If I can see it, it must be mine

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by juliabohemian, Aug 14, 2008.

  1. juliabohemian

    juliabohemian New Member

    This kid. I can't take it anymore. This is the 8 year old.

    I buy these packs of puddings, sugar free -thank God. I tell her in advance that she can have one a day, that's it. I was very explicit about it, and I always ask her to repeat it back to me. Usually when I do this I get a yeah yeah...I heard you. She claimed to understand.

    Yesterday, she eats 3 and gives one to the neighbor boy. She's very adept at slinking about the house and getting in and out of the fridge without a sound.

    I've repeatedly told her. We're on a fixed income. Please don't give our snacks out to the neighborhood kids, especially one who comes from a family with 8 children. I think it's great that other people want to feed everyone else's kids. If I were rich, I'd be all for it.

    I tell her this over and over and yet when I go to check on them, I find a litter of snack wrappers that all came from our kitchen. No one asked permission for those snacks. I repeatedly tell her that wrappers go in the trash and not on the ground. Every time I tell her this, she acts like it's news. One day I gave her a bag and made her pick up litter from our entire neighborhood. I thought this would cure her of her littering. But alas, she draws no connection between these events.

    She had pudding all over her face and shirt and when I asked her how many she ate "I don't know." It took me 10 minutes to get the truth out of her, which only happened after I presented her with the empty pudding cups and explained to her that I could count. Her sister, who also ate two and not one, fessed up immediately and apologized.

    I think what's most insulting is that she acts like she has no idea what I'm talking about. I am an excellent communicator and speak very clearly. I will even re-explain something using metaphors that children will more easily comprehend. All of this is lost on her.

    She asks for another chance over and over, like I'm being unfair to have any expectations of her and I haven't given her any chances. She's had about 5000. Then she kicks and screams as I try to drag her into the shower to wash off said pudding. She slams my bathroom door and locks me out. I live in constant fear that someone's fingers are going to be severed, what with all the slamming. I unlock it, fortunately. But then she slams and breaks the door to my shower. Seriously, she's on a mission to destroy everything I own.

    Then, this morning at 7am I wake up to find her sneaking out of my office -which she has to go THROUGH my bedroom and past my bed to get to. She has a handful of Reese's Pieces that she took out of my desk. I don't even know how she found them or what the hell she was doing in my desk. She's not supposed to even come in my room. Then she looks at me all dumbly like she has NO idea why I'm upset. She actually says that if I woke up earlier, I could have prevented this.

    Then, just now, I needed to go to the store. She begged me for fried chicken. It comes ready made in the deli. I hate to cook, so I was game, and she ate it the last time I bought it. I got one box and when we got home, I gave her a piece, just like she asked. When I wasn't looking she went and got the seasoned salt from the cupboard -no idea why, since the chicken has plenty of flavor and because she's not even allowed to touch the stuff in that cupboard.

    She's notorious for wasting food, so I told her she'd be expected to eat the whole piece of chicken before 1pm, or she wouldn't be able to go to our neighborhood's VBS. That gave her 2.5 hours.

    A few minutes later, she tells me she's "done" with the chicken, which she apparently dumped way too much seasoned salt on, and hid in the kitchen trash under some other trash. Not a bite had been taken from it. I told her she would not be going to VBS. Not sure why I'm sending her anyway, since they don't seem to be covering the basics like thou shalt not steal, lie etc.

    Why do I even bother. I should just give her my wallet and car keys and stay in bed all day.
  2. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Ohh, been there done that!!!!

    I'd fish it out of the trash (not sure you can go fishing for chicken), rinse it off, cut it off and make it into a sandwich. She'll never know.
    Meanwhile, no more pudding for her.

    Forget the shower. Better that she's only allowed in the kitchen or outside when she's that dirty. I tell my difficult child that when he takes a shower, he can touch whatever he wants, but he can't touch things when he's that filthy. There's always something he wants to touch or do so it's an easy carrot.

    Best of luck.
  3. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    We have had the same problem here to varying degrees with each child, even easy child. Some of this is age appropriate (doesn't make it right, just normal). Of course, difficult child's take everything to the extreme.

    Some things that we tried and helped to various degrees:

    1. Stop buying them treats. A few weeks with NO treats may make your point. If they are hungry, they get carrots or whole wheat crackers. (You and husband can take turns leaving the house to get your snack fix :) )

    2. Label the cups with masking tape and a marker (difficult child - Monday; easy child - Monday, etc). If they eat them or give them away, then they are done with them for the week. This only works if difficult child doesn't steal easy child's.

    3. Get a keyed or coded lock for your bedroom door or at least your office and keep all treats locked in there and dole them out one at a time.

    4. Buy those cheap popsicles if she really has an overwhelming need to share. It's easier to let it go if they're giving away something that cost 2 cents.

