To be just SO frustrated by this.

(26 Posts)
Antipag Wed 06-Feb-13 16:42:46

One of my friends who is a lone parent recently lost her childcare arrangements, in the interim period, I offered to help for nothing. We hve very different approaches to parenting, in particular with regards to food, and when offered I said that I hope she understood that since her DS would be with us for 6 meals a week (3 x lunch and dinner) that I really couldn't apply different rules to him than I had for my own child. She knows what this means but I was clear that meant he would be expected to try at least one of everything on his plate and that if he chose not to do so, he would not be offered any other food in between mealtimes, and certainly no dessert. She was fine with this and told me she hoped it would get him
eating better.

Anyway the last couple of times he has refused to eat anything I have offered (and I have kept the menu as simple as I am prepared to without processed food). When she has arrived and I have explained why he is complaining of hunger she produces a packet of sweets and tell me not to worry about it. I knownitnisnt my child and how she chooses to feed him is her responsibility but AIBU to find this incredibly annoying?

(The fact that she is a lone parent is only relevant because I was making it clear that her childcare options were limited)

NatashaBee Wed 06-Feb-13 16:45:22

YANBU - there's no need to give the sweets out in front of your child. She could at least wait till she's in the car!

StuntGirl Wed 06-Feb-13 16:51:31

She's happy with how you feed him and doesn't expect you to treat him differently, it's not causing you any major problems (other than the ones you knew would happen) which you are coping with. Yes feeding him sweets instead of meals is crap but it's not really affecting you.

digerd Wed 06-Feb-13 16:53:08

I hope she appreciates your kind and generous offer for 3 days, is it?
Just hope she doesn't take advantage and you are still doing her free child care after 3 months.

YABU, because you're just feeding her child, not trying to make him eat a more varied diet - you're offering him food, he has chosen not to eat it. That was just a possible benefit of your way of feeding children, but it hasn't worked in this case.

YWNBU if she was giving your child sweets instead of meals but what she's doing with her own child is her business, sorry. she doesn't have to buy in to your whole system of "expected to try at least one of everything on his plate and that if he chose not to do so, he would not be offered any other food in between mealtimes, and certainly no dessert" just because her DS eats at a house 3 days a week where this is the case.

Antipag Wed 06-Feb-13 17:04:41

I know that you are right, I am not responsible for what and how she manages her child's diet but I don't know how to switch off my annoyance about it. I feel like its undermining my ability to look after him. How do I stop myself getting so pissed off???

MrsMushroom Wed 06-Feb-13 17:13:05

Yabu as fire says....she's not complaining about you upholding your rules.

I was going to offer childcare to my friend who is in a difficult situation but what put me off was foreseeing a similar thing but from the opposite end of the spectrum...my friend insists her children finish all of their meals and I know she would stress and quizz me about her child and what he has eaten....she's so funny about it that I decided I coul;dn't handle it.

Antipag Wed 06-Feb-13 17:24:47

I think the reason it annoys me so much is because she asks me for advice on how to get him to eat better, my advice has always been a variation of the same 'make your own rules and stick to them no matter how he behaves'. I feel like what is the point in asking for my advice and then just ignoring it over and over again. And I guess the provision of sweets is just a reinforcement if that to me.

EuroShagmore Wed 06-Feb-13 17:31:41

YABU. She is not complaining about your rules, just applying her own when she is there.

MrsMushroom Wed 06-Feb-13 17:44:46

She is a lone, working parent...it's best to forget the stress her giving her child sweets causes you. She has enough problems I am sure without feeling vibes from you...or feeling judged. You are doing a great kindness but it's best to do it with an open heart.

nailak Wed 06-Feb-13 17:53:44

I do t get the issue, when he is with you he abides by your rules and his mum has to accept that, but when he transfers to his mums care he deals with her rues and you can't accept that?

I wouldn't take your advice either.

maddening Wed 06-Feb-13 17:59:25

I'd ask her to send him with lunch and dinner which are either eaten cold - eg sandwiches for lunch and something for tea that can be popped in the microwave.

