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To give dd1 some pudding and not dd2?

(22 Posts)
Dawnybabe Sun 04-Sep-11 21:42:41

More of a wwyd really, not life-changing or anything.

Dd1 aged nearly 5 can be a bit difficult to feed. Sometimes she won't eat her dinner and then the standard response is 'you don't get any pudding'.

Just for a change, tonight, dd1 ate all her dinner up beautifully whereas dd2 aged two caught me completely by surprise and wouldn't finish hers. So as I had said they could have some ice-cream, I then felt I should be consistent and not let dd2 have hers. She kept asking for hers whilst dd1 ate hers up and I kept saying no, sorry. Felt utterly mean. Dd2 didn't get upset or anything and soon forgot about it, but I still felt awful.

More of a lesson in consistency for dd1 than a punishment for dd2 as she wasn't that bothered but I feel so mean.

Told you it wasn't a big deal but it's been bothering me all evening. sad

FabbyChic Sun 04-Sep-11 21:44:18

Hey you have to meter out the same punishment to both and you did.

However, not all children always eat all their dinner, I used to hate having to finish dinner at home when I really did not like it. But there is always room for something sweet!

thisisyesterday Sun 04-Sep-11 21:47:04

oh she is only 2!
i wouldn't have made her miss pudding... she might just have been full up! and she cn't understand at that age that if she doesn't eat everytrthing then she gets no pudding.

so, seems a bit mean to me.

Minshu Sun 04-Sep-11 21:48:07

Don't let it bother you - DD2 needs to learn the rules apply to her, too.

TBH I normally give my DD (not quite 2) pudding when she's made a good effort at eating, rather than insisting she finishes the lot. I'm probably a soft touch (don't have a clue what I'm doing)...

wellwisher Sun 04-Sep-11 21:48:36

I think it's fine, especially if DD2 didn't get upset over it. It's important for your DD1 to see that you mean what you say and are consistent.

wellwisher Sun 04-Sep-11 21:51:11

on the other hand, I wouldn't use pudding in this way. Food is fuel. It shouldn't have associations with reward/punishment. Either serve pudding or don't. If your DD doesn't eat at mealtimes, the consequence should be that she's hungry until the next meal!

LetThereBeRock Sun 04-Sep-11 21:54:23

YABU. I think it's a bad habit to encourage children to eat up all of their dinner,fine if they're hungry enough to do so,not fine if they've had enough. Sometimes one might not be quite full,but can tire of a certain texture or taste,so you might have had enough of one thing but can still manage some of another.

Plus I think if you put too much emphasis on pudding as a reward/treat for finishing one's dinner then I think it makes the main course seem like a trial,like something to be tolerated in order to get the pudding,not something to be enjoyed in it's own right.

I don't think you should dwell on it though. No need to beat yourself up over it.

LetThereBeRock Sun 04-Sep-11 21:56:35

Endured sorry,not tolerated.

Dawnybabe Sun 04-Sep-11 21:57:28

She is hungry until the next meal, or until her bedtime meal.

I knew it was a bit mean. But what would dd1 have thought if I'd given in?

LetThereBeRock Sun 04-Sep-11 22:02:14

Well I think it's a bad rule anyway,and one that should be changed imho,for the reasons above. You're putting too much emphasis on pudding,making it seem like the holy grail of foods with this method imho.

Do they have pudding every night?

exoticfruits Sun 04-Sep-11 22:25:15

You were fair-you can't do more than that. I wouldn't withhold pudding-it gives the message that sweet foods are nicer.

thisisyesterday Sun 04-Sep-11 22:29:07

you could just tell dd1 that dd2 is too small to understand, and then given her a smaller portion.

or scrap the whole not getting pudding thing? if they're not hungry it seems silly to make them finish tbh

TheMagnificentBathykolpian Sun 04-Sep-11 22:30:39

You did the only thing you could do under the circumstances you have created. But I would just say that perhaps you could rethink your stance. First of all, it is a VERY bad idea to create the idea that food is anything more than fuel. That way lies a whole load of crap grin Don't set down a lifetime of food as reward/punishment. Bad bad idea.

