To not like it when children always want food off other people?

(165 Posts)
CrapBag Tue 05-Feb-13 18:30:57

I admit I have a real pet hate about this. It grates on me big time.

I was brought up to think that it is rude to go asking other people for food. If my children tried it I would stop them as I think it is awful, however they don't seem to do it anyway.

I have a friend whose children always seem to be wanting food. She does feed them, and a decent diet, with treats etc but the second there is food around, there they are wanting some and she never ever tells them to stop. They will stand there right in front of you whilst you are eating and the youngest will just have her hand out. Luckily they know me and the minute the youngest tries, she stops looks and me then walks off as she knows I won't give her some of mine or my DDs lunch etc.

A little while ago I had some cake and the eldest kept on and on. I said it wasn't time for cake yet, she didn't let up. DH also said she was doing the same to him. The other children there weren't. When I did do it and gave it out, the mum then sent her DD in to ask me where hers was (cake really was for the children) I did make a comment of "thats where they get it from then"

I am known for not sharing my food, my friends do tend to make a joke of it (but I have deep rooted reasons going to back to being starved as a young child and I have never liked sharing my food) I also don't think that I should force my children to share their meals either.

So is it me or is this rude?

thebody Tue 05-Feb-13 18:33:23

No I don't share my food either. Just smile and say 'Mmm this is delicious' in the greedy toddlers face. Priceless.

DameFanny Tue 05-Feb-13 18:35:08

Why do you eat in front of people without offering then any? Sorry, but I think that's rude too, and unless it was something specific like getting food into a baby, everyone would wait, or everyone would be offered food.

NatashaBee Tue 05-Feb-13 18:36:32

YANBU - but why would you eat cake in front of them if they weren't allowed any?

Isildur Tue 05-Feb-13 18:36:51

I don't know really.

If we were at home, I couldn't imagine sitting down to eat with my children and leaving guests without food.

We were often hungry as children, and I have probably gone too far the other way. I over-cater on a grand scale, and chuck food at people if they stop moving within fifteen feet of the kitchen. grin

CrapBag Tue 05-Feb-13 18:41:10

Ok, sometimes its at toddler group if me and DD haven't had time for lunch, I take ours with us.

Sometimes at soft play or meeting out I will take out a snack for DD or sometimes me.

The cake was for the children. I wasn't eating it. They just kept pestering (only these, none of the others).

Its not a case of they are at my house and I am eating whilst everyone watches, that would be rude. smile

It is any time, any occasion, any place, food is out, these 2 are there. One of them even goes and gets someone elses bag at toddler group looking for the snacks in there!

Pancakeflipper Tue 05-Feb-13 18:43:33

If I was eating cake then my kids would want some.

I doubt they would ask another parent if the parent was eating cake.
But I have a child who is dairy-free so food begging isn't an option.

NatashaBee Tue 05-Feb-13 18:45:46

That makes more sense then - I read A little while ago I had some cake and the eldest kept on and on as you sitting and eating it.

CloudsAndTrees Tue 05-Feb-13 18:45:50

Why are you eating lunch without offering any to guests in your house?

That's a lot more rude than children wanting food when they see something they like.

Saying that though, I was emergency babysitting for an acquaintance a couple of months ago, for children I don't know especially well, bit my dc know them fairly well. I had offered them a drink, sandwiches, and a penguin. They both had the penguin, one accepted the sandwich but didn't eat it, despite being given a choice of filling. Then the child who hadn't had a sandwich helped himself to the only bag of crisps in our house without asking. He just took it, and started munching away! I was shock shock and angry because I only buy one single pack a week for ds as an after school snack, so I had to go shopping again. I didn't have enough for all of them, so I had to take them off him, so of course he wasn't happy with me either. Rude, rude, RUDE!

StepAwayFromTheEcclesCakes Tue 05-Feb-13 18:49:35

are you sure they are not going hungry, it seems odd behaviour to me to actively go rooting for food. being interested in your snacks and hopeful of some is probably normal enough but looking in bags and going on all the time about cake doesn;t seem right to me.

CrapBag Tue 05-Feb-13 18:51:19

That is rude Clouds

I wasn't eating lunch in my house!!!!

I have explained that I sometimes need to take mine and DDs lunch out sometimes it is just a snack. This is when I find other children hover about for food and parents say nothing. I don't tend to have people over because of the size of my house.

At a christmas party, there was a large table with loads of yummy food. Me and DD were sat down eating some crisps when a child I didnt' know started hovering about. I told her that these were our crisps and the mother (sat further away) was giving me daggers because I didn't give her child food. To me its rude to let your child go to other people for food like this.

CrapBag Tue 05-Feb-13 18:52:35

Step no, they definitely get fed, decent food, decent amounts, snacks etc. I have seen it. They just always want what someone else has got and parent says nothing.

DameFanny Tue 05-Feb-13 18:52:41

Oh, ok, Yanbu then. How very annoying.

CloudsAndTrees Tue 05-Feb-13 18:53:12

I cross posted with you, sorry smile

coldcupoftea Tue 05-Feb-13 18:54:05

Well if I take a snack for my kids when we are out and about with friends I would offer some to whichever children we are with.

But by the same token if a friend got out a snack for their children I would not expect my kids to ask for some (although in all likelihood it would be offered anyway).

CrapBag Tue 05-Feb-13 18:54:38

Sorry, I didn't exactly explain it properly in the OP. I assumed that people clearly knew what I was talking about grin, as usual.

Definitely not talking about sitting in my house, me and children eating with guests sat watching us. Generally when anyone is eating when out and about and random children hover about wanting some.

juneybean Tue 05-Feb-13 18:58:18

YANBU, my charges do this, but it's the way they do it that annoys me "ooo that looks nice juney <almost climbs onto plate>"

Andthentherewere5 Tue 05-Feb-13 18:59:05

YANBU! I have a friend with a lot of kids. They scan my kitchen surfaces to find any food and then ask who is it for. It might be a bag of sweets I have bought to fill up the treat barrel but they will ask who they are for. If I say "for the barrel" they ask when we will be having some and then keep on asking WHEN they will be eaten. They do get treats but not just because they see a bagM Hacks me off really!

Isildur Tue 05-Feb-13 19:00:19

Ha! I totally misunderstood your OP, sorry!

I don't think it's a common problem though, when we are out it's all I can do to make any child sit and eat.

Perhaps I have a reputation as a provider of crap snacks grin

thefarmersintheden Tue 05-Feb-13 19:01:12

I always share snacks out with whatever children are with us if my dc want one. I only carry things like breadsticks and rice cakes and we wren't on so strict a budget that we can't afford to share.

I think a blanket attitude of 'i don't share food' makes you sound possessive and selfish, but clearly that's your perrogative.

I also think it's rude for the parents to allow their dc to beg so you are all bu, imo.

fatfingers Tue 05-Feb-13 19:04:23

I agree that it is rude for children to ask for food off other people but I also think it is rude not to share snacks with children you are sitting with or who are playing with your dc. I also think it sounds a bit mean to reserve cake only for the children and leave your adult guest out.

SirBoobAlot Tue 05-Feb-13 19:06:36

It's normal child behavior. You sound selfish, tbh.

If DS is having a snack, and another child looks interested, or asks for some, I always tell the parent that they're welcome to have a piece of apple or whatever it is if it's okay with them. And if I have friends over, there are always snacks out for the kids when my guests arrive.

I can't imagine eating in front of a guest without having asked them if they would like some too. That is just odd.

CrapBag Tue 05-Feb-13 19:08:11

thefarmer see we are on a very tight budget and things could be getting tighter which is why I also don't want to provide snacks to other children.

WRT the cake, I bought it for the children. It wasn't huge, it actually didn't occur to me to think about the adults (who did get some). I don't go to peoples houses and expect food either. I eat before I go out or take my own.

thefarmersintheden Tue 05-Feb-13 19:12:40

Agree, sirboob. Reminds me of the time my friend invited me over then offered her housemate a boiled egg and they both sat there and ate them in front of me without offering me one!

