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can not make my kid understand
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can not make my kid understand

Hello,
I have a daughter, she is three years old...she has been pampered from the child hood so much since she was a poor eater..for example if she wants to go out we will take her out, if she wants to change the dress we change the dress... from the begining after stopping the mother feeding she was not willing to take the milk in the feeding bottle and hence till date my wife is feeding the milk and food with spoon..food also we have to grind the rice in the mixer and give and she just does not accept any other food ...if we try to force she vomits...she keeps pesturising us for changing dress , applying nail polish, going out by car etc she keeps saying the same thing and we just can not divert her, she will keep saying what she wants...
Now we have put her in the play school and she just keeps saying in the school i want my mom, i want my mom continuously without stopping and she cries very aggressively for the complete school time...even if we try to explain she is not at all listening and she keeps saying what she wants...even we tried to tell her we will buy for her clothes if she is good and go to school for which she will start saying repeatedly we will go and buy dress...we feel that she is not at all willing to listen to any one, every day we have been suffering ...really need some advice on how to make the kid listen or make her understand????
Thanks and Regards
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13167_tn?1327197724
You have to separate out some of this stuff.

It sounds like she has sensory defensiveness - texture of her food can make her vomit.  That's not a "pampering" thing,  it's a physical reaction to textures.  

The other stuff sounds like learned behaviors.  On the one hand,  it's fine if she wants to change her dress all day at home.  Put on a different one,  hang that one up.  That's fine.  Before she can change again,  the previous outfit has to be hung up neatly.  Give her all the power to change her clothes as often as she wants,  and she'll curb her behavior a little.

She may have separation anxiety and may not be able to go to preschool at this time.  My youngest had to wait til he was 4.

For things she keeps asking for,  don't give in.  If you give in after she says something 5 times,  or 200 times,  or 400 times,  she will learn to persist.  The longer she has to beg for something - and then be rewarded at the end - the longer she'll persist in asking the next time.  Once she asks for something 5 times that you don't want to give her,  tell her she can ask 5 more times.  Say "okay,  you can ask for that 5 more times and the next time you ask for it you'll have to ask for it quietly in your room where we can't hear you.  Go.  Okay,  you have 4 more times.  Go.  Okay,  you have 3 more times,  etc.  When she's asked 5 times, the next time she asks must be quietly in her room.

Part of her difficulty is that it sounds like she has real problems with sensory issues,  (the food and constant clothing changes) and the other part is no one has ever attempted to make her stop pestering.
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm sorry, but it seems as though unfortunately you and your wife have created these problems by giving your daughter way too much control.  Who's in charge here - the 3 year old or the adults?  My daughter has also had food issues and I regret very much that I didn't starve her into submission when she was a baby.  She is 8 years old now and much better, but it has been a battle - one that I suggest you and your wife begin fighting now - don't wait; the older she gets, the harder it will be.  I would recommend that you offer her a meal and if she doesn't want to eat, say fine, and take it away - do not give her any other options.   Eventually, she will be hungry enough to eat.  The same goes with her behavior - you simply cannot give into the tantrums, no matter how difficult this is; you are allowing her to rule your lives and deep down, your child probably feels insecure, as children really need boundaries.  You will see that if you persist in saying no and let her have her tantrum for as long as it lasts, she will be happier for it in the end.

Once she really understands that her tantrums will not get her anywhere, you will see that they will begin to subside.  Remember that having tantrums is normal for children of 3..  You both have to resolve to be strong or your daughter will be a big brat down the road and I'm sure neither of you want that!

There's a line about parenting that is so true: As hard as you think it is, you'll end up wishing it was that easy..  Be strong and keep sight of your end goal (which is to create a happy well adjusted human being).

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13167_tn?1327197724
coolas,  I don't understand your attitude at all.  I have no food issues myself - there is virtually no food I won't eat,  but I do understand those who do have food issues.

