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To think that a 3 year old shouldn't do this?

(40 Posts)
MrsMushroom Wed 30-Jan-13 08:50:28

My cousin has a 3 year old son and he's not terribly verbal yet but he's bright as anything and is a happy little creature.

At any gathering, he wanders about taking food from other people's plates. My cousin laughs and says "I can't stop him" but AIBU to think er...yes you can!

It's annoying and DD hates it as she's very particular and she doesn't like a snotty-handed 3 year old sticking his hand in her food!

I said "I think you need to tell him not to do that" after he'd done it for the umpteenth time the other day and she said "I can't stop him can I?"


AIBU to think 3 is too old for this type of behaviour? ANd yes I probably AM being a bit judgy.

sunshineandshowers Wed 30-Jan-13 11:58:27

have you asked her why she feels so powerless?

have you explained a similar sitautoin that you might have solved by being assertive with a young child?

Does she have low self esteem.

Most people IMO are not lazy. they may have just had poor examples during their own childhood, or lack the education to research how to change or lack confidence to apply change.

Bakingtins Wed 30-Jan-13 13:10:00

YANBU. Not acceptable from any child old enough to toddle to the plate. Wouldn't be surprised at a toddler trying it a few times, but would expect the parent to stop him and explain that you only eat from your own plate.

5madthings Wed 30-Jan-13 13:15:10

Well him trying to pinch food off plates isn't unusual for a toddler but normally they get told its not acceptable.

Dd is 25mths and would do this if I let her, but I don't let her.

Are his parents lax over other boundaries?

BertieBotts Wed 30-Jan-13 13:19:31

Maybe she thinks he isn't old enough to understand yet? It's not even something you need to teach particularly harshly, a gentle "No, that's grandma's plate. This is <child>'s plate." is enough to remind them and they get the picture fairly quickly.

Is she allowed to snatch toys from other children too? Because if she can explain this then the plate thing is very easy.

MrsCR Wed 30-Jan-13 13:21:27

I have a 3yo and its ridiculous to say she can't do anything to stop it.

Just tell him no ffs


BertieBotts Wed 30-Jan-13 14:01:46

I mean you can start it about one, really, can't you?

Baby reaches for grandma's plate.
<firm disapproving voice> No, grandma's.
<indicate baby's plate> <use enthusiastic, positive voice> Baby's! Look! Mmmmm, yummy. (etc etc)

CrapBag Wed 30-Jan-13 14:17:13

I would not like this at all, a child doing this to me or my child doing it to someone else. His mum needs to be stopping him, what a ridiculous thing for her to say.

I have a friend whose child constantly goes up to anyone who has food and just stands there waiting for something. I hate it, it is fecking scrounging and my friend just laughs and waits for the person to give her some. I never do, funnily enough if the child happens to come up to me, she quickly goes away as she has already learnt that I will not be giving her mine or my DDs food. My friend should teach her DD that she should go scrounging food off others but she never does. It irks me greatly.

nickelbabe Wed 30-Jan-13 17:26:29

Bertie - in my house, it goes something like
"hey! gerrof! that's my fooood! You've got your own foooood!" <wail cry>

<baby looks perplexed and carries on "mmmmmumymumyummmmm"

AllDirections Wed 30-Jan-13 17:34:39


I was at a party and a 4 year old boy kept doing this and was most put out that we wouldn't 'share' our food with him. I pointed out the buffet (he'd already filled a plate with food for himself) and told him that this was food for sharing and that once we'd put food on our own plates then it was our food and not for sharing.

QuietNinjaTardis Wed 30-Jan-13 17:52:23

We taught ds not to take food off of people's plates. I then had to teach dh that taking food off of ds plate was also not on hmm and giving him the wrong message. Ds is 3 and dh is 32 grin

lynniep Wed 30-Jan-13 18:01:41

YANBU. I have a 3 year old food vacuum. He will try any ploy to pinch food but he knows full well what is acceptable and is always told no if he attempts anything he shouldn't - like your example - taking food off others plates.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Wed 30-Jan-13 18:11:53

Perceptive post sunshineandshowers.

I'm sure that lack of boundaries is sometimes due to laziness, sometimes due to a lack of skills/good examples, and sometimes something deeper.

It not only sets that child up for hard time at school, it affects everyone who teaches that child, and many children who has to be in class with them.

Nothing works straightaway - of course they'll try it again and again. It's a drip drip approach that requires consistency. Some people have no consistency in their own lives and can't apply it to their children

ChunkyPickle Wed 30-Jan-13 18:13:37

YANBU - it is bad behaviour.

My 2.5 year old would never take food from a strangers plate, although he will look very longingly at food on my/DP's/MIL's plate in the hopes one of us will give in and let him have whichever choice bit his selected. Even he of the big, blue, mournfully begging 'they starve me you know' eyes wouldn't consider taking it for himself though!

ChunkyPickle Wed 30-Jan-13 18:16:59

OMG I am mortified. "he's selected" not "his selected"

Of course when they're a bit older it'll be the other way round as they try to sneak the bits they don't like onto your plate.

ArtemisatBrauron Wed 30-Jan-13 19:43:06

One of my good friends used to let her then 3.5 year old DS eat off everyone's plates when we went out for lunch, also he used to want to swap glasses of water and straws with everyone including adults and when I refused as ididntwant a spitty smudgey glass I was told he would cry if I didn't swap and that he was trying to be friendly....

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