If he can relax and enjoy a dinner then he might get interested in the food you cook.

Also takes away from the stress for you.

mirry2 Wed 06-Feb-13 18:03:28

like most of the other posters, yabu.

Tommy Wed 06-Feb-13 18:06:35

I don't think you're being unreasonable to be frustrated by it.
YABU if you think you can do anything about it!!
'Tis tricky....
(speaking as a parent of a uber-fussy eater but who would probably send along food)

Smartiepants79 Wed 06-Feb-13 18:50:32

As Tommy said, sadly there is little you can do about it! Your food rules sound extremely sensible to me and I can understand that you don't want them undermined in front of your own children. If it really bothers you enough then you could ask that she doesn't give him sweets in front of your children as it upsets them, I don't think it's unreasonable for him to wait til he gets in the car.
It's a shame she chooses to ignore advice as she is maybe storing up a world of problems for the future.
Just keep telling yourself that it is only temporary!( and you are an excellent friend!grin

gordyslovesheep Wed 06-Feb-13 18:53:54

Honestly i think yabu - he is sticking to your rule and you are nOT giving him extras

exoticfruits Wed 06-Feb-13 18:56:31

I wouldn't worry about it. You made it clear-he knows, his mother knows so just carry on. It isn't your problem and he won't starve.

CloudsAndTrees Wed 06-Feb-13 18:58:02

I don't think YABU. I'd find it irritating too.

Does she actually produce the sweets in front of your dc?

BlahBlahBlahhh Wed 06-Feb-13 19:01:54

It's probably a bit by the by but I know when you've been away from your child all day at work and had to leave them with someone else, you just want to lavish a bit of affection on them (probably more so when you are a lone parent) when you pick them up (I know I did). You sound very kind and sensible but I wouldn't get hung up on it, like someone else said, unless she's giving sweets in front of your children and its making them wonder why, I would put it down to your friend feeling a bit guilty maybe at leaving her little one and wants to treat them on her return, that's all.

MrsLouisTheroux Wed 06-Feb-13 19:02:40

I wouldn't worry about it. You are doing your best. Some posters are forgetting that you are being very generous with Childcare and providing food.
If he doesn't eat it and she wants to stuff him with sweets, she's not doing him any favours.
YANBU to disagree with her actions, she is giving him a clear message that he doesn't have to eat because he will get junk when Mum comes to pick him up. As you are his carer during the day, she is doing you no favours either by undermining you.

EggRules Wed 06-Feb-13 19:08:33

YANBU. A condition of your (very generous) offer of free childcare was that you 'couldn't apply different rules to him than I had for my own child'. She shouldn't then apply her own rules by giving him sweets instead of meals in YOUR house.

EggRules Wed 06-Feb-13 19:14:16

This isn't a one off tea after school.

She should be more considerate about how replacing meals with sweets impacts on meals times for you and your kids.

nickelbabe Wed 06-Feb-13 19:28:32

I say yanbu to be frustrated but it's really not worth worrying further.

you've implemented your rules while he's at your house and then you hand gim over.

you've done your bit so don't worry.

Antipag Wed 06-Feb-13 19:53:44

Yes she does it in front of my DC's.

Nailak, I really don't mind that she doesn't take my advice, but I don't know why she keeps asking for it when my response doesn't really differ. My DS2 is a fussy eater too so I get how hard it is. But it still bugs the crap out of me.

DoJo Wed 06-Feb-13 22:35:58

I understand that it must be frustrating to see him getting into bad habits when you are trying your best to instill good ones, but really you are complaining that her style of parenting makes it difficult to impose your style of parenting on her child. Unfortunately, this is just an extension of every other time you think 'I wouldn't have done that' when looking at another parents way of doing things.

EggRules Thu 07-Feb-13 08:39:20

I think OP has made a kind I offer but made it clear what her feelings about mealtimes are.
Her friend has agreed but undermines her buy giving sweets before the DC has even left the house. Her friend should be more considerate.

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