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Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Parenting problem - can you help?

November 20, 2007 : Four degrees at 8am. Overcast. Waiting.

Help!

I have a problem – maybe you can help.

At AJ’s asilo (kindergarten) it’s compulsory for the children to stay for lunch. The idea is, apparently, to teach the little ones that they should eat what they are offered, and, of course, to ensure that every child gets at least one nutritionally balanced meal every school day. Packed lunch? No, no signora.

The service is not free. We paid a whopping 95€ for the month of October. And if your child is in the asilo at 10:30am, the meal goes on the bill whether he eats it or not.

And herein lies the rub. AJ eats nothing at the asilo. Perhaps a yogurt occasionally, or some fruit, or a slice of pizza (his favourite). Days and days go by and the what-your-child-ate-today chart exhibits a row of humiliating No’s alonsgide the self-congratulatory Si’s of the other children. Even if he’s hungry-hungry (and he must be hungry because breakfast finishes at 7:30am and lunch isn’t until midday), he eats nothing.

As soon as we arrive to collect him, though, he starts asking for food. At home he’s picky but when he likes something he’ll “stuff his face”, as he so delicately puts it.

Here’s my dilemma.

Do I refuse to feed him at 2:30pm when we get home in an effort to make him understand that he must eat what he’s offered and at the right times? (And suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous, hunger-induced temper tantrums all afternoon.)

Or

Do I feed him one of the shortlist (very short list) of foods he likes whenever he’s hungry and hope that at some point he’ll become more comfortable at the asilo away from his Mama and among all those people who speak a strange language, and will start to eat with the other kids?

Would you vote hardline Victorian or would you feed him and be damned?

I await your brilliant parenting ideas, tips and advice.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Option 3 is to tackle his picky eating which is a combination of the two options, ie offer food if hungry but not always things on his short list you've posted (eg things that Bea likes and he normally doesn't?).This will probably still result in tantrums but if you can live through it then you can go full Victorian route.

Anonymous said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montessori

Chris said...

I think you need to feed him when he needs it. He's still only small and needs to build up his energy and strength especially when he needs all his energy for the place he lives and the demands of school. I think the not eating at school is a psychological thing and trying to bully him into eating will just exacerbate the problem. I think he should just be ignored, to eat or not as he pleases and then they might have a chance of him enjoying it.Oh well, when he's a teenager he'll eat till its coming out of his ears - mark my words!

Ali said...

I think you have to give in a little, cut yourself a bit of slack, then one day it simply won't be such an issue. I'd say stuff the asilo, accept that he's going to be hungry and give him something when he gets home. Plenty of people would disagree but the fact is that there is no right or wrong answer. So there!

Louise said...

Do you mean that I should send AJ to a Montessori pre-school or that Montessori might have the answer?

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Parenting problem - can you help?

November 20, 2007 : Four degrees at 8am. Overcast. Waiting.

Help!

I have a problem – maybe you can help.

At AJ’s asilo (kindergarten) it’s compulsory for the children to stay for lunch. The idea is, apparently, to teach the little ones that they should eat what they are offered, and, of course, to ensure that every child gets at least one nutritionally balanced meal every school day. Packed lunch? No, no signora.

The service is not free. We paid a whopping 95€ for the month of October. And if your child is in the asilo at 10:30am, the meal goes on the bill whether he eats it or not.

And herein lies the rub. AJ eats nothing at the asilo. Perhaps a yogurt occasionally, or some fruit, or a slice of pizza (his favourite). Days and days go by and the what-your-child-ate-today chart exhibits a row of humiliating No’s alonsgide the self-congratulatory Si’s of the other children. Even if he’s hungry-hungry (and he must be hungry because breakfast finishes at 7:30am and lunch isn’t until midday), he eats nothing.

As soon as we arrive to collect him, though, he starts asking for food. At home he’s picky but when he likes something he’ll “stuff his face”, as he so delicately puts it.

Here’s my dilemma.

Do I refuse to feed him at 2:30pm when we get home in an effort to make him understand that he must eat what he’s offered and at the right times? (And suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous, hunger-induced temper tantrums all afternoon.)

Or

Do I feed him one of the shortlist (very short list) of foods he likes whenever he’s hungry and hope that at some point he’ll become more comfortable at the asilo away from his Mama and among all those people who speak a strange language, and will start to eat with the other kids?

Would you vote hardline Victorian or would you feed him and be damned?

I await your brilliant parenting ideas, tips and advice.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Option 3 is to tackle his picky eating which is a combination of the two options, ie offer food if hungry but not always things on his short list you've posted (eg things that Bea likes and he normally doesn't?).This will probably still result in tantrums but if you can live through it then you can go full Victorian route.

Anonymous said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montessori

Chris said...

I think you need to feed him when he needs it. He's still only small and needs to build up his energy and strength especially when he needs all his energy for the place he lives and the demands of school. I think the not eating at school is a psychological thing and trying to bully him into eating will just exacerbate the problem. I think he should just be ignored, to eat or not as he pleases and then they might have a chance of him enjoying it.Oh well, when he's a teenager he'll eat till its coming out of his ears - mark my words!

Ali said...

I think you have to give in a little, cut yourself a bit of slack, then one day it simply won't be such an issue. I'd say stuff the asilo, accept that he's going to be hungry and give him something when he gets home. Plenty of people would disagree but the fact is that there is no right or wrong answer. So there!

Louise said...

Do you mean that I should send AJ to a Montessori pre-school or that Montessori might have the answer?