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to try and fix my brothers sloppy eating?

(7 Posts)
HeyNannyNanny Sat 24-Sep-16 21:52:53

DB is much younger than me, 13 years old.
He's absolutely wonderful in many ways, DP and I are having him visit for the weekend and he's been a delight.

It's probably relevant to note that he's quite shy, a huge people pleaser and has very little confidence.
We try hard to build him up and support him in every way we can.

Unfortunately he has very little self awareness and has a lot of "quirks" that would/do draw negative attention by his peers.

One particularly bad example is his eating. He has a mild issue with his nose which makes it slightly difficult to breathe (not at all a health issue just an annoyance IYSWIM) because of this he is a full on mouth breather. It gets particularly bad when he eats.

He is a horrific eater; he chews with his mouth open so you can see and hear everything. He breathes through his food which rattles and squelches. It isn't mild annoyance bad, it really is awful. It draws attention to him and is extremely off putting to ones own food.

Our Dad (well, my stepdad) was exceptionally critical of me whilst I was eating when I was younger, so I've developed somewhat of a complex; I'm overly sensitive to the noise* and I one of my major anxieties is eating in public.
I absolutely do not want DB to suffer from this.
However I also don't want him to get bullied.

It's always been an issue and I've always gritted my teeth presuming he'd grow out of it. However he's coming up to 14 and it's still a significant issue.

AIBU to raise the issue? And how could I possibly do this without hurting his feelings and damaging his self esteem? Surely it'd be easier for him to fix now than as an adult?

FWIW I have gently mentioned it to no avail. Also Dad would not be able to handle it sensitively and Mum has her own anxieties.

*This isn't to say I'm overreacting to DBs noise, others have noticed

WorraLiberty Sat 24-Sep-16 22:00:07

He can't have got to nearly 14 without other kids pointing it out.

It sounds like he's either not fussed about it, or has no idea how it annoys people.

Or maybe it doesn't annoy other people and you really are just overly sensitive to it?

HeyNannyNanny Sat 24-Sep-16 22:05:19

I wish it was just me sad but it's genuinely not.
DP actually suggested me postinato on MN about it as it was bothering him too. Neither of us can think how to address it though.

I appreciate I'm overly sensitive but this is an actual issue not just for me.

Seeyouontheotherside Sat 24-Sep-16 22:13:56

I think you should sit him down and explain to him how it's important to chew with his mouth closed because it's rude and annoying for anyone near him. Then remind him to eat with his mouth closed everytime he forgets. He needs to know how others feel when he does that and it's better he learns it now rather than wondering in later life why he never gets a second date, annoys people he eats near etc....

It was so wrong of your parents to let him get to fourteen not able to chew properly. Don't let that continue.

Hassled Sat 24-Sep-16 22:18:36

Just tell him. It's not going to wreck his self-esteem if you're nice about it (take the shit sandwich approach - this is great, your eating is awful, here's another great thing) - but sometimes people just need the bleeding obvious spelling out. It's lovely of you to be so thoughtful, but I do think you may be in danger of overthinking this.

HeyNannyNanny Sat 24-Sep-16 22:28:10

but I do think you may be in danger of overthinking this. oh definitely the story of my life!

I think I'm particularly sensitive to handling it badly as our Dad gave me such an issue.

HeyNannyNanny Sat 24-Sep-16 22:38:26

Just had a quick chat with him whilst DP was out of the room.
He looked really embarassed which made it hard but I tried to keep it gentle, took the shit sandwich approach too!

He didn't say much but took it on board I think. He mentioned he has actually got an apt at the dr for his nose.

I'll chat to our Mum too I think, as PP is right about it being bad he's so old with this

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