Often they stem from a lack of good sense of smell,  and so the overwhelming sensation to the person is "feel" - and that can be disgusting enough to vomit.  My nephew (a grown man) says peach cobbler,  to him,  is like a mouthful of warm snot.  He has an extremely limited diet,  and everything has to be granular with crunch and texture.  

Forcing a child to eat something that's disgusting to them is cruel,  if you have other choices.  If you lived in a place where you ONLY have porridge or beans and corn,  that's one thing.  To force someone into what your preferences are won't help anyone,  much less the child who is forced to endure being disgusted at every meal.

It's not about control,  for the child,  it's about real sensation.  Imagine yourself having to eat food,  for example,  that smells like rotting flesh or vomit.  Same thing.
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Avatar_f_tn
RockRose, Trust me, I know a lot about food issues - my daughter has had them since she was 8 months old and refused solid food.  And I live with a man who also has food 'issues', so trust me when I say I get it.  

The thing is, when a child has been successful in getting their own way (like my daughter was) then of course any new food is going to feel weird and gross to them.  It would be one thing if she had aversions to certain food, but she doesn't eat anything - she eats ground rice and milk nothing else - this is not good!  Of course we don't want to force feed our children food they don't like, but her health is at stake!

I spoke to a woman recently who has a 36 year old sister who eats 7 things only..  She is overweight and miserable and cannot deal with eating any food outside the 7 things, she literally gags at the taste of anything different - this is what has happened because her parents didn't take charge and force the issue.  If it were simply that she didn't like certain foods, then that would be entirely different.  I do not force my child to eat things that she finds disgusting, but I have started to force things like fresh juice from the juicer because she NEEDS those nutrients and you know what?  For the first time in her life, her tongue looks normal because she is finally eating properly.  

Your nephew just doesn't like peach cobbler - that is one thing - what if it extended to all fruits and vegetables and protein?  Would you say, don't force him because he doesn't like it, or would you realize that without these things his health will be put in jeopardy?  It's funny that you say he likes crunch and texture though - my boyfriend is the same!

In any event, my opinion is that this 3 year old has WAAAYY too much control over everything and it extends to food.  The control needs to be taken away from this child and yes, she needs to be forced.  Sometimes it is simply a question of getting the child used to something different.

Here's an example; my daughter (as a 3 year old) would eat cheese and bread, so one day I made her a grilled cheese sandwich.  She took one look at it and refused it.  I insisted she try some.  She screamed for 45 minutes that she didn't like it.  She had a tiny bite and gagged..  But I persisted and she LOVES grilled cheese sandwiches now - it was not a sensory thing, it was an unfamiliar thing and the unfamiliar scared her.  My goal with my daughter is to keep having her try foods that don't appeal to her, because every time she tries them, they are a little less 'disgusting' than they were the last time.  I don't expect her to like everything, but she has to try.  She never used to eat bananas, but I started forcing her to eat just a bite and now she'll eat a whole one on her own if she is hungry enough.

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13167_tn?1327197724
coolas,  if you have a stubborn child who has a bit of a difficult personality and refuses to attempt new things that's different than a person who has textural food issues.  

My son's best friend - who we have here for a week every other summer - now they are both freshmen in college - has severe food issues.  This boy is the sweetest,  easiest kid to be around and the whole week here he is an angel EXCEPT it's hard to feed him.  He eats bagels and cream cheese,  noodles with butter,  and chicken mcnuggets and cheese pizza.  That's it.  That's the sum total of his diet.  He's 6' 4",  thin as a rail and plays lacrosse,  so he's very healthy.  If we go out to a restaurant he'll say oh I'm really not hungry,  I'll just have a Dr. Pepper.  And then later he eats the foods that he can tolerate.

If you have a child who routinely just refuses to try things that she may very well like,  just to be difficult,  that's not food issues.
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13167_tn?1327197724
coolas,  I'm not trying to sound arrogant or know-it-all,    I've just been around enough people with textural food issues - interestingly,  all boys - to know it isn't a personality thing.  It's a brain thing.