Yfronts Tue 05-Feb-13 19:14:58

I do tend to share and would expect my kids to share but at the same time feel it is rude to demand food. My kids do rarely sometimes ask and I find it embarrassing.

Yfronts Tue 05-Feb-13 19:16:40

If my kids were always hungry, I'd make sure as a mother I had food with me to provide for their needs.

fatfingers Tue 05-Feb-13 19:18:13

I believe if you genuinely can't afford to share you should eat at home rather than taking food to eat in front of other people. As children we were always taught that if there wasn't enough for everyone, we didn't have it (we didn't have much money). At meal times, if we didn't have enough food to feed our friends, mum would send them home for their lunch/dinner. No one ever sat and watched us eat while they had nothing.

gallifrey Tue 05-Feb-13 19:18:50

my friends daughter always says I'm hungry the minute she comes into my house, I lived next door so I just told her to go home and ask her mum.

thefarmersintheden Tue 05-Feb-13 19:19:08

But the money side of things isnt the main issue since you describe it as 'also the reason' .

YANBU. There is a (perfectly well fed) child at DD's school who when the kids are all playing after they come out at the end of the day, actually goes up to parents, whether he know them or not, and says "have you got any food?". It really grates on me, he is 6, old enough to know better, or be taught better by his parents <hoiks judgey pants>.

sudaname Tue 05-Feb-13 19:22:55

Yes this annoys me too. My two untrained DSGCs do this. The 5yr old especially, he hardly gets in the front door and is asking for cheesestrings (that DH buys in for their visits) - it is literally the first thing he says as he is walking in. I dont begrudge them these things - they are bought for them after all - its just the demanding way he asks for them before saying hello even. Makes the hairs on my neck stand up l tell you and his parents do nothing to check him.
I've started saying - 'Oh hi there, DSGS and how are you ? - Oh l'm fine thanks, how are you? !! - just to draw attention to the fact he hasnt acknowledged us before asking for the food.

I'v taken to deliberately leaving chocolate biscuits or similiar around the time they are due to arrive - out on the kitchen worktop and he makes a beeline for them and then l say 'No,you cant, theyre not for you'

Isildur Tue 05-Feb-13 19:30:30

Sudaname shock it's horrid to pull that passive-aggressive crap with a small child.

I cannot stand people being mean with food <issues>

myfirstkitchen Tue 05-Feb-13 19:34:58

Sudaname - that's horrible. Do you really do that and enjoy it? Odd.

blindworm Tue 05-Feb-13 19:35:04

That's horrible, Sudaname. Making sure he says hello and is polite is fine, but leaving food out just to catch him out is just mean.

OTTMummA Tue 05-Feb-13 19:35:09

Please stop doing that Sudaname. What do you get out of that? That's cruel and not a normal way to treat a grandchild.

thefarmersintheden Tue 05-Feb-13 19:36:00

Just remembered the horrid girl in our nct group who had her baby on a regimented snack routine.

If i was at her house she'd pull out a bag of baby rice cakes to give to her ds then say "make sure X doesn't see".

X being my 14mo dd who was capable of eating no more than two of those mini rice cakes anway.

I HATE that kind of meanness. I would never pull out a cheap, easily sharable snack then hiss at my child not to share it.

WickWackThurso Tue 05-Feb-13 19:39:00

If i take food out and about, i generally take enough and offer to share. I shop in aldi and take things like raisins or breadsticks so nothing fancy or expensive. Children will akways,want a bit of what they see tgeir friends having and i find it easier to treat all children in a group the same. Luckily, it seems to be the norm among our friendsso causes no issues at all. We encourage our dc to share what tgey have too.

If i invite someone to my house, i would always expect to offer them a hot drink and at tge v least a biscuit.

Overall, yabu - you sound a bit hard and fast in your not sharing, and if it stems from deeper issues, and has become a running "joke" among your friends, then maybe you need/want to address these?

selsigfach Tue 05-Feb-13 19:39:06

I don't tolerate begging from my dog when there's food about, no way would I put up with that from someone's rude child!

thefarmersintheden Tue 05-Feb-13 19:44:22

I think i would think it a bit strange if an adult sat in toddler group eating their lunch, btw. Do other people do it? I've never seen anyone do that.

Yika Tue 05-Feb-13 19:54:35

I think it is rude and unfair to eat in front of children who are not eating. You can't expect young children not to ask for some of what other people are having. So, as others have said, I'd either remove me and my child from the group to eat our lunch or snack, or I'd have something to share. on the other hand, I think it's pretty rude of the other parents to let their chdren go asking for food, let alone rummaging in someone's bag, without picking them up on it!

CarlingBlackMabel Tue 05-Feb-13 20:07:13

I used to get irritated by other people's pestering kids, too. My kids were never that bothered by food and never hankered for treats they knew we had in the house. Other people's kids would come in, see something on the side, or juice in the fridge, and whine and pester incessantly for it.

But small children just DO. Remind yourself that they are not meaning to take something of YOURS, just tempted by the treat in front of them. And they will learn manners in time.

sudaname Tue 05-Feb-13 20:17:46

Not my GC. Oh no - not a chance my DGC would behave like that - he has been introduced to that nasty word 'No' the odd time or two in his life. Guess what! it never killed him.
As far as l'm concerned l am teaching my DSGC something his parents are failing to - and that is not everything you like the look of is yours and sometimes it is even somebody elses.
He is already of the mindset that he likes to come to our house because he gets his favourite snack when really he should want to visit to see his grandad (my DH).
I cant believe people think that a child of five should never see chocolate or treats anywhere lying around and that they should all be hidden from view in case shock/horror they are not automatically for them.
I think that's just 'feeding' (no pun intended) an unhealthy sense of entitlement.

Floggingmolly Tue 05-Feb-13 20:20:13

The Christmas party situation sounds a bit strange, op. You were eating crisps and the other mum gave you daggers because you weren't sharing with her child? Were you hogging all the crisps then?

TattyDevine Tue 05-Feb-13 20:22:36

There are people with some really sinister sounding food issues on this thread. It makes me a bit sort of sad.

Cat98 Tue 05-Feb-13 20:24:46

Yab a bit u I think, op. it's a bit mean to eat in front of kids when you're not willing to share. I tell ds not to ask but he always does, and my friends are happy to share - the same goes with me; my friends dcs always want to share any food I bring to a meet, and I would never bring anything I wasn't willing to share.

thefarmersintheden Tue 05-Feb-13 20:26:13

" At a christmas party, there was a large table with loads of yummy food. Me and DD were sat down eating some crisps when a child I didnt' know started hovering about. I told her that these were our crisps and the mother (sat further away) was giving me daggers because I didn't give her child food."

Maybe she didnt want the crisps? Maybe she was just hovering about but not after your food? Maybe she needed help to get some food?

Maybe the mum was giving you daggers for telling your child that the crisps were yours like spme kind of territorial animal when the chile hadnt even asked for any but was just hovering nearby.

If a child hovered near me at a party i would ask them if they were ok/needed help not tell them that my crisps were mine. How aggressive.

Binkybix Tue 05-Feb-13 20:35:57

Are you Joey from friends? He doesn't share food either I hear.

Sounds like you are a bit full on in the not-sharing stakes, but if it was all the time, I can see it would get a bit annoying.

I think it is rude of parents to allow their children to ask for your food.

But I do think yabu to rock up at toddler group and whip out your packed lunch and then moan about kids watching your food. If I hadn't had time for lunch before toddler group then it was a case of unlucky this week, we haven't got the time to get ready and go on time so we have to miss it the group.

notnowbernard Tue 05-Feb-13 20:42:03

OP - you'd hate my dc, then

They've all been scavs of the highest order

Luckily out of the habit now they're school age

Seeing other dc like it makes me chuckle

notnowbernard Tue 05-Feb-13 20:44:27

What about at picnics and stuff?

I always see it as a free-for-all...

You know, all chuck the food in for everyone to help themselves to?

shutthebloodydoor Tue 05-Feb-13 20:45:43

hear hear sudaname! Completly agree!