    5. If they throw out a meal, they don't eat ANYTHING except water until the next meal. And they only get the basic meals for the rest of the day, cause they are obviously not hungry.

    Are you sure you want to keep her home from VBS??? Won't you lose your break!!!

  4. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Adding to already good input:

    Tie a bell to your refridgerator door.

    Have set snack times (10:00 am morning and 2:00 and 4:00 afternoon?). Call her in for a snack. She can join neighborhood kids in a few minutes.

    Regarding VBS: I love your "they don't seem to be covering the basics .....". :D It impresses me when a parent is in tuned to what is being taught at VBS or Sunday School. As a VBS leader, it is good to know that parents are aware.

    As a Sunday School teacher, I try every chance I get to promote the "Honor your mother and father" commandment. I find VBS is much more relaxed that Sunday School. VBS in our denomination and many churches is looked at as an evangilizing time to not only provide more education to the kids that do go to church but to reach out to kids who do not. Many kids only go to VBS so the themes are more centered on the Gospel (God Loves You) rather then the Law (thou shalt not.....).

    It sounds like your daughter is trying to keep her eating habits from you. It may be time (if you think she is ready) to have a talk to her about healthy eating and get her involved in the shopping and meal/snack planning. Try to get her eating habits out in the open. Use the more favorite snacks as a reward for the end of the week if she has done well all week.

    Have a spice tasting day. Take a spoon and sprinkle a spice on it for her to lick of. Encourage her to dip her food into a spice rather than sprinkling the spice on the food.

    I hope you find something that will work. Is the stealing always around food? If so, food is probably the issue, and I wouldn't worry so much about stealing as a bigger problem.
  5. Needsupport

    Needsupport New Member

    I feel your pain! My son sneaks food as well. This morning while I was in the shower getting ready for work (and his father was still in bed...) my son got on the counters & into a whole large box of Jello. Tried to make it himself... of course he didn't know how so he mixed it with-water & it got all thick & gross so he dumps it. Actually, what he didn't spill on the floor, he dumped. When I asked what was all over the floor he "didn't know", which is his typical answer!
  6. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    Oh yeah, snacks are a biggie. We have to literally lock them up or else they disappear in a day or so. Or, if I leave them out, they are for a certain amount of time. Gone before then? Too bad so sad.

    The sneaking through your room to get stuff? Sad to say, but it's time to lock your bedroom door and keep it locked at all times. We had to move up to a deadbolt here because difficult child broke through the key lock door knob twice. I will even lock it when I'm in the shower because he has been known to rummage around in there if we are outside or occupied somewhere away from the room.

    When things get to this point....sometimes it's easier to just keep things locked up that doesn't need to be refrigerated. If they want snacks.....well there are apples, grapes, carrots, etc.

    Sorry I don't have better advice.
  7. Oh I have gone through this over and over again with difficult child. It doesn't matter if you say this is yours and this is mine and this is your sisters. He will eat it all if given the chance. I have gotten where I won't buy the snacks and stuff like that to have on hand, because they would all be gone. I buy now on a as-needed basis. I buy lots of apples every weekend, being sure to keep kinds in there of what I know difficult child would eat. Even things like string cheese, he won't just eat one, he will eat 2 or 3. When I would buy go-gurt. He wouldn't eat just one, he would eat 2 or 3 or more.

    Before he had gone into Residential Treatment Center (RTC), this had been brought up with his counselor how to handle it because easy child gets so frustrated with it too. easy child had made cupcakes and difficult child turned around and ate 4 of them at once. The counselor said that we should divide up and lets say you have 12 cupcakes, there are 3 of us that means 4 cupcakes for each person. difficult child's share is 4 cupcakes, you can have 1 cupcake a day for 4 days, but if difficult child eats 2 in one day, then he only has 2 left. I have not had a chance to try this out yet, because difficult child went into Residential Treatment Center (RTC), but I will be trying out after he comes home. Right now, even when he is on visits home, it's really not an issue because he isn't there long enough.
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I think this is a very common problem for our kids, and I'll tell you why I think it happens. I truly don't think it's just "I want to bug mom. I wake up every day not to listen to her."
    For one thing, your child is on Risperdal. It starves you. I have been on medications since I was 23 and certain medications make it almost impossible not to think about eating and Risperdal is one. Secondly, she obviously has some disorder and is more impulsive and less apt to "get it" than other kids. Are you satisfied that ADHD/ODD is all she has? Who diagnosed her? Any psychiatric disorders on the family tree? Was her early development normal? Since she doesn't seem to be able to learn from her consequences I would wonder if she was on the autism spectrum. She seems pretty socially clueless. Often professionals miss high functioning autism, but it greatly impairs a child's ability to "get it."
    My son is very high functioning, but one thing he still does is sneak food and snacks. I just don't have snacks he likes laying around and give my daughter her snacks to keep in her room. I don't know that it's worth going crazy over the issue--if it were me, I'd just hide them and put one out every day. I think the bigger issue is what is wrong with the child and how can you get her the right help. Obviously, she isn't doing well...her professionals are not helping her. You may want to go for a second opinion. I wish you good luck...and, hard as it is, try to remember your child does these things because she is wired differently than most of us.
  9. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    It may or may not be medications related but that is a possibility. I know in my difficult child's case, he just doesn't care. As an example, I have a frozen alcoholic drink I discoverd last New Years. I am not a big drinker and the recipe makes a huge batch. I have half a batch frozen and to drink you put scoops in a glass and fill the glass with a particular citrus soda. difficult child likes this soda and I was wanting some of the drink so I bought two 2 liters of it. I specifically told him, one is MINE and one is YOURS. When yours is gone, don't even THINK about drinking mine.