I could get you to eat worms if you were starving,  or moldy bread,  and I could get these boys to eat regular consumer foods if they were starving too.  But why?
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973741_tn?1342346373
I just wanted to chime in that I have a 6 year old with sensory integration disorder and food issues.  It is documented that children can have sensory integration disorder and trouble eating.  It takes lots of muscle control to chew and if a child's motor planning is off, they will choke and gag on food.  My son has trouble with meat items. No matter how small I cut it, he will gag and choke.  This is not a perceived problem but a real one that an occupational therapist is working on with us.  As far as protein, I'm a creative mom and my son gets plenty of protein without the issue of gagging/choking.

Textures are another big issue with sensory kids.  They have aversions because the signals in their brain/nervous system are jumbled that make it so unpalitable----  they will not eat it.  My feeling is----  why absolutely force the issue.   Treating children with respect for their preferences is not such a bad thing.  

My son has sensory/tactile defensiveness.  When he was 3, if his hands got wet, he would cry like a maniac.  He cried as if it hurt.  I sought out what the reason was----  and it was sensory integration disorder.  His nervous system is overactive and things feel very uncomfortable to him.  Some kids have this in their mouths.  

There are lots of picky eaters out there that just don't want to eat what their mom serves.  I'm not really talking about that.  But I personally feel (as a mom to two kids---- one with a developmental delay and one without)----  that if they don't like something and I can find an alternative to it to give them the same nutritional value----  why wouldn't I?  I mean----  I don't like everything . . . and don't feel like eating whatever someone else says I should.  That's just me in my house-----  not saying everyone has to be like me.  

We had a rule when I was growing up----  I had to try one bite of everything.  If I didn't like it----  I never had to eat another bite of it.  If I liked it---  good.  It totally took the pressure off and I felt like I grew up with a healthy interest in trying new foods.  My husband had to eat what his mother served, clean his plate, and never complain. Guess which one of us is a little more daring with food . . .  
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Avatar_f_tn
rockrose... I am sure my daughter DOES have sensory issues, and at one point in her life I would have classified her as 'food-phobic' - she was very extreme.  These days I would say she falls more into the 'very fussy' category.  And I think you misunderstand - I don't force her to eat meals of my choice, she usually chooses what she wants and I don't object, BUT she has to be forced out of her comfort zone to a certain extent or else all she would eat is sugar and carbs -- are you seriously telling me that I should not force her to eat more healthy food?  

Some boys can get away with such a diet and be 6'4 and skin and bones, but it is NOT healthy - and in the end, it's no fun for them if they are severely limited by their food options, and ultimately it is not socially acceptable behavior either.  Your son's best friend was not sufficiently forced to develop his palate - it takes work and persistence and I totally understand not wanting to see your child upset and in distress and vomiting the food you are trying to get them to eat, but cajoling and forcing (and bribing and bargaining) has been absolutely necessary in expanding my daughter's culinary horizons!  And you know what, in the process my daughter has discovered many foods that she does like and others that she has learned to tolerate.  (By the way, she is a happy, well adjusted, easy going kid, so this issue has not extended to any other area of her life either)

I feel that we as a society have swung too far the other way in how we raise our kids; it can't always be about what they want and what they don't, sometimes they need to be forced to do things because it is in their best interest in the long run.  My boyfriend and I often hold our breath as my daughter tries a bite of something new and it is a triumph when she finds it wasn't as bad as she thought!  Lately that has been happening more and more and recently she's started eating fresh juice of all kinds - nothing short of miraculous - but it has been about being persistent and not giving up and giving in!

I am sure the parents of the 36 year old woman I referred to in another post thought they were doing what was best by 'not forcing her', but look what they have done instead!  And your son's best friend's parents - they are probably really nice people who didn't want the confrontation or the scene, but sometimes it IS necessary.  Eating rice and drinking milk is NOT a healthy diet - I wonder what a nutritionist would say about it.  

Specialmom; you say that you were forced to try a bite; well, that's pretty much all I require from my daughter; I certainly don't force her to clean her plate EVER.  But this kid we are talking about is 3, she needs to be eating more than rice and milk - right?  She needs to expand her palate and the only way to do that is to force her - one way or another.

