It’s becoming a habit. A bad one. You sit his highness to eat. You know he should be hungry. You made him something that you know he likes. And he refuses to eat.
My Toddler Won’t Eat. Why???
Ever happened to you?
I would imagine it happened at least once or twice in every house. The key to whether it will continue happening depends greatly on how you react. Yes, as usual it is all our fault. The little monsters get to do whatever they want and are never held responsible.
Everything we give attention to in this world – grows. It’s a simple law of this universe.
The more we are worried about our children’s eating habits, chances are he will develop worse ones. It’s true in regard to anything really. Be it his eating habits, sleeping, his ability to make friends, manage saying goodbye to you when starting a new kindergarten, etc.
It’s a simple law, yet not so easy to control. What it actually suggests is that in order to create a change, where we feel worried, we need to somehow change it to feeling confident. How on earth do you do that?
I believe the first step is always to understand. Understanding makes us more aware. If you have read any of my other articles you know that I’m a great believer of improving our lives through awareness. Once we are aware, things are no longer working automatically inside us. We are no longer controlled. Once we become aware, things change. That’s another law of this universe.
How do we stop worrying?
Firstly I think we need to come to understand that worrying is not a must. Many of us connect worrying to being good parents and caring for our children properly. I believe it’s 2 separate things.
Second, if there is some true concern for the health of your child, I would suggest going to a doctor, maybe 2, and get a professional opinion. Sometimes it’s not all just in our heads and we do need to watch out and take proper action if we feel our child’s eating habits might hurt him.
Unless things are really bad, checking things properly with a doctor is something many of us take a really long time before doing. I would recommend not to linger with this much. As long as we feel our child is not eating properly and do not take him to be properly checked, we will be worried.
As long as we are worried we will nag and obsess over the matter. As long as we do that we are passing a message to our child that here is a zone of great importance. Out of your love and worry we might be willing to offer the little one different things to make him eat. A treat of some sort. A sweet once he’s emptied his plate? A ride on his beloved scooter in the park once he’s eaten all his vegetables? And maybe we’ll simply be so very proud of him. Whichever one, by being worried and giving the whole eating thing special attention, we are turning it into an issue.
We have taught our child that as long as he is creating issues around eating, he will get more attention from us.
Our body is a magical mechanism. Much of this magic happen completely independently, without us even realizing it. Some of it we don’t even know yet. Whatever we do know is incredible. In order for this majestic operation to function we need to supply it with food, drink and rest. Similarly, how our body signals to us its need for sleep and drink, so it lets us know when it’s time to fill it with food.
Some children love eating anything you put in front of them. 3 plates of it. With hardly any discrimination towards anything that is considered eatable (?). Some will only eat a very dry, boring, small collection of options. Most will be somewhere in between. Just remember they are different in their eating habits just like adults.
Don’t let them terrorize you through food.
If eating is becoming an issue, you have checked it and it is not something to worry about medically, I would suggest leaving it alone.
By leaving it alone I mean you just continue to live your life normally and peacefully. If you’re sitting to eat and one of the little monsters plays on you again by not eating, simply ignore it. Behave like everything is normal. Don’t fall into his trap. Act as if everything is fine, just make sure before you finish eating you tell his highness that you are all eating now and that there will not be any food after until your next meal. His highness will for sure ignore you, but still it is very important you say those words.
Most chances, a little while later, his or her highness will complain they are hungry. Now – This is the difficult part, when that happens, you say…. Sorry my love, no food now. Oh… It will break your heart. Be ready.
In order to survive this episode you will need to be really really mature and see ahead. If you manage to withstand this heartbreaking episode once or twice, it will probably end and you will not have anymore eating issues. If you give in (and It’s only normal in a situation such as this one), your heart will stop aching, but you will find yourself battling this battle over and over again.
The less a parent will notice how much his child eats at every meal, the better eater his child is likely to be.
Thank you for reading my thoughts.
If you have any of your own that you would like to share, it would be great.
Good luck with the angelic monsters.