What astounds me is that more and more when somebody posts people systematically 'read through the lines' make stuff up, dont read the OP correctly and go off on there own tangant which its not even about! Just read the friggin post then the posts after it, OP i would stop repeating urself as they are clearly winding u up

My friends dd does it (2 1/2) to the whole of the family and they ALL have to let her have her fill of there tea other wise she will go in to melt down. friend thinks its funny??!!
I wont have my lunch at hers any more as DD literatly hangs round my neck fingering my food, then goes and plays with the dog then tries to come back to my plate - friend just sits the oblivious chatting away!

tallulah Tue 05-Feb-13 20:46:54

^ As children we were always taught that if there wasn't enough for everyone, we didn't have it . At meal times, if we didn't have enough food to feed our friends, mum would send them home for their lunch/dinner. No one ever sat and watched us eat while they had nothing.^


HollyBerryBush Tue 05-Feb-13 20:49:04

Food sharing is a social norm indicating acceptance.

You offer someone a crisp, they accept - they acknowledge you socially

You ask for a crisp - you are asking to be accepted.

Thats what children are doing - asking for acceptance.

Wherer you allow it out of immediate family circles is entirely another thing.

SocialClimber Tue 05-Feb-13 20:55:22

My kids could have all the juice and crisps and sweets and nice food in the house, yet the minute we go to Grandma's, I can see that they're itching to ask for a drink, or something.

Why is that? Are they spoiled, or is it a novelty thing? I don't get it but it annoys me, they act like they've never had a drink before. confused

shutthebloodydoor Tue 05-Feb-13 20:56:51

holly lol i think its more a case of

I want what you have got.

Give me what you have got

mmmm I'm now enjoying what you had.

OTTMummA Tue 05-Feb-13 20:57:39

Sudaname, it is no way to treat any child! If it is such an issue why not give him the cheese string after you've had a chat about his day etc? It's abnormal and strange for an adult to engineer a situation where by they can tell a child off. Why the he'll do you even care, he's not your gc anyway according to you, if your DH is ok with the way he is just leave him alone. You are frankly weird.

myfirstkitchen Tue 05-Feb-13 21:01:15

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

thefarmersintheden Tue 05-Feb-13 21:04:34

Shutthebloodydoor - youre astounded by people going offon tangents and reading double meaninfs into stuff? You havent spend much time on AIBU then? grin

I have to admit i've been rather invested (and prone to tangents) on this thread as my broadband is so slow tonight i can only really manage to contribute to one thread!

OTTMummA Tue 05-Feb-13 21:06:06

Op, yanbu, I was starved as a child and have issues with being Watched whilst eating etc these issues are deeply ingrained. I would just say that you only have enough for yourselves. Is there anywhere you can go that separates you slightly whilst eating?

Wishihadabs Tue 05-Feb-13 21:12:48

I think there is a massive difference between something like cake (which is for sharing ) and the food on your plate. I am always happy to share snacks, cake, fruit etc, but SMIL used to ask me to give half my dinner to her 18mo that really pissed me off.

Cailinsalach Tue 05-Feb-13 21:23:18

Well all I will add to this thread is that my DB still has scars from the fork I used to stab him with when he tried to nick food off my plate. He is nearly 60 and now knows better than to approach me whilst feeding.
(Snarls at trough)

CoffeeandDunkingBiscuits Tue 05-Feb-13 21:34:16

So you go out to the park with a friend and take snacks for your dc, and sometimes you, and then these snacks are eaten in front of friends dc but you don't share them? That sounds a little odd.

If we take snacks when out and about and friends children are there, then they are always offered to share.equally, I would not eat in front of a friend, even at a park, unless I could share it.

MrsOakenshield Tue 05-Feb-13 21:38:30

gosh, it would never occur to me to take enough snacks for everyone at a playgroup, I just take a small pot for DD - isn't that what everyone does? Help yourself things like picnics are different, of course, but I wouldn't really like it if children begged for food off my plate or out of my pot of snacks. And who carts a whole tub of breadsticks around?

MrsOakenshield Tue 05-Feb-13 21:40:07

if I was in a park and a friend got snacks out for their DC, I would get my snacks out for DD. I would not presume that they are going to provide my child with snacks - why would I? We might swap things.

andubelievedthat Tue 05-Feb-13 21:40:16

its how they have been (not)brought up , they are rude but do not know they are rude.

MrsOakenshield Tue 05-Feb-13 21:40:57

I mean, swapping things would be fine but I wouldn't expect someone else to provide for us. Not that swapping would be a bad thing.

werewolvesdidit Tue 05-Feb-13 21:45:22

Sudaname - you are a bully.

Sudaname, surely you and the child both old enough to have the following conversation with the child

'I will give you a snack but first I'd like you to say hello, then ask for it saying please and thank you'

Repeat each time until he gets it, praise and smile when he does.

TwoKidsAndCounting Tue 05-Feb-13 21:51:06

Sudaname, you sound like a very odd, passive aggressive with some serious issues, these are children you are talking about, weirdo! If I was their parents and knew you felt like this, I wouldn't step through your front door!

shutthebloodydoor Tue 05-Feb-13 21:56:11

trucks 'I will give you a snack but first I'd like you to say hello, then ask for it saying please and thank you'

Repeat each time until he gets it, praise and smile when he does. ---that weird!

coffee So you go out to the park with a friend and take snacks for your dc, and sometimes you, and then these snacks are eaten in front of friends dc but you don't share them? That sounds a little odd. when did OP say she EVER did that! making shite up again!

mrs oakin ur right on all accounts!

SirBoobAlot Tue 05-Feb-13 21:58:54

Sudaname, that's really cruel. And totally passive aggressive. And to call your grandchildren 'untrained' is foul.

You should be glad they feel comfortable enough to be themselves in your house. You are training them to feel they have to be someone else to please you.


mathsconundrum Tue 05-Feb-13 22:12:22

I love to feed kids who are round to play. I do get very irritated by begging children tho. I don't like how pushy and cheeky they sound. It also irritates me that theyre often not even that fussed. They beg and beg, take a bite and then leave it.

catladycourtney1 Tue 05-Feb-13 22:21:12

YANBU, I cannot stand kids begging for food. I don't have this problem with my own kids yet but I remember when I lived at home and my little brother's friends would come round and be constantly staring at any food we had out, or sending db downstairs to ask for food... Or even asking for it themselves! It makes me absolutely cringe. When I was little, my parents would never have fed all my friends too - if I had one friend round playing in the house with me, they might have offered them lunch or snacks, but not if I was playing outside and there was a group of us.

Also, I don't see what's wrong with having your own lunch while your child has a friend over. I can see why you wouldn't sit your child down for a meal and expect their friend to watch and wait, but if you're not eating together then you should be able to enjoy a bloody sandwich and a packet of crisps without somebody else's kid begging like a dog for a bite. It used to wind me up with my brother's friends if they came downstairs and I was eating something - they never spoke to me, but they'd stare like they'd never seen someone eat before.

I think it's rude and parents should do more to discourage their children from it. Not just because it's bloody annoying, but because it makes it look like they're being starved at home! It might be bad manners not to offer food to guests, but I think it's a lot worse to pester the host for food off their plate.

Dromedary Tue 05-Feb-13 22:38:05

I don't think the OP is being unreasonable - this kind of behaviour is not uncommon and is very annoying. But I would certainly aim to loosen up a bit - coming across as miserly over little bits of food is unlikely to make you popular, and unfortunately others won't consider that there may be some reason for this in your background or financial circumstances, they'll just think you're mean.
I was annoyed recently when we met up with another family for a play in the park etc. One child was left alone with us for 10 minutes, during which time I distributed to my 2 children and myself the only 3 chocolate biscuits we had (emergency supplies) as it was 3pm and we hadn't had time to have any lunch and were ravenous. I explained this to him. He then declared that he hadn't had any lunch either and so should have my biscuit. When mum returned it turned out, of course, that he'd had a big lunch...

quoteunquote Wed 06-Feb-13 00:32:02

There is some very sad odd behaviour regarding food on this thread,

very odd indeed hmm

nailak Wed 06-Feb-13 00:48:27

i would share, if I had one banana and there were 3 kids, i would break the banana in 3.

in the toddler group i would go outside and feed my dc then go back in.

amazingmumof6 Wed 06-Feb-13 02:29:22

the answer to your question is that


My dd2 does this and it drives me mad blush

She has some issues with food and although she has a decent diet, plenty of snacks, healthy and not so healthy and eats big dinner she still hovers for food. It's embarrassing

She's checked on it and I do say to her it's extremely rude to hover/ beg/ ask for food from others she still does it.