A-
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973741_tn?1342346373
coolas----  this little girl is so extreme in her reaction that I would assume more is going on.   Some parents think that a child's reaction MUST be because of the parent.  That is not always the case.  You don't know these people or their situation.  That is all I'm saying.  Obviously, this family has things to work on-----  but some problems are real and must be treated accordingly.

To the family with the question about their daughter----  perhaps an occupational therapist evaluation would be beneficial to see if there are indeed some issues around sensoy integration and her food response.  Speech therapists also work with feeding issues.  Which by the way, how is her speech?

Clothing changes are something that can be sensory . . . but also a girl thing.  Not to be sexist, but my boys don't care much about what they are wearing.  My boys do, however, love to play dress up and will spend a portion of the day going from one constume to the next.  I think Rockrose had some good advice for that.

I do think that your child's temperment is maybe more difficult than others and she has also found what works to get as she desires.  If it is reasonable, you can give in.  But if not-----  just ignore her repeated asking and divert her attention.  If she will not stop, continue to ignore her request and continue on as if she isn't asking.  Another good strategy is  to give a choice.  If kids feel like they have some bit of control, they respond better to the choice they themselves have made.  You control the choices and she picks.

Preschool can be telling for kids.  She may not be ready.  That definately  happens.  But how does she get along with peers?  Kids of three are just coming out of parallel play---  meaning they play beside each other and talk but aren't truly playing together yet.  But what is her interaction like?  Does she spend time with many other adults besides you and your spouse?  Does she sit and focas on things at home?  

Reasoning with a three year old and explaining . . . well, that is difficult.  They are pretty focased on themselves.  So she may not understand now that you are doing some things inher best interest.  Keep very posative about school and keep telling her how fun it is.  
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Avatar_f_tn
Specialmom; my daughter was just as extreme, maybe she ate a couple of extra things, but trust me, she was incredibly difficult with her eating - it was a nightmare.  It sounds from everything that the original poster wrote, that this kid is difficult partly because she has been given waay too much control - she is calling all the shots and while the parents might only be trying to please their daughter, they are actually creating a nightmare.  Kids need firm boundaries, they need to be told no; they need to NOT win when it comes to having a tantrum.  This kid has been getting her way for far too long.

Yes, there are many children with delays and special needs, but there are also a lot of kids out there that haven't had adequate boundaries and discipline.  Which category this child falls into is hard to say.  But I don't think we should just assume she has 'issues' when it might just be a discipline thing.  

We are all too quick to label kids instead of forcing them to tow the line a little.  Re-read the original post - the parents have pandered to this child in all respect.  She might have issues, but they started with her parents.  I was guilty of this too, so I am by no means criticizing them, but eventually I learned that I was creating an even bigger problem by allowing my daughter to get away with her food issues because 'I didn't want to force her'.  

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13167_tn?1327197724
coolas,  with all due respect - and I mean that,  I think your position is admirable - your daughter is only in 3rd grade.  We don't know how she'll turn out as an older teenager and young adult.  We don't know what the trade off for her will be.

I keep thinking of story after story of difficult children I know who either did or didn't turn out.  A good friend had a child who had the worst sensory issues I've seen in a child with normal cognitive ability - and a very very stubborn nature to boot.  Man it was hard to be around that child.  Big and loud for his age to boot.  About half of the people said you need to MAKE that child behave.  MAKE him stop covering his ears and running out of the room,  MAKE him stop screaming that the car noise is too loud stop the car stop the car,  MAKE him eat a large variety of foods and sit quietly at the table.  MAKE HIM.  She could have,  too.  Boot camp atmospheres get compliance,  and he could have been made to comply with the strictest behavioral rules.  

She chose not to,  allowed him not to wear socks in the dead of winter,  not to sit in the car for long periods,  not to be thirsty for a time that would be reasonable to wait for something to drink,  etc.  

