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Old 02-09-2010, 07:22 PM
 
Location: CA
830 posts, read 2,285,949 times
Reputation: 1003

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Just trying to get some perspective on this. I'm trying to be open minded.

I've got 3 kindergartners in my class (of 21) this year whose mothers show up every day at lunch, with a warm lunch in tow, and cajole them to eat. Two of them leave from work to do this daily. The other doesn't work outside the home.

More times than not they end up actually spoon-feeding them because the kids are balking. And most of the food gets thrown away anyway.

I've suggested nicely that by this age it's really pretty important that kids do some things independently. To no avail. I've not given any stronger response to this because I feel that food/feeding is the realm of the parent, not my business.

But my background and experience tells me 1) kids need to be in charge of putting food in their own mouths in order to develop the recognition of feelings of hunger, satiety, etc. and future healthy eating habits, 2) If you do something so personal for a child (putting food in their mouth), it hampers independence, 3) I suspect the kids' pickiness comes from this inordinate attention paid to food and feeding, and 4) I would detest for someone to shove food down my throat.

I'm trying to keep in mind that 1) there may be cultural factors involved 2) parents naturally worry about their children being healthy and this is a way for them to monitor every bite that goes in and 3) maybe the kids were picky before the parents started handfeeding and the handfeeding is a response to the pickiness, not vice versa.

So... enlighten me on the positives of this??? Or... suggest a more effective way for me to discourage this?
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Old 02-09-2010, 07:26 PM
 
11,614 posts, read 19,729,031 times
Reputation: 12046
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigcats View Post
Just trying to get some perspective on this. I'm trying to be open minded.

I've got 3 kindergartners in my class (of 21) this year whose mothers show up every day at lunch, with a warm lunch in tow, and cajole them to eat. Two of them leave from work to do this daily. The other doesn't work outside the home.

More times than not they end up actually spoon-feeding them because the kids are balking. And most of the food gets thrown away anyway.

I've suggested nicely that by this age it's really pretty important that kids do some things independently. To no avail. I've not given any stronger response to this because I feel that food/feeding is the realm of the parent, not my business.

But my background and experience tells me 1) kids need to be in charge of putting food in their own mouths in order to develop the recognition of feelings of hunger, satiety, etc. and future healthy eating habits, 2) If you do something so personal for a child (putting food in their mouth), it hampers independence, 3) I suspect the kids' pickiness comes from this inordinate attention paid to food and feeding, and 4) I would detest for someone to shove food down my throat.

I'm trying to keep in mind that 1) there may be cultural factors involved 2) parents naturally worry about their children being healthy and this is a way for them to monitor every bite that goes in and 3) maybe the kids were picky before the parents started handfeeding and the handfeeding is a response to the pickiness, not vice versa.

So... enlighten me on the positives of this??? Or... suggest a more effective way for me to discourage this?
Are they South American?
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Old 02-09-2010, 07:33 PM
 
Location: CA
830 posts, read 2,285,949 times
Reputation: 1003
Mexican, I believe. One may be South American.
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Old 02-09-2010, 07:35 PM
 
Location: here
24,472 posts, read 28,756,384 times
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Oh my! I have a kindergartner this year, and it seems really strange to do this. I would never even have done that when he was in preschool for the last 2 years. I agree with everything you said about independence, etc. I don't know about cultural issues.

If politely suggesting they not do this has not worked, with the backing of the principal maybe you could tell them that it is disruptive to the class and that they will not be allowed to do it anymore. As I'm typing this I can already foresee the problems...
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Old 02-09-2010, 07:59 PM
 
13,496 posts, read 13,983,590 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigcats View Post

I've not given any stronger response to this because I feel that food/feeding is the realm of the parent, not my business. is this a personal choice or one that the school wants you to take?

But my background and experience tells me 1) kids need to be in charge of putting food in their own mouths in order to develop the recognition of feelings of hunger, satiety, etc. and future healthy eating habits, 2) If you do something so personal for a child (putting food in their mouth), it hampers independence, 3) I suspect the kids' pickiness comes from this inordinate attention paid to food and feeding, and 4) I would detest for someone to shove food down my throat.

I would tell the parents just what you posted. adding that when the child f=goes to first grade the parent can't continue to do this through the childs schooling.

I'm trying to keep in mind that 1) there may be cultural factors involved 2) parents naturally worry about their children being healthy and this is a way for them to monitor every bite that goes in and 3) maybe the kids were picky before the parents started handfeeding and the handfeeding is a response to the pickiness, not vice versa.

there may be some cultural things but it sounds more like plain old mom's babying their children and not knowing how to let go.

So... enlighten me on the positives of this??? Or... suggest a more effective way for me to discourage this?
.
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Old 02-09-2010, 08:20 PM
 
3,084 posts, read 6,469,467 times
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I think I'd ask for the counselors assistance on this. They could have a casual conversation with the child and perhaps find out the background to this situation and then if need be maybe schedule some sessions with the child and maybe with child and mother.
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Old 02-09-2010, 08:52 PM
 
4,502 posts, read 11,665,930 times
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I don't understand why the school would allow the parents in during the school day to "feed" their children??? That is beyond absurd, I don't care WHAT culture they're from!!

My other question is, don't the other kids make fun of this????

At 5 years old, these children should have a lunch packed for them or purchase lunch in the cafeteria and eat on their own.