It's very annoying I agree.

My others don't do it but she's got manners like my ex unfortunately and his side of the family, it's ingrained in her and I'm trying very hard to improve them

ihearsounds Wed 06-Feb-13 02:56:25

It drives me insane. One of my dc's friends is really bad for this. As soon as he walks in the door he starts with I'm hungry. It is non stop. I might be cooking dinner when he's here and he doesnt stop with that looks nice, I've never tried that, what does it taste like.. Doesnt matter if its raw meat/fish or any veg.

There's often chocolate and stuff around the place. Its not always locked up in a cupboard. The boy will start with the whole that looks nice etc, before he asks if can have some. Sometimes I say no, he will constantly ask why. If I say its someone elses, he will ask if I can call them and ask if he can eat it. I am not giving him stuff for the sake of it. I dont see why I should keep stuff hidden on the off chance tht he might pop in.

When we did playgroups, I would sometimes take a snack. There is no way was I feedibg the whole group either. I took snacks or something on the days lo wasnt eating a lot. If the dc's wanted to share up to them. But ultimatly I am not responsilbe for other peoples childrens snacks. Taking snacks to a playgroup or even a park is no way in the same league as a picnic. That is where you all provide stuff. A play date at a park etc, your kids your snack issue.

amazingmumof6 Wed 06-Feb-13 02:56:58

not read 4 pages - but here's my view about food outside of home (o grandma's) or when it is not given to them

My children generally wait to be asked if they want anything, but they are allowed to ask if they want something like an apple or a drink.

if someone has their own meal it is not to be shared, they can't ask for it, I consider it very rude. and I tell them that if that person doesn't share there could be many reasons (diet, allergies, pregnant cravings, too spicy, alcoholic component etc) and it might be embarrassing for that person that they have to say no, as they don't want to look mean.

if they ever ask a person to share their meal with them, either they have to offer something in return or must accept it if they are being told no.

if offered - no problem, they can have some.

I don't mind if they share between themselves and I'm up for swaps if both are happy to swap.

what the op describes I'd call begging. it's bad enough when dogs do it, I can not understand the parents letting/encouraging that type of behaviour.
it is embarrassing. it's wrong.
where I grew up we had gypsies coming and knocking on the door for food often, it was actually quite scary.

and I don't allow them to hide food either.

if I'm on a diet I NEVER share my food, but otherwise I don't mind it so much - only to the extent of a few crisps or chips or a bite/piece.

within the closer or wider family it is never an issue, and we all accept if people ask not to touch some food that they brought especially for themselves (for reasons above)

and I yet to discover if it's ever been an issue elsewhere! (I hope not!)

I expect to share with other people we are with, especially children. If I don't want to share for some reason I would go outside or something. I can't imagine being on such a tight budget (and man have I been on one) where I couldn't find something to offer others. If I couldn't afford to share what I am eating then I wouldn't eat it around them. If I had a really good reason, e.g. a piece of gluten free cake when other cake was being served I would explain that to the child and parent, but it would take a lot for me not to share that.

I have zero problems however telling a child over the age of about 18 months that the food is not ready yet. If a child kept asking I would ask the parent to help deal with it.

In the specific case of a toddler group and not having had lunch yet I would sit in the car and eat it before going in.

amazingmumof6 Wed 06-Feb-13 03:43:24

and I don't think it is rude to eat in front of anyone if they are no eating!

my FIL takes my 2 eldest to music lessons and he comes a little bit earlier than needed coz that is the time he usually has a cup of tea at home. sometimes he has just that or I offer him some biscuits or a cake.

sometime I offer some to the kids, coz they might have a later dinner sometimes I don't - and if they ask I probably tell them no, they can have some after dinner.
they might lurk about, but usually that is the end of it.
I don't remember them ever saying " but why is grandad allowed some?" if they did, I'd say," because grandad is old and sugar is a preservative and he needs all he can get his hands on" (btw I said this to FIL before, he agreed! grin)

I think kids need to understand that just because someone has something it doesn't mean that they should or can.
let it be food or a puppy or the newest gadget.
they are allowed to express their wishes, and sometimes they get lucky, but begging and nagging does not impress me.

they never ask for treat after treat in the supermarket either, unless I say they can choose one.

I don't mind them saying that they would like me to buy something that's not on the list, and mainly they get it, coz it is what we will eat, but if I say no, they don't whine about it.

btw - taunting kids by leaving out cookies deliberately, but not letting them have it doesn't sound nice in normal circumstances, but I think that poster's DSGC need to learn a lesson that as she said "they don't have automatic ownership".

that part I agree with. time and time again I leave things unhidden (coz I'm about to wrap it, or put it away or whatever), not to lure then chastise, but coz it's just there.
my kids zone in on it, of course and will ask if they can have it, so it's either a "yes" or a "no, because...",they can't have it automatically just because it's there!

so if poster is trying to teach that, that's ok, as long as she is not doing it to be nasty or vindictive.
I would actually spin this lesson and say " yes, it's for you and I prepared it because I know that you are coming, but we will have it a bit later! it looks so yummy - oh I can't wait for us to gobble it down!"
that would teach those kids to be grateful, patient, polite and most of all loved.

sleepywombat Wed 06-Feb-13 03:47:34

My ds1, 2.9, does this. He's always been a big eater & food obsessed. Any time we're at somebody's house & they have food he goes & stands right next to them like a begging puppy. I hate it, its embarrasing, but I don't know how to stop it!

I hate taking him to restaurants/weddings because he eats his own food & then wants everybody else's. I asked about it once on mn, about a year ago & everybody told me not to worry, that it was just a toddler obsession that he'd grow out of.

Others tell me I'm lucky because I have a toddler who eats (he is not in the slightest bit fussy & will try anything).

MrsMushroom Wed 06-Feb-13 03:52:43

Dromedary see that's just weird of you. You've got three chocolate biscuits but there are 4 of you....not many adults would expect to eat one and leave a child out because you've not had lunch! I would NEVER have done that!

amazingmumof6 Wed 06-Feb-13 04:04:18

dromedary if you only had this child for 10 mins - could you not have waited till he leaves?

as I said I don't mind one person eating while the others don't, or other way round, if people are on the same wavelength about why this is happening.
I've done this many times when pregnant and also ate nothing while they did. or if someone is sick, or late - I'm pretty easy about these things.

but to make him feel left out is mean, you could have shared the biscuits somehow or not do it in front of him.

CornishMade Wed 06-Feb-13 04:17:05

YANBU, I know what you mean about the occasional begging, grabby kid. Not all kids of course. But in our group of mum friends there are eight of us, with more than eight kids now, but one of the dds is a terror for food begging - and grabbing, too. She is a well fed, normal child, healthy weight, and her mum is very embarrassed over it and has been trying to talk / discipline her dd since toddler age to stop. She will just zone in on anyone with food when we all meet for a play, and just reach her hand in to other kids' snacks and take without asking. Even opening pots and packets that are closed but in view, at the top of a bag, for example! In the group we do a mixture of sharing/personal snacks, so we do share some things. But she just hasn't learnt the boundaries in over two years, and it's cheeky and rude. The other kids don't do it at all. I really hope she learns soon.

AmberSocks Wed 06-Feb-13 05:46:48

it doesnt bother me,its only food. {hmm}

I dont think my kids would do it unless it was someone they knew well,theyre always eating off our plates though and i dont mind, especially as i think ts good for them to try new things

I dont think they would stand their with their hands held out though they would probably go oooooooh can i try some ?.

CheerfulYank Wed 06-Feb-13 06:07:40

YANBU. One of my friends has two DDs and the oldest is terrible for going through my cupboards and taking what she likes.

