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Old 10-08-2013, 03:13 AM
 
Location: Finland
6,319 posts, read 5,235,282 times
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OP I'm sorry you're in such a stressful situation, it sounds really difficult. I agree with the others that said that only one of you should go to school right now. Seeing as you are close to finishing could your wife take a break from school for a while now? Also maybe cut back her hours as if she is working nights plus having to look after the younger ones during the day then she isn't getting enough sleep and that could turn bad.
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Old 10-08-2013, 04:23 AM
 
Location: Bloomington IN
5,877 posts, read 7,109,257 times
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I understand this is a very stressful time in your life, and you are trying to improve your economic situation for your children. That is commendable certainly.

As others have said, the food stealing is an attention getter. Some of it may be due to hunger, but I suspect it's a way to get attention more than anything. That is what needs to change.


Make regular and weekly trips to a food pantry to supplement your food budget. I don't know about the food pantries in your area, but the ones in my area allow weekly visits. Also try to make sure the food choices you make are healthy and filling. White bread, goldfish, saltines, etc. are not the healthiest choices available for snacks. Look for foods with whole grains. They maybe more expensive, but you and your children will not eat as much because they are more filling. Try some recipes with beans as the main protein source. Kids tend to love tacos and burritos. Some mashed beans, a little rice, a little cheese, and some salsa in a tortilla makes a healthy burrito or taco very inexpensively. A pound of dried beans costs less than $2 and would provide enough food for the entire family for at least a meal. Prepping them, while time consuming, is easy and can be done while one of you are at home. There are other options out there.

Sometimes we need to give up time in order to gain time. Right now your life is chaotic. That affects children. I believe children crave routine and a sense of calm. It would be helpful if you scheduled time rather than multi-tasking. You need to have family meals without the television or videos going on the computer. You need to spend the same time every day bathing the children and getting them off to bed. That focused time will make your life and theirs less stressful. With less stress in their lives, your children will be better behaved and you won't be spending time disciplining them about nonsense.

I know you said you have only 4 chairs for a family of six. Check out the free section of Craigslist or try Freecycle (a yahoo thing). People often are giving away free furniture. Find those two chairs you need. Sit down together for dinner. Ask each child to share a part of their day. You and your partner do the same.

After dinner, make it homework time for all. Even the little ones can do "homework." Have the older child read to the younger ones. It sounds like s/he needs the practice. Some scrap paper and a few crayons for the little ones will keep them busy for awhile or some library books. The point is that this is a designated quiet time for all. You do your homework. The kids do theirs. It will take some time for the kids to pick up the routine, but they will pick it up.

I think you'll find that by introducing some structure and routine into your lives you and your family will be less stressed out. Eliminating that stress will make you more productive.

One final comment--a child in Kindergarten that is getting "bad" notes is not doing well in school even if s/he can read or write. Again, a think a routine in your house will help with that problem also.
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Old 10-08-2013, 05:17 AM
 
3,072 posts, read 4,065,557 times
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I'm just throwing this out there but have you considered the short-term cost difference in your girlfriend staying home with the younger kids rather than working shifts and paying for preschool? Maybe take in another child or two? I know you live in a bad area but perhaps there is some cost benefits to taking in another child from where you live, so their mom does not have to commute either? It could assist with supervision issues and take a lot of stress of this family - since you are graduating in about 9 months, maybe the short-term loss of money might still be worth it?
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Old 10-08-2013, 10:47 AM
 
Location: South Carolina
13,124 posts, read 17,679,712 times
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I read somewhere on here where some poster said that the folks at work dont understand why her kids have to call her to ask her to eat a certain food ? , I would not be telling that on an open forum . We had a girl at work whose kids had to call her if they wanted something different to eat and someone called cps on her and the cps worker came to the office and told her that she simply cannot allow that to go on . The child or children in question cannot be told that they cannot have a certain food unless there is a medical issue . Then the worker was very condensending and said "Now we hope there will not be any more food issues or problems " . I mean really so some of us maybe should be careful what we put on here in an open forum . I can understand food is exspensive and parents wanting to make it last but gosh at your childs exspense ? My mother withheld food from my brother as a punishment and he was as big as a house and he died last year from stomach problems as a result . me Im skinny as a rail and I stay that way but that also relates back to me being used to going hungry alot as a kid too .Believe me with holding food is not the answer to anything .
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Old 10-08-2013, 10:55 AM
 
Location: here
24,476 posts, read 28,773,973 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnSmithJones View Post
This is actually a VERY common problem. It usually has to do with boredom. Kids will ask to eat when they've just eaten 2 hours ago and can't possibly be hungry, but usually only do this if they are bored. The other issue is lack of supervision. I'm not saying that is what is happening with you, but it sounds like you have a lot of children that are close together and maybe are too overwhelmed trying to get the laundry done, helping this one with homework, that one with baths, etc. to really supervise. I would suggest using a bike lock and wrap it around the fridge doors if it's the kind with the handles in the middle. It looks ugly but it's cheap and it works. If you have a closet that has a door knob on it, it will only cost you about $5-10 to buy a new doorknob that has a key lock on it and just switch them out then keep the food locked up in there. Trust me, this is very common in lots of families, it's just most people don't admit it or just let their kids eat and eat (hence, weight problems).

