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Hiding school lunches in wardrobe
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Hiding school lunches in wardrobe

I am so curious about my son's behaviour.  It has been going on for several years now, probably beginning when he was about 8.  He is now 13. What he does is hide his school lunches in his wardrobe, behind some picture frames.  When I talk to him, he says it will never happen again, then hides them in his sidecupboard, or in a corner of the room.  He has a bin in there, not to mention at school, which he doesn't use to conceal this food. I have tried a number of tactics to get him to stop, but it doesn't change anything.  These have included logic (the carpets will rot if you leave food on them, mouldy food will make you sick), intervention (poppa, mum and stepdad all say that it's not on), leaving the room with the instruction that it has to be gone when I come back, and telling him this is not normal behaviour, then it stops for about a week, but every time he will  revert to his old behaviour and today I found the food - several mouldy school lunches - again behind the picture frames.  Now my issue is not about the school lunches so much - which I am annoyed enough about since he tells me he has eaten them and goes so far as to say he ENJOYED them - so much as why does he hide the food, especially when a bin is available at school AND in his room?  What's going on? If he doesn't like his lunch why doesn't he chuck it?  Why does he hide it?
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13167_tn?1327197724
I don't understand how this is happening.  Since it's been going on for 5 years,  it seems like the simplest solution would be to give him his lunch as he heads out the door,  and then when he returns from school check his backpack before he's allowed to go to his room so he can't bring his lunch home and hide it.

Since he's been doing this for 5 years,  you've obviously thought of that - why isn't that working?

An aside, children who have been through periods of need where they don't have enough food or other essentials hoard food and don't eat it.  Has he had a struggle that he's traumatized from?
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi Thank you for your reply, I did respond but think I put it in the wrong area as it isn't showing.  He's a bright boy, top of his class, witty, conversant.  I did split from his dad when he was 1.  His father used to tell him way back when he was about 3 years old that his food was better than mine (things like boiled eggs and milo, would you believe?) which I have always wondered if it has had a negative psychological effect on him.  However, it also needs to be said that I studied nutrition, qualified as a home economist and have extensively worked in the catering industry so it's not as if my son isn't getting the nutrition he needs at home.  It is an effort to get breakfast into him, but we usually succeed with some small morsel.  By afternoon tea he is ravenous and devours everything in sight.  He also demolishes his dinner.  So I don't think it''s the food, I think it's the behaviour of hiding the food which is an issue.
I did ask him if it was something like a dilemma, he would feel guilty about wasting food so doesn't want to throw it away, but not hungry so can't eat it kind of dilemma perhaps?  But he said no.  
He does have an obsession with his "abs" so I wonder if body image also comes into it?  However if his friends are shouting he has no problems devouring sausage sandwiches etc.   It's definitely the hiding of the food which I'm finding odd.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi - we have the same problem and it seems to be more widespread than I thought after talking to people - the same thing, hiding food in room til its mouldy etc - food that he likes ! the same food that he eats after school - at wits end as to how to stop it - my sister did the same thing as a kid - now as an adult she has no idea why - no help I realise - maybe it's just a boy thing ?
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi - we have the same problem and it seems to be more widespread than I thought after talking to people - the same thing, hiding food in room til its mouldy etc - food that he likes ! the same food that he eats after school - at wits end as to how to stop it - my sister did the same thing as a kid - now as an adult she has no idea why - no help I realise - maybe it's just a boy thing ?
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743826_tn?1377895789
It's possible that maybe even he doesn't know. He could be doing it subconsciously. If I had to guess I would say after what has happened he knows you are going to find it at some point. I think he wants your attention. Sometimes it is hard to tell your parents how you feel so you express it in another way. He could be continually doing it because he knows it gets a reaction out of you. I think maybe you need to spend more personal time with him doing something he wants to do. Let him show you who he is and what makes him because at 13, you are growing into your own person.
Then again, it could just be his way of getting back at you if you've made him upset, something small that would bother you. Or it could just be something entirely different. It's hard to suggest anything over the internet.
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