He's now a sophomore premed major,  wanting to go into cognitive/behavioral medicine.  He's learned strategies himself to calm himself,  he's learned how to get through life and live a full life,  he's a great guy to be around but when he's out of the loud room,  he's out of there.  

What would he be like if she had forced him to behave like the meekest child in the room?  Who knows.  Maybe he would have committed suicide.  Maybe he'd be in jail for too many DWIs.  Maybe he'd be a dropout,  living under a bridge.  Maybe he'd be exactly where he is now.  Who knows.

The point is,  forcing children to do things they clearly are very uncomfortable with - things adults don't have to do if they don't want to - isn't necessarily the answer for a whole successful life.  You don't know ahead of time what the tradeoff for the individual will be.

Even the most staunch critics of my friend are now amazed at how this child turned out.  She was right.
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973741_tn?1342346373
And I think most people that deal with lots of kids agree that  treating all children exactly the same is not effective.

Your approach worked for your children.

I have a boy that was falling apart completely.  He didn't function well at all.  My approach has him functioning as every other child now.  It is extra work on his part and mine----  but without it, he'd still be falling apart.  I am so proud of him.  

While I am the boss of my home, I am also not a dictator.  That works for me.  Every child and every family is different.  And I think what works for  you is fine.  But the Me against Them attitude can often end up with rebellious kids down the line.  Just my opinion.  And IF a child does have an issue of some sort, even minor.  Not respecting it will cause them to find other ways to cope.  In later years, these can be very destructive.  

There are a lot of stinky parents out there, agreed.  But one answer for every kid is not prudent for results.  I'm glad that all has worked out for you and your kids-----  and hope that is always the case.  

Not sure we've been much help to the poster, however.  
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973741_tn?1342346373
I just wanted to follow up and clarify----  I do think children need boundaries.  But I also think it is important to consider a child's quirks and own needs within those boundaries.  

Having a child that you 'think' has sensory or deep down you 'know' is different than a child that has been diagnosed with it and without some alterations to our life would be floundering right now.  EVERY single person has some sensory quirks----  it is only a disorder if it hinders your life and you can't cope with them (ie: my son).  But I still have expectations of my child and set boundaries.  But I have looked at the root cause of some of his actions and determined that some aren't just a kid being a kid.  In those cases, I adjusted the boundaries.  

So, I was clarifying because I do agree that a parent can set fair boundaries with a child.  But each child is different.  I think that what is going on with this little girl is a mix of things.  Parents that don't like the fight but also some issues with the little girl.  I hope that they find the answer.  And evaluations determine if there is a problem but also if there is NOT a problem.  So, I'm all for them.  My opinion.
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm not sure what you mean by trade off?  Trade off for what?  She is in the top 3 in her class, has great self-esteem, is popular, self-motivated..an 'amazing child' is how her teacher referred to her on her last report card, and having been a single parent for her entire life, I am incredibly blessed that we have a loving, easy and close relationship. I don't buy for a second that standing my ground and forcing her to expand her palate will have negative connotations in the future - I think that's ridiculous, actually.  I am, however, well aware that ANYTHING can happen with kids - she could be the most amazing child and turn into a nightmare adult. What I do know, is that it won't be because I stood my ground and forced her to TRY things.  She asks me now why I didn't just force her when she was a lot younger - she says it would have been easier then!

But that's my kid and I am not trying to turn this into a brag-fest.  Let's go back to the original post for a moment:

"she has been pampered from the child hood so much since she was a poor eater..for example if she wants to go out we will take her out, if she wants to change the dress we change the dress.."

This child has been completely indulged!  Look at her own father's words, they have run around doing whatever she wants, when she wants - don't tell me you think it is good for a baby/child to get her own way all the time?

"from the begining after stopping the mother feeding she was not willing to take the milk in the feeding bottle and hence till date my wife is feeding the milk and food with spoon..food also we have to grind the rice in the mixer and give and she just does not accept any other food ."