Also they are grazers so when they're over I'll give them lunch and they will eat a few bites, then want a snack an hour later. They will try a bite of, say, a cereal bar, say they don't like it, throw it in the bin. Then want something else. And on and onnnnn.

Chandon Wed 06-Feb-13 07:51:14

It is annoying when kids do this, BUT, if all your friends joke about your inability to share food, you are probably a bit ungenerous too.

I often bring enough to share, even if it is just Lidl bourbon biscuits at 17 p.

It is wrong for the kids to hover and ask, but it is mean for an adult not to share. And you are the adult after all.


to not share is horrible.

best not to get into these situations in the first place. eat lunch first. bring enough snacks or bring healthy ones. the other kids won't be so keen then grin

that said i also can't stand children begging like you describe. there is a child at my kids' school who wants in on the snacks i bring for my kids. she looks for me in the playground so she can blag a biscuit! very annoying, after a year of it.

Wishihadabs Wed 06-Feb-13 08:26:16

Interestingly (for me anyway) there is some research about a genetic propensity to over eat (the fto gene if anyone is interested) I think one of Ds' s mates has this. He is as you can imagine quite chunky and will ask for food almost constantly (from his own parents too).However he is a nice and well brought up child and completely accepts it when I say no. Just mention this as my dcs don't do this.

valiumredhead Wed 06-Feb-13 08:28:08

I'v taken to deliberately leaving chocolate biscuits or similiar around the time they are due to arrive - out on the kitchen worktop and he makes a beeline for them and then l say 'No,you cant, theyre not for you'

Your behaviour is FAR worse than a child asking for food. You should take a long hard look at yourself and ask yourself why on earth you feel the need to belittle a child for behaving in a perfectly normal manner. Says more about you than it does about the child!

Icelollycraving Wed 06-Feb-13 08:45:11

The attitudes towards food on this thread are very strange.
I cannot understand how horrific it must have been for those of you who were starved as children sad
Sudaname,your attitude towards your stepgc is horrible. They aren't dogs to be trained angry

Crawling Wed 06-Feb-13 08:49:39

I cannot believe everyone thinks this is ok its a parent and toddler group which means these children are under 3 fair enough saying its rude of a older child but a under 3 being rude by wanting some of the nice food shock I think its very rude to go to a mum and baby group eat in front of young children and get pissed that they want some.

Cherriesarelovely Wed 06-Feb-13 09:05:12

I know what you mean. We had some friends whose kids would come round to play and start going through the cupboards and the fridge and grabbing things off the counter saying "can I have this? what else can I have?" for much of their visit. I knew the family extremely well so can confirm that they ate well at home. I find it really rude, particularly in older kids.

Cherriesarelovely Wed 06-Feb-13 09:06:07

Agree that it is different with a toddler though.

spiderlight Wed 06-Feb-13 09:19:14

We walk to and from school with a little girl (aged 6, so not a toddler) who will actually sneak round behind me and open my bag to look for sweets if I'm distracted in the playground, takes DS's lunchbox off him and goes through it scavenging his leftovers on the way home and whose first words this mornigg when I opened the front door to her and her dad were 'Can I have something?' It really, really bugs me, as my own DS would never do that in a million years and I would be horrified if he did and would make damn sure he never did it again.

bedmonster Wed 06-Feb-13 09:38:02

Op you sound like you're actually tight. You told the little dc at a party where there was a table full of food that the crisps you had were only yours? Very mean. What was stopping you from offering a few crisps and helping yourself to more if you wanted them? And who eats their lunch at a toddler group? Honestly if you're not willing to share eat before or after.
Do you squeak when you walk?
And sudaname, what you have described and crossed through in a jokey way sounds a bit disturbed.
You are both odd.

Another heads up on the genetic issue. Personally as a child I was ALWAYS hungry, even after a normal meal. In adulthood I still sometimes find that I cannot block the presence of food out of my mind, but of course I did eventually learn ways to cope and with better mental control as I got older my appetite settled a bit too.

One of my neices is clearly showing the same patterns as me, and is hyper-alert to the presence of food. At 5yo she's getting better at accepting a 'no' but still tends to ask. My 2yo likes to have whatever's going too and it's a slow, careful process of getting her to learn what she can and can't have. I certainly NEVER leave food they can't have on show on purpose and try to avoid them seeing chocolate etc as much as possible, because frankly I see it as cruel to tease them at that age.

I really envy people who don't experience this strong sense of 'need' as a reaction to the simple presence of food, but I tend to find they can be very unaware of their good fortune on that front!

CrapBag Wed 06-Feb-13 10:10:54

Thank you for your replies. Going to try and answer some of the things I have read (that I remember).

Lots of people eat at the toddler group, it is at dinner time and most people take their dinner, it is not a case of only me and my DD sat eating and no one else is. Also the group provide snack and plenty of it so there should be no need for me to give mine and DDs dinner to other children. I don't really want to sit and eat in the car. By the time DD actually finished it would be pointless to go in and I don't see why we should do that tbh.

I don't tend to have people to my house so this food sharing thing isn't me being stingy at home at all. It is out and about.

The child at the christmas party, I had never seen before, her or the mum. I am not feeding some random child, there was plenty of other food to choose from. I would not expect another mum to give my child food, particularly when there was a huge table full of stuff. I also wouldn't know about any potential allergies etc.

Yes my friends make a joke of it, but as it is usually about my own meals, no I do not feel obliged to give up part of my actual meal because another child wants some. Its not a case of them wanting to try something new (something I try and encourage my DCs to do as often as I can), it is a case of 'there is food out and I want it'.

I accept that I have food issues. Like a poster further up, I was starved and made to sit and watch whilst others around me ate meals and I may have had a piece of dry bread and water. I had to sneak out at night to the kitchen to steal food because I was so hungry and when crumbs were found in my 'bed' (scabby matress thrown on floor) I paid for that big time! I was 2 years old. I do believe that my reluctance to share my food with every child that wants some does stem from this. It is my problem but I will not change because some other parents think I should give their grabby child food.

I accept that some of you think I am stingy and U, but I still maintain that it is rude not to teach your children to go begging food off other people. Whether people offer it freely of not, I still believe that you shouldn't let your child go to other people. Like someone said, it makes it look like they aren't fed at home (when I know they are). I would be very embarrassed at my children doing this. smile

valiumredhead Wed 06-Feb-13 10:13:09

Maybe the 'grabby' child has issues at home too, you never know.

Floggingmolly Wed 06-Feb-13 10:24:57

dromedary shock. Do you seriously see nothing wrong with munching the biscuit yourself and leaving another child looking on?? I'd be ashamed if my children did that.
As for the op commandeering all the available crisps at a Christmas party, and announcing to any child who happened to pass by that they were her crisps and said child couldn't have any...
You were lucky the other child's mum only "gave you daggers",
If I'd have been the other child's mum I would have removed the bowl from your grasping fingers and shoved it up your arse.

Crawling Wed 06-Feb-13 10:28:39

Ffs they are toddlers op you sound greedy and mean you have food issues because as a child you were forced to watch others eat without you you know how this made you feel yet you inflict the same thing on other children.

Floggingmolly Wed 06-Feb-13 10:33:24

If the group provide snack and plenty of it, so there should be no need for me to give me and dd's dinner to other children, then surely by the same token there should be no need for you and dd to need your dinner either? confused
How come nobody else needs to have their dinner in the middle of a playgroup,
or am I missing something?

OxfordBags Wed 06-Feb-13 10:35:29

I can't get past eating cake but then telling children that it's not time for cake! If it's not time for cake, then WTF are YOU eating it?! So hypocritical! That sort of illogicality and unfairness is a surefire recipe for creating resentful kids who crave treats even more because it's giving them a sort of 'getting their own back' caché.

I hate sharing food, but I do it, because it's important to model good behaviour, not just demand it of children. I bet all the posters who bang on about not sharing with kids expect their children to be good sharers in other areas. Hypocrites.

