Thursday, July 19, 2007

Not my usual type of post

I am currently sitting on the couch, about 10 feet away from the computer using the laptop. There is a new guy here for the week working with the Northern, and he brought his wireless router. We let him set it up on our computer so he could use his laptop next door where he is staying. Since we have the card for our laptop also, seemed a shame to waste it!

I am really hoping someone can give me some advice. I don't normally use the blog for venting or complaining about issues we are having here. I like to use the blog for keeping everyone updated on how we are doing, and of course, putting lots of pictures of the kids. I am almost at the end of my rope with an ongoing struggle we are having with Colby. For all who know him personally, they will know exactly how fussy an eater he is. It's beyond maddening. I have done many google searches for advice with no luck. We have tried everything, and I mean EVERYTHING to get this child to eat. Colby has a very limited range of foods he will eat, and to get him to try anything new is beyond maddening. He wants to eat the same food over and over, which of course leads him to becoming sick of it. It's a bit of a challenge getting specific types of food up here, which has led to dinner time fights. We have tried everything under the sun to encourage this child to eat different foods. Rewards charts. Bribing. Threatening. Punishment. Forcing him to stay at the table until he's done. Not addressing it at all. The problem with this up here is that food is very expensive, and even though we have a food allowance, it's very upsetting to be throwing out food. We are now trying "tough love", which so far is very difficult. Colby is the strongest willed child I have ever met. He just doesn't care what we do. If he decides he doesn't want it, he just won't eat it, regardless of the consequences. We have taken things away such as his gameboy, playstation, allowing him to go outside, etc and none of it mattered. He is completly fine with going to bed hungry, or going to bed early. I'm truly at a loss. I don't watch a lot of TV throughout the daytime, but of all shows that stick in my head, Dr. Phil said something on one of his shows about fussy eaters that I keep thinking about. He said "kids will not starve to death, they will eat paintchips if need be, don't worry about them starving when using tough love". Colby needs to learn that when supper is cooked, that is the only option he has. I am the first to admit that I have been guilty of making supper for us, and something that I know Colby will eat for him. I am really tired of making 2 different meals for supper each night. I am now really seeing it because Joey refuses to eat jar baby food, and eats what Rob and I do. So now, supper time is something for Rob, Joey and I, and then something for Colby, which is silly. I would never make something that I know he doesn't like, but he has to learn that supper meals are not negotiable. There was never an option when I was growing up about supper, we ate whatever was made at supper time. I will admit, there were meals that I choked down that I refuse to eat now (fish sticks and canned spaghetti comes to mind) but, I ate it. It was either that or go hungry. How the hell do I do that? Colby tends to get very distressed when it comes to meal time, and I am trying to get him away from that. He has been getting up over the past week, and one of the first questions he has is what are we going to have for lunch and supper today? I know some of you are thinking "well, a great idea for that is to plan out meal time so he knows what he will be eating". Been there, done that. If he knows what I am planning, then he becomes more stressed out and will work himself up for the whole day about supper. I never wondered as a kid what we were having for supper and if I was going to like it. Supper was not a big deal. I need to get Colby to that point, I'm just not sure how to do it. I would love any suggestions anyone has. I'm out. I've surfed hours on the internet and have reverted to reading child books (something I HATE) for ideas, but none of them worked. Anyone have the number to Nanny 911?


Valentina said...

Sorry to hear about this struggle, Tina! I can see how upsetting it can be... I don't really have any first-hand experience, but I think "tough love" is the best in these situations, especially if you have tried everything else and it didn't work. When I was growing up, I was a picky eater as well, but my mother never made separate meals for me. I learned to eat what was on the table if I didn't want to go hungry. I have a question, though... has Colby always behaved like that in regards to food and meal times or has it got worse since you moved? I really don't know, but he could still be adjusting to the move and hiding his feelings behind his refusal to food.

Tawny said...

Yeah, this is a pretty tough one.

Everyone growing up with me knew what a fussy eater I was...My mother eventually gave up - I don't know if she ever made seperate meals for me (probably)but I know eventually it got to a point where she just let me be and I fended for myself - I ate a lot of Lipton Cup of Soup. Are there foods that Colby can make for himself that he likes? Can you give him that option?

