't abide by your wishes, then you can't visit as often.

S. - posted on 04/13/2011

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I will have to talk to them as it really has got to that point but I can not see it doing any good. The last time we had to tell mil as she swiped at my miss behaving (whom I was dealing with's hand) we told her very nicely that this was not our way n did not want her ever to hit her, which ended up in a full blown argument as she was soooooo offended and upset, she went round all my hb relative and ran us down. I do get on with them most of the time but do think she loves going against me and the drama of ppl showing her pity as " we are so bad to her"

[deleted account]

If anyone is minding my girls..well the go by my rules then.Its called "putting the foot down"lol..it can be done nicely of course.:-)



I find if i vist freinds and family.There spoilt with sweets and fizzy drinks etc.You have to say no at some point.

Jodi - posted on 04/13/2011

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Stacey, are you able to have a talk to them about it? Just approach them and let them know your concerns. Let them know it makes her sick, and the reaction she is having, and ask if perhaps they can just reduce the portions a little so you can see if that works better......it IS something you can do and still be polite about. But I guess it depends on how well you get along with them.

I know your husband has said "no don't give her more", but that is once it has already reached breaking point. I mean *actually* discussing the issue and asking for them to just back the portion sizes up a little bit in the future, including desert, even if she wants more.

Stifler's - posted on 04/13/2011

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I agree with Jodi, if it's a once in a blue moon thing who cares. But if they are always around it will become a problem. Old people have forgotten what a child size portion means.

S. - posted on 04/13/2011

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She randomly pops in with a few packs of sweet often and we have been going for sunday dinner once a week, it really is portion control, my daughter will stop eating the savoury stuff but the puddings she'll sovel in till she's not well. My dad always buys them these ice creams covered in chocolate which I would never buy but that's his thing and I don't mind as he only let's them have one, we only go down once in a blue moon and always asks first. I do think it's there way of showing love but they just don't see the problems there creating.

Jodi - posted on 04/12/2011

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How often is this happening? I must admit, when we are at my In laws, or with my parents, I don't make a fuss over things like I would at home because it isn't a frequent thing. Grandparents will always spoil their grandkids, and if it isn't an every day occurrence, then I don't see the harm. But we only see grandparents maybe once a month or so......

Sylvia - posted on 04/12/2011

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Well, it does sound like your ILs have some issues with portion control and food choices :P

That said ... a 3-year-old, left to her own devices, will normally stop eating when she's full, which is a healthy way to eat; that's why it's a bad idea to insist kids clean their plates (because this can teach them to keep eating even after they're full, and it's hard to unlearn that behaviour later). If she's being offered more food and is eating it, she may really be that hungry, in which case the problem isn't "over feeding", it's the choice of foods.

I would guess your ILs express affection by feeding people, and I'm sure they mean well. This isn't a healthy dynamic, but it's very common.

One thing you can certainly do is just teach her "different homes, different rules" -- at home we do X, when we visit Grandma and Grandad we're allowed to do Y as a special treat. Of course this works better the less often you visit.

Big bags of sweets arriving at your house could just disappear, I suppose...

Bonnie - posted on 04/12/2011

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You are definitely not over reacting. It seems that it is a common thing for grandparents to want to overfeed their grandchildren. What I don't care for is when they want you to be firm with your kids and not give in easily to everything they want, but then when it comes down to it, they make a fuss when you say no. My mom is like this. She can be over at my house, it will be snack time, I will tell my boys no lollipop today, especially since you didn't finish your lunch and you had one yesterday. My older son will get upset and then because my mother can't stand him being upset, she wants me to give in ugh. My MIL is the one who always has to give big portions :-)

Jackie - posted on 04/12/2011

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no, you're NOT over-reacting. You're the Mom and you have to put your foot down. No offense but if they are overweight themselves then it's probably because food is what they enjoy and they just probably don't get that everyone doesn't choose to over-indulge.



I think you need to be polite but firm. I, personally, have no problem with telling people how I feel when it comes to my kids. Good Luck!

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