The only other reason would be abuse/neglect and that doesn't sound like you at all because you wouldn't care enough to ask questions if it were that. I know families with children who are much old (10 & 12) who have to lock all of their food away because the girls will literally eat an entire warehouse jar of peanut butter in 4 days (and a loaf of bread in one) or eat an entire box of cereal at one sitting. They'll do this instead of eating the carrots, apples and other veggie or fruit snacks that are always available. So it's not hunger, it's spite at that age. HTH!!
Eating out of boredom and stealing and hoarding food are not the same thing. My kids say they are hungry an hour after dinner.That's boredom or wanting dessert. That is not at all what the op described.
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Old 10-08-2013, 10:57 AM
 
1,035 posts, read 1,559,375 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phonelady61 View Post
I read somewhere on here where some poster said that the folks at work dont understand why her kids have to call her to ask her to eat a certain food ? , I would not be telling that on an open forum . We had a girl at work whose kids had to call her if they wanted something different to eat and someone called cps on her and the cps worker came to the office and told her that she simply cannot allow that to go on . The child or children in question cannot be told that they cannot have a certain food unless there is a medical issue . Then the worker was very condensending and said "Now we hope there will not be any more food issues or problems " . I mean really so some of us maybe should be careful what we put on here in an open forum . I can understand food is exspensive and parents wanting to make it last but gosh at your childs exspense ? My mother withheld food from my brother as a punishment and he was as big as a house and he died last year from stomach problems as a result . me Im skinny as a rail and I stay that way but that also relates back to me being used to going hungry alot as a kid too .Believe me with holding food is not the answer to anything .
Withholding food or even rigidly managing/restricting access to food can definitely have negative physical and emotional effects on a child but trying to teach them to eat in moderation or that certain resources aren't indefinite isn't inherently a bad thing. That's a part of the process of growing up/raising them. The lines between the two can easily get blurred, though.
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Old 10-08-2013, 11:03 AM
 
Location: here
24,476 posts, read 28,773,973 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnSmithJones View Post
That is really unfair to say. They work opposite shifts meaning one is always home. Mom probably naps when littles nap or have quiet time. There is nothing wrong with that. That is not neglect.

I am guessing those who are smug and self-righteous only have 1-2 kids, children that are grown & their memories of parenting are all glowy and wonderful or no kids.

If people think by putting their child in daycare while they work is not neglect, then they are fooling themselves. The only difference is, you are paying to have your child doing nothing all day until pick-up/drop-off time and paying someone who likely just graduated high school and has no childcare skills to speak of.

OP - maybe you and your wife need to sit down and work out a new plan where only one of you goes to school right now. Your littles will be in school soon enough and then the other parent can go to school. This is such a short time in their lives, you don't want to miss it. Fast food is one of the most difficult jobs out there and I know you need the money. If one of you takes a break (the one who will take the longest to finish) and just focuses on raising the kids, then you can switch off. The kids will still steal food because that's what kids do, but you won't be so annoyed or frustrated by it. I commend you on keeping them off of the TV and screen time. They might be the only children left in America that have imaginations.
Maybe you missed the post where mom got home from work at 3am then got up with the kids at 6am. if they were being properly supervised they wouldn't be able to sneak food. You couldn't be more wrong about day care. They keep those kids occupied all day long. They are better off being stimulated and supervised at day care than they are with a parent who is busy doing homework and sleeping. That isn't meant to be a dig at the op. I think they are trying hard. But I don't think it is working.
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Old 10-08-2013, 01:47 PM
 
16,724 posts, read 13,704,406 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LordHelmit View Post
Don't know what to do! We have a 7 y/o girl, 5 y/o girl, 3 y/o boy, and 1.5 y/o boy.

The problem mainly lies with my 3 year old boy. Just this morning, I walk into the kitchen and notice a dining room chair in front of the fridge, with the stool on it. He took the brand new loaf of bread from the top of the fridge and brought it in his room, where he and his little brother were just munching on all of it. The bread was ruined, slobbered on, ripped, squished etc. He also went into the fridge and ate 6 of the 8 cinnabons we baked last night. Why was the bread on top of the fridge and pushed so far back you may ask...? Because just yesterday morning all 4 of them managed to get a DIFFERENT loaf of bread, and ate the entire thing.

This past Friday after getting out of the shower to go check on the girls doing their homework in the dining room, I hear the oldest one scramble from the kitchen and run back into the dining room. They stole candy from the fridge (and lied about it). About a week ago, after the kids had finished eating (myself and their mother hadn't ate yet, we were doing homework) and when we went into the kitchen to grab our chicken, one was missing and the other piece of chicken had bite marks all over it.

These are just a few of many examples. We have tried putting them in the corner and time out and talking to them, taking away TV, taking away toys, we have even spanked them about it. It is still happening. It is wasting our money like crazy. We are at a loss on what to do. Please, suggestions! Cheap suggestions. We are not a wealthy family by any means. So buying locks for cabinets/fridge will have to be a last resort, and only after a few more paychecks come in. Please! Going crazy.

Oh, and by the way, they are teaching the 20 month old baby that this is okay. I know this because he stays at home with his mom while I'm at school, and I guess she fell asleep today because when I got home there were crackers all over his room.....

These kids are not starving at all. I love food, so I cook a lot of good and healthy meals that everyone enjoys. They eat plenty. Yes the dad is the main cook here, lol.
They are not hungry; they are starving for attention.
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Old 10-08-2013, 02:36 PM
 
12,447 posts, read 14,587,292 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by convextech View Post
They are not hungry; they are starving for attention.
I think you could be right...lil children will take negative attention over no attention at all.
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Old 10-08-2013, 02:39 PM
 
11,230 posts, read 9,243,994 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by convextech View Post
They are not hungry; they are starving for attention.
I don't doubt that the kids also want attention. But if they ONLY sought attention, it is odd that they consistently take the food. There are about a zillion ways to wreak havoc, and they are old enough to dream them ALL up.
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