I do remember going to have dinner at a friend's place and it was unheard of to not eat what was on your plate - the friend's father forced me to eat the meal and I did it against my will - ate what I could and then had to excuse myself from the table because I thought I was going to be sick. When I told my mother, she never let me eat there again.

Tina said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tina said...

No, Colby making himself his own meal is not an option I want to present to him. He's only 5 years old. What I want is for him to eat with the rest of the family, and to eat a more variety of foods. For example, Colby does not eat ANY fruit. At all. And the only vegetable he will eat is potato. But, he LOVES chicken. I want him to have a more balanced diet, but ultimately I want my entire family to eat together. I don't remember my parents ever forcing us to eat something. It was very plain and simple -- you eat what's on your plate, or you go hungry until breakfast the next day. It sounds cruel, but at this point I'm out of options and choices.

Tina said...

Oh, and to answer your question Val, Colby has always been like this.

Tawny said...

I always forget that he's just 5 because he seems tall to me and mature for his age.

And I can see how you would all get sick of chicken and potatoes if that's what you ate every night.

Hopefully someone will chime in that's had a similiar experience and can help.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Phil is right, he wont starve. Ryan was the same way. I would simply put his supper in front of him, if he refused to eat it, I would say ok, but you get nothing else. When you want a snack, I will heat your supper. Dont act like your upset about it... just say ok! and continue eating with the rest of your family, He might be looking for that attention. it will take time, but eventually he will begin eating. When he asks what your having for lunch and supper, just say you dont know yet... or my favorite put off... potatoes and point!
love Great Aunt Debbie

Anonymous said...

hey- I hear ya! i've got one of those too- picky and strong willed (gets it from his dad- hee hee) Got a few foods to choose from til he gets sick of these- grilled cheese, waffles, hamburgers occasionally, lipton soup- little noodles only! and certain brands of chicken nuggets. I feel very fortunate that he will eat the occasional apple(peeled correctly) and carrots (as long as he can hop like a bunny) and that is about all- though he is a sugar lover- got to watch that!
Good luck to us eh?

Curtis Groom said...

Be warned Dr. Phil is wrong, I starved to death several times when I was a child. Very hard to get over... however I think Colby will be fine. I think the stress he's feeling is with the tough love stand, It puts allot of pressure on him, he doesn't want to disappoint you, but he doesn't want to eat that food. As a very picky eater I would suggest, ensure he get's the calories and vitamin's he needs (flintstone's everyday for me) and try the various thoughts you have, then let him be. My eating habits still aren't as healthy as they should be, but I always spent supper time with the family at the table, but eating was optional. I hope that this has lead to my zen like attitude towards food but regardless, you don't want to develop any negative connotations towards food either.
BTW don't listen to my wife.

Tina said...

So Melissa, what do you guys do? Do you just all eat the same food that Christopher does, or do you cook for the 2 of you and choose from his limited selection of foods? That's what we have been doing with Colby up to this point. The tough love has only been in place since yesterday, so I don't think he's stressing out as of yet. So you guys, since you have a similar situation, what do you do if you run into a situation where you've made something and he doesn't want to eat? Oh, BTW, I got your message last week when we were out. Rob has been drove foolish at work with the Assembly this week, feels like the schedule he was working when we were back home! He hasn't been home until after 10 each night, but now that it has calmed down we'll have to set up a time to chat!

Anonymous said...

tina- how goes the tough love? If you got the energy for that- I salute you! Colby looks like he might have a strong will and the energy to back it up. That's who I'm dealing with. And frankly, I have NOT got the energy to deal with the aggravation of insistence. Maybe I'm a bad mom, but after picking up after, and tending to the needs of these two guys- christopher and his daddie, and the pets, I'm pooped. So, yes, I either eat what he eats, or I make two things. Now my situation is different in that we have no formal dinners- curt cooks his own stuff, so it's just christopher and me to eat. So I'll eat what he eats, or make two things. Sad to say but our meals are not the meat, potato, and other veggie plates like my youth. But I try to hit all the food groups through the day, and he takes flinstones vitamins too. If it gets out of hand- I will say "nope" this or nothing, but I will let him have some bread at bedtime if he wants. I hate being hungry at night, and if he's hungry enough for a slice of whole wheat brown bread- he's hungry.
Really want to hear how it's going for you and "tough love"