Sudaname, setting a child up to fail and taunting them is far, far worse than them wanting a snack soon after arrival! You really need to find a better way of getting rid of that very obvious chip on your shoulder about being a step-parent and grandparent than being cruel and passive-aggressive with small children which you delude yourself is 'training' them. It's not your place to train them. Moreover, the only thing you will be training them in is nasty behaviour and feeling bad about themselves without understanding why. Bravo. Nothing like putting the 'wicked' into stepgrandmother!

Saltire Wed 06-Feb-13 10:40:42

When teh Dses were younger many of us often took lunch tot eh aprk or a snakc. We never shared it we jsut ate our own. Same at aprties, if a child has a plate of food, and there is plenty more food on the table, then why should child A have to give food from thier plate to child B, why can't child B have their own plate?

Saltire Wed 06-Feb-13 10:42:34

How come nobody else needs to have their dinner in the middle of a playgroup,
or am I missing something?

The OP did state that lots of other people take their dinner to playgroup too

My DS1 was getting a bit food crazy but after lots of perseverance "No" is starting to mean "No".
I think it's hard for children, toddlers particularly to understand that what someone else has isn't necessarily theirs but the begging is irritating and a bad habit that needs nipping in the bud I reckon.
We always try to eat our meals together and offer snacks/give them if asked for within reason which helps with the puppy dog eyes at other times when DH or I may have to eat lunch late etc.
YANBU it's really irritating but I think should be dealt with gently as not to create issues around food/hunger & general behaviour.

"YANBU it's really irritating but I think should be dealt with gently as not to create issues around food/hunger & general behaviour."

I think this is the important point - whether you're a happy food-sharer or not, having had a relative take something a lot like Sudamame's approach it's really important not to create a sense of shame around wanting food. And if said relative acts in that way to my kids there will be words. (I'd also suggest to her husband, who similarly is my actualy blood relative, NOT having the favourite snack in the house, which is generally how I deal with such things!)

Hobbitation Wed 06-Feb-13 11:23:27

As TODDLERS (FFS) if someone else got food out that they fancied at a toddler group DDs would have probably toddled over & investigated if it looked interesting, just as they might have picked up someone else's drink. Of course I would have immediately told them not to and that would be that pretty much.

They've always just loved their food & been largely good eaters. At parties they will actually eat sandwiches and fruit/veg if available as well as crisps & cake. And they help themselves to it, it's not me putting it on their plate, I don't mind what they eat at a party. They are both in the middle to lower end of the BMI range so I'm not concerned.

Dromedary Wed 06-Feb-13 11:30:09

I'm amazed that I've been criticised by several of you for daring to want myself and my children to eat one biscuit each (all we had with us as emergency supplies) when we had had nothing to eat since breakfast, it was mid-afternoon and we were very hungry, having missed lunch to travel to meet up with some friends for a full afternoon playing outside. The boy in question, who lied that he had not had lunch when he had had a large lunch shortly beforehand, in order to ensure that he rather than I was given the third biscuit, was 9 years old. So we should have had nothing to eat until the playdate finished at 6 then (9 hours since breakfast) because to eat in front of the other mum's children without offering them anything was rude? How was the 9 year old boy not out of order here??!!

Floggingmolly Wed 06-Feb-13 11:35:53

You missed lunch in order to travel to a playdate scheduled to go on until 6 o'clock (why?) and brought 3 biscuits to ensure you didn't actually collapse from lack of food during a "full afternoon playing outside"?
It's sounder adder and madder, Dromedary

Floggingmolly Wed 06-Feb-13 11:36:47

Or madder and madder, even

thefarmersintheden Wed 06-Feb-13 11:41:27

Eek, imagine the blood sugar level crash after fasting for til mid-afternoon and then having a single chocolate biscuit.

I'd be in bits after that, poor kids. Are you usually that disorganised when it comes to feeding your DC dromedary?

Hobbitation Wed 06-Feb-13 11:43:30

Why would you allow small children to miss their lunch? You always plan for them to be well fed, changed & not overtired, surely, whatever else you do.

MrsMushroom Wed 06-Feb-13 12:00:00

Dromedary why wouldn't you pack some lunch for such a journey?

myfirstkitchen Wed 06-Feb-13 12:10:48

This thread gets weirder and weirder.

shutthebloodydoor Wed 06-Feb-13 12:29:23

Oooh and here comes the ^ I can't believe ur sooooo unorganised - u bad mother ^ crew! Stop pretending ur so feckin perfect! And if it is perfect u clearly have too much time on ur hands!!

valiumredhead Wed 06-Feb-13 12:33:48

Making sure a child has lunch isn't being 'perfect' - it's pretty bloody basic!

Hobbitation Wed 06-Feb-13 12:36:47

Everyone is disorganised from time to time, especially if things happen off the cuff or plans change. But it sounded like the poster planned for the kids not to have lunch & then survive on a biscuit later. Then complained when someone else wanted a biscuit, thinking they were up for grabs and not someone's lunch hmm

shutthebloodydoor Wed 06-Feb-13 12:48:49

vallium well wouldn't she have had to make lunch for the whole park? As that what majority of people are saying? Just incase some one on the swings felt left out maybe? Or maybe take herself of and eat in car in secret??
hob ur 'opinions'are goady.

Hobbitation Wed 06-Feb-13 12:50:00

Oh rite hmm

catladycourtney1 Wed 06-Feb-13 13:06:37

I really don't understand this taking-enough-food-for-anyone-you-might-bump-into-and-their-kids-business. Do people really do that? I mean, if you've planned an outing with another parent and their children, then fair enough, but surely you'd either both take enough to share or both just take enough for yourselves? But if you take your children to the park and get your sandwiches out having only packed enough for yourselves, and someone else's kid starts hovering around you, I don't think you should feel obliged to share with them. And with playgroups and stuff, if most parents take snacks, or snacks are provided, then you shouldn't have to share. Children can swap snacks amongst themselves, that's different, but you shouldn't be expected to provide for the whole group.

I hope nobody thinks I'm terribly rude, I spend a lot of days rushing from one job to another and sometimes I have to shove something in my mouth when I get the chance, regardless of who might be watching. I wouldn't offer to share unless I was eating something share-y, like sweets or something.

wanderingcloud Wed 06-Feb-13 13:14:20

Seriously weird ideas here! As an adult dromedary surely you can go from 9am til 6pm without food? 9yrs old or not, I'd give up my biscuit for the kid. I'd think anyone who wouldn't is very strange. [Confused]

Hobbitation Wed 06-Feb-13 13:16:02

I think it's a bit different having a packed lunch in the park or even taking that to a play date at someone's house if it couldn't be avoided. Of course noone would expect you to share it, especially with strangers (!) But the poster's situation sounds totally different.

MrsMushroom Wed 06-Feb-13 13:22:40

Me too Wandering utterly bizarre to sit and eat a biscuit in front of a child having given one to the other children present and explain why they couldn't have one!

catladycourtney1 Wed 06-Feb-13 13:24:09

As for the biscuit thing - I would probably have packed something better, or nipped in a shop to make sure we had something a bit more substantial if my children and I were hungry... but I still wouldn't have felt obliged to share with a nine-year-old who had just finished his lunch. The kid obviously knew he shouldn't be begging, since he lied about having eaten.

matchpoint Wed 06-Feb-13 13:27:43

Major WTF at dromedary being roasted for not giving her biscuit to a 9 year old who'd had lunch. A 9 year old should be old enough to understand that other people have treats sometimes that you can't have for whatever reason. Good grief.

Also, I can't go from 9am to 6pm without food, major side-eye at the poster who suggested that she should have done that. WTF indeed.

pollypandemonium Wed 06-Feb-13 13:31:00

YABU - you say you have deep seated reasons why you don't share food - this is your problem and shouldn't transfer to others. I think you should try and deal with these feelings (CBT?) because they may be affecting your childrens relationship with food as well.

I can't stand greedy kids, but when they come round I share whatever we have. Some children use gaining food as a measure of their power and control and you have to keep a check on that. I keep my opinions to myself and make sure everything is fair - sometimes they are just hungry, one child came and gorged herself on satsumas because she doesn't get fruit at home.

