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Is this normal?

(3 Posts)
womblemeister Tue 15-Sep-09 12:46:57

For the past month or so 4 yo DS has been turning every mealtime into a battleground. He has always been a fussy eater but is now taking things to extremes and nit-picks, argues and comments on absolutely everything. As soon as he sits down at the table (already an achievement) he embarks on conversation and refuses to eat, unless the food is sausages or a specific type of pasta sauce.

I have tried:
- the naughty step /chair (total disaster, we have marble steps - dangerous - and gets off and just runs around the room winding up DD)
- bribing with pudding (only works at tea time we can't have pudding all the time)
- leaving him for 3 hours to finish his plate (worked but only on that day, cannot be doing it every day)
- ignoring him and engaging in conversation with DH and DD (doesn't work, DS just keeps on talking regardless)

He is generally defiant and disobedient and makes an issue out of everything, yet I feel that he gets lots of love and attention so am at a loss to understand where this is coming from. Worried that he may have some kind of behavioural disorder. He takes up 3 times as much attention as DD who is nearly 6 and a little angel most of the time.
Any similar experiences or suggestions??

LittleB Tue 15-Sep-09 13:24:55

My dd 4.4 can be a bit like thisbut not as extreme, there are some things that have helped though, telling her that some things will help her grow big and strong - lots of demos of big biceps from daddy, telling other things will help her brain grow and make her really clever - fish etc. She also likes collecting our own veg and eggs - we have chickens and an allotment - but thats a long term solution and dd will still only eat carrots from our own allotment - usually only when we are there. I have tried new things and sometimes they work - she loves corn on the cob, although isn't keen on it 'off cob', adores asparagus which surprised me. Having friends round who are good eaters can help her too. DD likes 'picky' meals where we have different things like salami, cheese, salad, bread crackers etc and she can choose what she wants, we do use food bribery here, 'yes you can have another piece of salami but you've got to eat some lettuce first' etc.
I don't know if any of these might help your ds, but I thought I'd give you my experiences just in case.

mathanxiety Tue 15-Sep-09 16:02:11

I tried letting a very picky eater use toothpicks and chopsticks to eat cut up food and it was fun for a while. But I always suspected the food wasn't really the issue, it was more of a power struggle with the DC holding most of the trump cards.

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