Second thing, by saying that they must eat an entire meal to get more food, you just run the risk of encouraging them to eat more than their body wants them to - because they want the pudding. This will stretch their stomachs and could lead to weight problems, which isn't good for their health. Far better that they leave room for pudding. By being allowed to leave food on their plate, or better still, by serving less in the first place and letting them choose how much they want. I do this by letting them serve themselves from serving bowls at the table. Far better, imo, that they put a bit on their plate, and give themselves another spoonful after or not, as they prefer.

exoticfruits Sun 04-Sep-11 22:34:05

As the eldest I would have found any mention of 'too young to understand' distinctly unfair!

Dawnybabe Sun 04-Sep-11 22:35:39

It has always been a bit of a bribe, to get dd1 just to eat her dinner. Never had that problem with dd2 as she's always been a good eater.

I'm not sure if it encourages them to 'endure' the main meal because dd1 usually gets something she's asked for and likes. It's more encouraging them to not waste food, tbh. I can't afford to keep chucking food away. Perhaps I need to cut down on their meal portions and see if they want seconds. Thanks for all your help. It's nice to get a kick up the bum a fresh perspective sometimes .

Takitezee Sun 04-Sep-11 22:35:57

You don't say whether you warned dd2, specifically her and at this particular meal, that she wouldn't have pudding if she didn't finish. If you did then YANBU but if you didn't then you are.

EBDteacher Sun 04-Sep-11 22:54:25

I don't ever offer DS 'pudding'. To be fair, he's only 12mo so he hasn't started asking for it yet and I'll have to do more thinking when he does. However, at the moment he gets offered a healthy meal three times a day and he either eats it or he doesn't. I don't offer him anything else, sweet or otherwise. He has had (and is allowed) sweet foods, but just as another opportunity to eat- not as an addendum to a meal.

I play the addage in my mind that 'no child has ever starved in the presence of food' when he chooses not to eat and don't worry about throwing the food away (the dogs appreciate it even if he didn't).

MIL would like to feed DS a dessert after every meal, even breakfast- 'ohh he could have some custard now, couldn't he?' and I resist this in case he starts to think the healthy offering is optional.

EBDteacher Sun 04-Sep-11 23:01:28

PS My DS has made it to 90cm tall and 36lb in weight at 12mo without being given much besides milk, fruit, veg, brown pasta, lean protein, cheerios and youhurt so taking in enough calories (as MIL would have me believe) is clearly not a reason to offer sugar in his case!

Sorry OP, not having a go at all. Think you have just touched a MIL nerve! blush

whackamole Sun 04-Sep-11 23:22:00

I would've done the same thing, if this is a rule you consistently use. Pudding is not fuel it is a treat, and I think it is cruel to the older child to have one rule for them and one rule for a sibling purely because they 'might not understand'.

ChippingIn Sun 04-Sep-11 23:26:21

If DD1 questioned it I would have simply said that DD2 is only little and doesn't understand yet, when she's bigger the same rule will apply. You are the parent, not DD1.

ChippingIn Sun 04-Sep-11 23:27:34

The debate about pudding being or not being a reward is as old as the hills - do what works for you. It's a 50/50 split when it's debated for pages on here!

CardyMow Mon 05-Sep-11 00:12:25

BUT - you CAN'T always have the same rules for both / all of your dc at the same time? In my house, just like bedtimes are dependant on age, so are the rules, and expectations on you. Just like you get to stay up later once you are 13yo, you are also expected to be able to hang your own clothes up - with age comes responsibility. I hold no truck with the 'that's not fair' whinges - DS1 is treated the same as DD was...when she was 9yo. He's not allowed a mobile phone, she is. DS2 is treated the same way at 7yo as both DD AND Ds1 were. Doesn't mean it's unfair - it just takes into account their different ages and developmental stages.

You couldn't expect a 2yo to use cutlery ALL the time, but if a 12yo didn't, you'd probably have a hairy fit.

I do the no pudding unless you have eaten your dinner thing here too - but I have it slightly differently - as long as they have eaten all their vegetables and protein, and eaten SOME of the carb portion of their dinner, they can have pudding. I think it's far more important for growing dc to eat their veg and protein than carbs or pudding.

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