I was brought up to share food and I love feeding other peoples kids. Giving is good.

pollypandemonium Wed 06-Feb-13 13:34:16

^ I was starved and made to sit and watch whilst others around me ate meals and I may have had a piece of dry bread and water. I had to sneak out at night to the kitchen to steal food because I was so hungry and when crumbs were found in my 'bed' (scabby matress thrown on floor) I paid for that big time! I was 2 years old.^

How long did this go on for? Were you taken into care or did this continue?

Oh god, my friend's DC's do this. They want to share my cake/ice-cream (I should point out that they have been given their own already). They demand it. It gets on my tits quite honestly. I share with my DCs, that should be enough.

Hobbitation Wed 06-Feb-13 13:45:01

It wasn't a treat though, it was serving as a child's lunch. That's what Dromedary was "roasted" for. And I agree, I couldn't go without food between 9 and 6. Well I could, but I wouldn't.

Hobbitation Wed 06-Feb-13 13:45:29

That's different LAB.

sudaname Wed 06-Feb-13 13:51:42

So telling a five (nearly six as it happens) child that he cant have a cookie from a packet he has seen on your kitchen worktop is ' bullying' 'cruel' 'taunting' 'wicked' behaviour ? It is also apparently making him feel guilty for wanting food and giving him 'issues' as it is also actually 'scolding' him.
Really ? Saying 'No, you cant have one of those, 'they are not for you' or' they are somebody elses' or whatever is actually 'scolding' aswell as all of above.


As for me having a little chat with him about not saying hello before he asks for his treat as he walks through the door - dont make me laugh. I am the 'Step' grandmother. Trust me - that would go down like a lead balloon.
I am allowed to babysit for them, buy them equal presents to my own DGC at Christmas, Birthdays etc but as is often the case as a 'step' mother or grandmother l would be promptly reminded l am not their 'real nana' if l wandered into the domain of discipline /correcting behaviour.

l am not therefore going to hide absolutely everything in my home that my DSGC might decide he wants (I used to do this, but got really fed up of it tbh) just because he might have to hear that dreadful word 'No'. I am not talking about putting things away they might hurt themselves with etc obv. which is par for the course when children visit.

valiumredhead Wed 06-Feb-13 13:57:47

But you didn't say that sudaname you said I've taken to deliberately leaving chocolate biscuits or similiar around the time they are due to arrive - out on the kitchen worktop and he makes a beeline for them and then l say 'No,you cant, theyre not for you'

DontmindifIdo Wed 06-Feb-13 14:22:07

sooo, reading this, am I the only one who thinks that teaching their toddler the concepts of "sharing" and that food is a social as well as a fuel/treat thing is right?

I mean, I was quite impressed the other day when I gave DS a bowl of grapes (his favourite thing in the whole world and far superior in his mind to chocolate), and as DH came home while he was halfway through scoffing the lot eating them, he took one and said "here you go daddy, let's share." without having to be told to.

Food is a social thing for humans, it's really sad that so many people on here don't want to teach their DCs that. While it's important to teach your DCs not to beg or nag for food, it's just as important to teach them to share, and by example is the best way IME to teach that.

DontmindifIdo Wed 06-Feb-13 14:23:22

Sudaname - you really can't see anything wrong with deliberately leaving out things you know your DGC will want in order to 'trick them' into being naughty? Really?

Dontmindifido, I am with you. I am not English though, it is very normal to share food here, no matter how much or little you have.

sudaname Wed 06-Feb-13 14:41:35

Yes as opposed to putting them all out of sight, high up in cupboards etc, l now leave them out. Dont forget at this point (literally whilst walking through the door) he has asked for and got his treat off his Grandad, his favourite cheese snacks. he also has a bag of sweets in for them at each visit. As l say he has not expressed any greeting or affection for his Grandad at this point - which yes l admit really pisses me off personally and on behalf of DH.

I have told DH l think he should check him or say something to his son or d-i-l when he does this or stop producing the obligatory treat every single visit or at least until niceties have been exchanged. It does bother my DH that his grandson shows him no affection. But he is a bit of a Disney dad and now evolved into a Disney grandad predictably. But that's how he is - fine, nothing l can do about that but have told him l am not enabling this by hiding every possible desirable thing away as stated in my last post just so nobody ever has to say 'No'. He's a grown man <shrugs> who hates saying 'No' to his DGC or DC and thinks that is the way to wein their affection.

Besides it has no impact on the child anyway, whether treats are left out deliberately or not. All he knows is he has had two treats by now and has seen another potential one and been told 'no' it's not for him etc.
Hardly damaging , but letting him continue in this entitled vicious circle is,imo.

NTitled Wed 06-Feb-13 14:45:27

"A little while ago I had some cake and the eldest kept on and on. I said it wasn't time for cake yet"

Eh? If it wasn't time for cake, why were you eating it?

Other than that, I agree that children who hang around asking you for food are a pain. Though I also dislike it when other parents feed my children in playgrounds etc. I am perfectly capable of feeding my own children, thank you.

aldiwhore Wed 06-Feb-13 14:47:15

I'm glad I've never come across this, I'm a sharey person but it would grate on me.

Saltire Wed 06-Feb-13 14:48:43

"A little while ago I had some cake and the eldest kept on and on. I said it wasn't time for cake yet"

Eh? If it wasn't time for cake, why were you eating it?

the OP did say in another post that she had taken the cake to share with everyone but that the child kept on about wanting a bit before it was cut. Hence the reason she told him it wasn't time for cake yet

CrapBag Wed 06-Feb-13 14:49:04

Haven't read all the latest replies but picking up on a couple of comments I have seen.

I did NOT have ALL the available crisps, I had a few between me and DD, there were piles left on the table. I did NOT take ALL the crisps then deny them to everyone else. Not once did I say that.

The group provides snack to everyone, not dinner for all and sundry. The group is at a slightly inconvenient time, therefore there are some occasions where we need to take our dinner, we are not the only ones who do this.

I did NOT sit and eat cake denying it to others. I had a cake (in the box in the kitchen) for later (birthday). Child (one out of 6) kept asking and I told her we were doing it a bit later. I was NOT sat in my front room, eating cake in front of guests and denying everyone else. FFS give me some credit! hmm

CrapBag Wed 06-Feb-13 14:51:00

Polly I was in the situation for 4 years before my 'mother' buggered off one day leaving me at my nans. SS were involved but not particularly helpful. Why?

CheerfulYank Wed 06-Feb-13 14:51:20

The OP had cake at her house. She wasn't eating the cake when she said that!

valiumredhead Wed 06-Feb-13 17:06:50


Yes as opposed to putting them all out of sight, high up in cupboards etc, l now leave them out

But again. that wasn't what you said originally, you said

I've taken to deliberately leaving chocolate biscuits or similiar around the time they are due to arrive - out on the kitchen worktop and he makes a beeline for them and then l say 'No,you cant,they're not for you

You say you leave them out around the time they are due to arrive

NTitled Wed 06-Feb-13 17:13:27

Sorry - I misunderstood. I took "I had some cake" to mean the OP was eating it!

In that case, OP, I agree that other people's children nagging you for food is a pain, and their parents ought to tell them to stop it.

I agree, sharing is good, but my earlier point was that it is unacceptable to beg others for food, particularly when the DCs in question have their own. My friend's DCs that I mentioned before have even walked over and stuck their fingers in my cake and DS's cake to scoop off the icing because they had eaten theirs. Sorry, think it's rancid! My friend just smiles and says (after the deed is done) 'you don't mind do you' hmm

OTTMummA Wed 06-Feb-13 18:13:07

Sudaname, from your first post I had the mental picture of you going to the cuboard, taking out some chocolate biscuits and arranging them on a counter/table in clear sight, all the while keeping an eye on them and an ear out for when the children come in, my next guess was you watched him like a hawk and then chastised him when he notices them and goes for them. That's not normal. If had left stuff out because you haven't had time to put things away or were going to use some yourself that would be a natural occurrence. What you are doing is deliberate entrapment. What do you do with the 'goodies' after you tell him off? Eat them? Put them away? Can you not see how weird that is??

CheerfulYank Wed 06-Feb-13 18:38:06

My mom's friend has a nasty little boy (punched people, etc) who stole money from people. When he came over my dad would leave money on the table to see if he'd take it.

