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6 year old hiding food around the house.

(18 Posts)
Guardianto2 Sun 23-Feb-14 13:50:47

I’ve had full custody of my 6 year old nephew since he was 4, This isn’t a very big issue but we assumed it would stop once he felt at home, he hides food around the house. He will steal it from cupboards or dinner plates and it usually ends up in his bedroom. This isn't so bad on it's own but it then just get left to go moldy if i don't find it at the end of the day.

I don’t think I’m allowed to go into the reason why he was put into my care but he has had a few weird problems since he has been with us, most of the bigger ones we have tackled.

I have sat down and explained to him why he doesn't need to hide food, he knows he will get Breakfast / dinner / lunch but i will still find food hidden everywhere, I don't want to tell him off for it but i'm at a loss to know how to stop it.

mermaidbutmytailfelloff Sun 23-Feb-14 14:00:34

Can you give him his own food drawer or shelf with long lasting food in it? Like cereal etc and make sure it always has stuff in it, that he can go to if he needs food? That way if he always has his emergency stash he might feel more able not to hide stuff? I guess it would have to be relatively boring stuff, so not chocolate or whatever but that might work?

mermaidbutmytailfelloff Sun 23-Feb-14 14:01:04

Sorry question mark overload!

Guardianto2 Sun 23-Feb-14 16:02:52

that's a good idea, It's definitely worth trying it.
Thank you.

Mamabear12 Sun 23-Feb-14 20:18:44

Yea, I agree. You could put bottle of water, cereal, oat bar, raisins, bread sticks, dried fruit etc. so foods that r not too bad for u and he will feel more secure that he will always have access to food.

puntasticusername Sun 23-Feb-14 21:49:05

What aspect of his behaviour is the bit that matters most to him - is it having access to food at all times, or the secrecy - hiding food in places only he knows?

If the former, I agree with the others that a dedicated food stash just for him might be a good idea. If the latter, I could be wrong (I'm no expert) but my instant feeling is that you may have to just go with it, for however long it takes him to get past wanting to do it.

Obviously this poor little lad has had a bit of a rocky start in life sad - it might take months or years of loving stability from you guys before he settles down. In the meantime, reasonably harmless* habits such as these may be better accommodated (if possible) than challenged.

*ok, until you get cockroaches...

Guardianto2 Mon 24-Feb-14 15:37:44

puntasticusername: This is why it's not straight forward, I can't find out why he hides the food, he won't tell me.
It's a very small problem in comparison to when he came to live with me but i do feel he's comfortable enough after 2 years here to start tackling it.
I've emptied out a cupboard for him anyway, so we will see how this goes.

puntasticusername Mon 24-Feb-14 20:49:22

Could it be not even about food at all, and more about simply having control over some aspect of his environment? I appreciate that you don't want to go into his past too deeply here, but if he wasn't in eg a situation where food was routinely withheld, maybe it's a more general control issue.

My heart goes out to the poor child, either way. Sounds as if he's really lucky to have you. Good luck with the cupboard!

Guardianto2 Tue 25-Feb-14 14:50:46

That's a good idea, That thought never crossed my mind.

StarGazeyPond Tue 25-Feb-14 23:10:36

I remember friends of mine who fostered had this problem with a couple of their children (who had had an awful start in life).

They gave each of them a cupboard and a 'special' box into which they could put food. So I think you're on the right track OP.

Guardianto2 Sun 16-Mar-14 07:38:54

Just an update to say I "think" it's lessened, it’s hard to tell because he hides it and at the moment he can’t get around too well with a broken foot. If nothign else he likes having his own cupboard.

puntasticusername Sun 16-Mar-14 09:54:29

Sounds positive. Hope things continue to improve!

puntasticusername Sun 16-Mar-14 09:55:05

Oh, sorry to hear about the broken foot though!

Ohwhatfuckeryisthis Sun 16-Mar-14 10:05:00

My ds1 has always had problems with food (I like to think he had a good childhood) he has as and even now at 25 he helps himself to everything, especially if he knows they are "special" things (birthday chocs, my gluten free biscuits,anything alcoholic) and we find empty packets and bottles stashed all over. Now it's annoying more than anything. But when younger it was similar to your problem. We gave him his own drawer too, but other peoples stuff was always more appealing.

PirateJones Mon 17-Mar-14 07:08:51

I'm the OP with a name change.

puntasticusername: it comes off next monday, we've had 23 or 24 days of nothing but grumpiness and tantrums. If they don't take it off i just might cut his whole leg off myself.

puntasticusername Mon 17-Mar-14 11:50:47

Seems fair grin

Have lots of brew or wine to sustain you in the meantime!

PirateJones Mon 17-Mar-14 14:39:42

Is that for me or him?

puntasticusername Mon 17-Mar-14 20:41:51

I would apply it liberally in all directions until you both feel better! Tea cures everything, surely...

Reminds me of something I saw on Twitter today - "How do you take your tea?". "Very seriously".

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