This is where they made the huge mistake.  When the mother stopped breast feeding and she refused the bottle they should have starved her until she submitted,   At some point she would have got hungry enough to eat or drink whatever was put in front of her.  My daughter did the same thing only different; she ONLY wanted the bottle and refused all food - so what did I do?  I put the food in the bottle so she could drink it - that's what I did wrong.  I nurtured her problem instead of doing my best to fix it at the earliest possible opportunity.  In my opinion, this is about a child's will and about new parents who just wanted to have a happy baby and who didn't know any better - much like I didn't.  But I do now!  

I keep saying this, but there is waaay too much indulging of children these days.  You can love and respect and nurture your child without being a pushover and an enabler.  Your son's friend is going to be a prisoner to his food issues.  Just imagine his life as an adult - going to business dinners; holiday meals - he will be set apart from everybody because he 'cannot' eat out of his comfort zone and therefore cannot really participate in the pleasures of a shared meal. Not to mention the long term health implications of eating no fruits or vegetables.  I really don't understand how you see that as the better option here, but you are entitled to your opinion, I just respectfully disagree in this case.  

I don't believe that we should jump to conclusions and assume this kid has sensory issues.  In my humble opinion - the child we are discussing has waged a battle of wills with her parents and so far, she is the out right champion!  Whether or not she does have sensory issues, she clearly cannot exist on milk and rice alone forever.  

Best wishes,

A-

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Avatar_f_tn
Specialmom; I don't know where you got the Me against Them attitude from..LOL!!  If only you knew, you'd know how laughable that is, since I am considered by most to be a 'push-over'!  However,  I do consider it my job as my daughter's mother to send her out into the world with the best tools and coping mechanisms that I can; so that she can live her best life and this extends to her eating habits.  As I said in another post, she has great self-esteem and is one of those kids that wakes up happy and excited for a new day; so please don't think that my forcing her to address her food issues has had a negative impact on her life, or that I am some kind of mean dictator - LOL!!  
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I have read this post for a few days and haven't responded until now and here is the reason. I think everything is being taken out of context. The original poster's English is not very good so the meaning of the words seem to be a little lost.

I would highly doubt a 3 yr old is living JUST on rice and milk. I am sure she would be so malnourished that her pediatrician, or someone, would have said something. It comes across to me as the poster is saying all food must be in a blender.

I do believe that with any strange behavior a medical/emotional reason should be ruled out first, HOWEVER, from the first few paragraphs she does sound quite spoiled. Yes, there could possibly be an aversion to certain food textures, and that should be looked into, but if you add that to the rest of the behavior, she is just used to getting things her way.

My son was a picky eater when he was 2. He said everything tasted and felt disgusting. I instituted the 2 bite rule. He had to at least try it, and then if he didn't like it, okay. He is 3 1/2 and will eat a huge variety of food, including a lot of vegetables that most children will not touch. I believe that children should be given LIMITED choices, as no two people are the same. My son gets a choice at every meal, which gives him a little power over himself.

The behavior issues of your daughter need to be addressed quickly, as she seems to be ruling the house. Most children grave boundaries, and this child doesn't seem to have any.

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973741_tn?1342346373
Victoria, I agree with you and nicely said.

Coolas---  I agree with you as well.  I think that I'm also being misunderstood that I disagree with you.  We probably agree more than we disagree.  I've got two boys that are 15 months apart and if I didn't have rules, the house would implode.  Agreed that everyone needs boundaries-----  I think we phrase what we do as moms differently is all.  And my comments were more general than directed specifically for you.  So, please do not take offense or think I'm criticizing you personally.  I was not.  

Also, I just wanted to say that my sensory kid also has a big variety of what he will eat. He tries new things all the time.  We keep sweet stuff to a minimum (started out because if I buy it---  I'll eat it . . .lol) so for my kids, fresh fruit is the snack before bed time.  So I hear what you are saying about a nutritional diet----  I do pay very close attention to that.  But as my kid loves broccali and not green beans----   we have broccali more.  I adjust.

I wonder what this family in India is going to think when they read all of this . . .  hopefully they will be able to weed through all of the advice interlaced throughout.  
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