WorriedTeenMum Wed 06-Feb-13 19:00:48


In my view treats should be shared if in a group but I feel that meals are different. I dont think that children should be made to feel that they arent allowed to eat their meal until it has been offered first to others.

Sharing a meal at play group and then later at school might be done if a member of the group has forgotten their meal. That would be a good thing and a nice thing and something you would want to teach your child.

Play groups and schools are a funny social setting as the child is neither host or guest. Parents should teach their children to eat confidently in front of others and also how to behave when others are eating.

However I think that small children have an unerring talent for finding the buttons of strangers and pressing them hard - or is that just me?

OxfordBags Wed 06-Feb-13 19:01:44

Sudaname, I think your attention should be on tackling your husband to change, if you think his behaviour is causing some of the rudeness you perceive in your SGC. You are expecting a child to behave better than adults - your Oh in being too indulgent, you suffocating under the weight of your very obvious bitterness and wish to interfere.

Shutthebloodydoor - making sure your Dc have lunch instead of going for 6 hrs on only a biscuit is not being perfect. It is the bare minimum required of an adult responsible for children. Just like not using txtspk is the bare minimum required of someone entering an adult debate.

Posterofapombear Wed 06-Feb-13 20:08:28

Doesn't everyone share snacks at toddler groups?

I just had a glimpse into a horrible world where your friends and their children aren't welcome to share your food hmm

sudaname Wed 06-Feb-13 20:27:43

OTT l dont chastise him, not at all l just dont let him have any. I used to have to hide everything away, my laptop, my mobile and everything edible even if it was meant for someone else - (I used to do all shopping for my parents, some of which was in our cupboards,fridge temporarily) and the reason l had to hide everything was because otherwise l would have had to say things like 'Sorry no, you cant play piano on my laptop, play on that toy instead' or 'Please no,give me my mobile phone back ' or 'No that packet of biscuits is for my dad, you've got yours there' .DH as l say doesnt like his DGC refused anything So l just used to hide everything away when impending visit.
Personally l wouldnt have done this and dont see anything wrong with saying any of the above to children whatsoever. I think it's important that they learn that not everything is for them - that surely is just as important a lesson in sharing and is the basis of sharing.
Now l just refuse to do any of these things and leave biscuits out on the worktop (our biscuit tin lives there anyway and if a packet wont fit in and l dont particularly want to open it either goes at side of it or in the cupboard) much as my DH would prefer me to hide everything away still and then put it all back out again when DGCs have gone. yes l deliberately refuse to play this game especially when the DGCs are due.
So l neither, open a packet of biscuits and spread them out on a counter (theyre are in a packet or if loose in the biscuit tin,but yes either way visible) nor do l watch him like a hawk - l dont need to - as soon as he spots anything he asks for it anyway as l've said - nor do l chastise him in any way, l simply tell him he cant have any because either he has had enough (just had two treats by now as explained upthread) and/or because they are for someone else.

myfirstkitchen Wed 06-Feb-13 20:51:42

Sudoname you said you deliberately leave them out.

The fact you're trying to back peddle and justify your psychotic and controlling behaviour towards a child which you previously stated on the Internet is something you need to think about. Probably whilst stuffing your face with the biscuits you waved at him earlier.

sudaname Wed 06-Feb-13 21:31:46

Nope sorry to disapoint myfirstkitchen l most certainly dont stand there stuffing biscuits in my mouth in front of him. I wouldnt do that to anyone, least of all a child. Stop putting words (or biscuits) in my mouth. Also sorry - wrong again - didnt say l did nor do l wave biscuits at anyone - just leave them on the worktop, where yes - shock horror they might be seen.
If anyones waving anything about it's you with your wild accusations.

sudaname Wed 06-Feb-13 21:32:13

Hi Oxfordbags yes l agree my DH is enabling and compounding this behaviour towards him by his grandson. I have frankly given up trying to even speak to him about this, even though the situation does genuinely upset him and that upsets me in turn. He seems to think that even a hint at friendly cajoling his grandson to behave a little more politely would be taken personally by his son and d-i-l and by the little boy himself as a sign somehow he is not glad to see him/them. He is firmly stuck in the mindset that they should never hear even the politest version of 'No' in our house.
Yet the more his grandson ignores him except for making demands the more he humours his demands to win his affection ,.....and from the top and round and round we go !

I'm not bitter about it , as l say l just dont join in any more with this mantra of 'Oh god, quick ,hide this ,hide that or DGchild might want it and they'll be upset then if they cant have it etc etc'

It's funny you should use the word interfere about me in this situation. not knocking you for using it mind because in a way it's right - but that's just it if you are a 'step' anything really isnt it ? You are expected to join in everything from buying presents to cleaning up after a poorly child (all of which l do gladly) without even a murmer in the direction of 'well actually, this isnt really my child/grandchild' and yet when it comes to things concerning behaviour/house rules in your own home all of a sudden you're interfering. So l dont worry about or try at all to change any of their behaviour per se. But neither am l going to support the belief of anybody in my own home that no one is allowed to say no to them here and they dont need to even have any manners either.

myfirstkitchen Wed 06-Feb-13 21:37:31

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

WandaDoff Wed 06-Feb-13 21:46:44

I have a DSGC & the biscuit conversation tends to go a bit like this in our house.

DGC: Can I have a biscuit

Me: If you ask nicely. What's the magic word?

DGC: Please can I have a biscuit?

Me: Yes of course you can, well done for asking nicely. <hands child biscuit>. Now what do you say?

DGC: Thank you.

Me: Good Girl.


She knows that I don't hand out biscuits without a please, she's not daft & she caught on pretty quickly.

I find this approach works with most children, much better than being a passive aggressive twat would anyway hmm

OxfordBags Wed 06-Feb-13 21:56:37

Sudaname, you have drastically changed your version of what you do with your biscuits (oh god, like I care). Therefore, I can't judge what is true and whether you are BU or not. I do, however, agree that it's ridiculous to hide things and to never set the tiniest boundary for a child.

OliviaMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 06-Feb-13 21:58:04
sudaname Wed 06-Feb-13 22:24:42

OxfordBags no really if you read my posts l havent , l have admitted l deliberately leave them out because l wont hide everything away quick quick because the child should never have to hear 'No' in any form. I have said l also do this 'around the time they are due to arrive deliberately' as l just wont play this game anymore, as opposed to as is expected in my house to put everything out of sight that DGC cant have. So l suppose in a way l am deliberately defying my DHs wishes, because l dont agree with it. I havent retracted anything, only disputed untruths of waving biscuits about, taking them out of the packet and lining them up temptingly, eating them in front of the child, scolding the child all of which l have never said l did nor indeed ever do.
I am glad we agree on the other 'no boundaries' matter and l would like to thank you for your civility to me even on points we disagree.
I really appreciate that at this moment in time.

Misty9 Wed 06-Feb-13 22:28:19

OP - YANBU to think that the parents should attempt to reign in such begging behaviour. However, regarding snacks it seems common amongst my friends and I to share whatever we're giving to our own LO with theirs - if practicable (if enough etc).

That said, one child is ALWAYS looking for food and immediately comes over at the merest sniff of food or drink. I know she's well fed and I feel sympathy for her mum as it must get embarrassing.

Wrt the step GP thing, ds has four sets of GPs due to both sides being divorced and remarried. I really hope none of them feel like you do sudaname about being steps sad and I hope I don't engender such feelings. They know no different, GPs are GPs regardless of who is 'blood' related IMO.

Misty9 Wed 06-Feb-13 22:29:37

'They' being the children btw

sudaname Wed 06-Feb-13 23:26:13

I find this approach works with most children, much better than being a passive aggressive twat would anyway

Truly ironic use of the phrase 'passive agressive' there.

Yeah l am really gonna go through all that 'what's the magic word ?' routine and get him to ask me again properly and then say 'no you cant have one, because they are for somebody else and/or you have just had two lots of treats.'

Yeah that would be much kinder to build him up like that than just saying 'no' along with a reason and wouldnt be taunting him at all hmm.

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