I would take the end of this semester/start of next semester to send home a new set of "guidelines" for the parents. For example, "as the children are growing and gaining more independence, we would like to discourage parents from 'dropping in' during meal periods to bring lunches or snacks"... .of course, you would have a list of 5 or 6 "new" guidelines and just include this one. I would speak to the principal and guidance office about the issue and present your "guidelines" to them so they know what's going on.
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Old 02-09-2010, 10:23 PM
 
Location: Sacramento
2,568 posts, read 5,842,032 times
Reputation: 1905
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigcats View Post
Just trying to get some perspective on this. I'm trying to be open minded.

I've got 3 kindergartners in my class (of 21) this year whose mothers show up every day at lunch, with a warm lunch in tow, and cajole them to eat. Two of them leave from work to do this daily. The other doesn't work outside the home.

More times than not they end up actually spoon-feeding them because the kids are balking. And most of the food gets thrown away anyway.

I've suggested nicely that by this age it's really pretty important that kids do some things independently. To no avail. I've not given any stronger response to this because I feel that food/feeding is the realm of the parent, not my business.

But my background and experience tells me 1) kids need to be in charge of putting food in their own mouths in order to develop the recognition of feelings of hunger, satiety, etc. and future healthy eating habits, 2) If you do something so personal for a child (putting food in their mouth), it hampers independence, 3) I suspect the kids' pickiness comes from this inordinate attention paid to food and feeding, and 4) I would detest for someone to shove food down my throat.

I'm trying to keep in mind that 1) there may be cultural factors involved 2) parents naturally worry about their children being healthy and this is a way for them to monitor every bite that goes in and 3) maybe the kids were picky before the parents started handfeeding and the handfeeding is a response to the pickiness, not vice versa.

So... enlighten me on the positives of this??? Or... suggest a more effective way for me to discourage this?

My 2yo feeds himself. After he is finished I just clean him up.
When my 4yo was 2 1/2 my MIL came for an extended visit and started spoon feeding her. Well after grandma left my dd wanted to be spoon fed by us. She figured-out it was less work to have someone else to do it for her. I was not a happy camper as I had a new baby. We had some power struggles but now at 4 she not only feeds herself, she also cuts her own food with a real knife.

I am sure my MIL spoon fed my dh until he told her to stop. When I met him at 23 she was still willing to peel him an orange.

In the long run I am sure these kids will be fine. The question is how does it affect you an the rest of the class? If they disrupt the rest of the class only at lunch time just request that they sit away from the group. Are the kids not performing in school because they want to have things done for them? If that is the case address that. I do not think you'll get anywhere by telling the moms what they are doing is wrong. JMHO
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Old 02-10-2010, 02:02 AM
 
Location: Up above the world so high!
45,270 posts, read 86,094,405 times
Reputation: 39670
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigcats View Post
Just trying to get some perspective on this. I'm trying to be open minded.

I've got 3 kindergartners in my class (of 21) this year whose mothers show up every day at lunch, with a warm lunch in tow, and cajole them to eat. Two of them leave from work to do this daily. The other doesn't work outside the home.

More times than not they end up actually spoon-feeding them because the kids are balking. And most of the food gets thrown away anyway.

I've suggested nicely that by this age it's really pretty important that kids do some things independently. To no avail. I've not given any stronger response to this because I feel that food/feeding is the realm of the parent, not my business.

But my background and experience tells me 1) kids need to be in charge of putting food in their own mouths in order to develop the recognition of feelings of hunger, satiety, etc. and future healthy eating habits, 2) If you do something so personal for a child (putting food in their mouth), it hampers independence, 3) I suspect the kids' pickiness comes from this inordinate attention paid to food and feeding, and 4) I would detest for someone to shove food down my throat.

I'm trying to keep in mind that 1) there may be cultural factors involved 2) parents naturally worry about their children being healthy and this is a way for them to monitor every bite that goes in and 3) maybe the kids were picky before the parents started handfeeding and the handfeeding is a response to the pickiness, not vice versa.

So... enlighten me on the positives of this??? Or... suggest a more effective way for me to discourage this?
There are no positives - and these mama's aren't going to take your hints because they are blind to what they are doing. I suppose you can't ban them from coming for lunch, so you are stuck with them. So this is what I would do...

I'd work on positive reinforcement with the kids - praise them as often as you are able for being capable and ready to take on tasks.

Also, do a little lesson plan about table manners - you know, when to use a fork, when to use a spoon, how to lay your napkin on your lap - that kind of thing. And be sure to throw in the lesson how we must all feed ourselves because none of us in this class are babies anymore

Basically make some efforts to help the kids DESIRE some independence and wanting to feel a sense of accomplishment, ESPECIALLY when it comes to doing for themselves.

Repeat, repeat, repeat and the light bulb will go off for them so that THEY can help the mama bears to understand they are too grown up now to be spoonfed
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Old 02-10-2010, 02:07 AM
 
Location: Up above the world so high!
45,270 posts, read 86,094,405 times
Reputation: 39670
Quote:
Originally Posted by omigawd View Post
I don't understand why the school would allow the parents in during the school day to "feed" their children??? That is beyond absurd, I don't care WHAT culture they're from!!

My other question is, don't the other kids make fun of this????

At 5 years old, these children should have a lunch packed for them or purchase lunch in the cafeteria and eat on their own.

I would take the end of this semester/start of next semester to send home a new set of "guidelines" for the parents. For example, "as the children are growing and gaining more independence, we would like to discourage parents from 'dropping in' during meal periods to bring lunches or snacks"... .of course, you would have a list of 5 or 6 "new" guidelines and just include this one. I would speak to the principal and guidance office about the issue and present your "guidelines" to them so they know what's going on.
Schools in general always encourage parents to come to school to eat lunch with their kids - and no one teacher can change that or make her own rules not to allow it
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