    "Yes mom"

    Uh huh. His was gone, I hadn't had more than one glass full out of mine and wasn't drinking it down at an acceptable rate so he drank it.

    "Well you weren't drinking it!"


    It honestly doesn't matter with him what you tell him. If he wants it, he has SOME excuse for why it should be ok for him to eat/drink it. Or use it, take it, disassemble it...whatever the case may be. Drives. Me. Insane.
  10. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    been there done that as well. It is so frustrating. We ended up not buying treats, or buying everyone one and hiding ours.

    Wish I had a better answer for you.
  11. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I'm with MWM. I'd at least be considering Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) as a working hypothesis, at least for this.

    We've had similar problems, even with easy child. We now realise, her problems come from her prenatal malnutrition (and she now has a big weight/health problem because of it). She would sneak food, especially rubbish. difficult child 1 would steal food when on risperdal, but by then I was careful about what was in the house. However, I would find empty containers everywhere.
    difficult child 3 is always hungry despite no longer being on risperdal. He leaves empty containers everywhere. I know when he's been the culprit because he NEVER covers his tracks. difficult child 1 - much the same. The house is constantly getting buried under his empty containers and packets.

    So what to do?

    From our own experience - because we've been through this too, x 3 (or more):

    1) Ban ALL shop-bought snacks. This includes for you, too. No more Reece's Pieces hidden in your desk. NADA. Zilch. The entire family is going on a health drive/budget drive.

    2) Stock up on healthy food. Cook your own meals, snacks etc. Get the kids involved in cooking. For the first week, do not bake cookies, cakes or other sugar-laden, fat-laden recipes. This will be difficult for all of you, but there are VERY strong reasons for this. I will get to it later.
    After a week you can buy ingredients to make biscuits and cakes and other sweet desserts, but if this privilege is abused by anyone, the ingredients must leave the house. Pack the ingredients into a box and leave them with someone you trust will keep them safe.

    3) Keep your fridge full of ready-to-eat meal fragments. The kids may freely snack on these whenever they're hungry. Examples include - cooked chicken (cut into pieces); cooked sausages; boiled eggs; carrot sticks, celery sticks, other vegetable crudites; tomatoes, lettuce, cucumber, other salad vegetables. Bread - preferably wholegrain, not white.

    4) Optional - have food in fridge in labelled container, labelled with day and/or name of child. Problem with this one - finding out who ate the wrong food or at the wrong time. This one could work, or it could teach your kid(s) to lie about it.

    5) Final rule - any cheating re-sets the clock back to the beginning of the week. The clock re-sets for everybody, even if only one child cheats.

    The reason you have to be this drastic - your kid has got into the habit of eating and helping herself, and also helping herself to the wrong sort of food (high salt, high sugar, high fat). This food can be addictive; the habits she's got into are definitely addictive. You need to break the habit which requires a period of withdrawal. Unfortunately, this affects EVERYBODY. No exceptions. because if you make an exception, first it looks unfair and second, it provides an opportunity to cheat. And ANY cheating undermines this program.

    The reason you need the first week to be free of luxury foods is first, to get the family into healthier eating habits and most important - because the ingredients for the 'treat' foods are able to be raided and gorged on in the absence of shop-bought treats. For example, a box of raisins can be raided (although a few raisins are actually a good snack option). Even more likely to be raided - pure sugar; dessicated coconut; chocolate in any form including choc bits and choc melts; nuts (again, a few are good for a snack); those little silvered sugar ball things to go on cakes and other cake decorations; jelly crystals.

    So once you are sure the kids can be trusted to not raid the ingredients, you can introduce more treat options as ingredients. A good way to begin this introduction is to buy the ingredient and use it immediately. For example, you buy a packet of choc bits and as soon as you get home, you make choc chip cookies.

    So, to re-cap -

    First clean out your house. Tell the kids the new rules and also tell them that this is necessary because you can't afford the health problem or the money problems, from them eating treat foods so much and then wasting good food. The rule applies to everybody because it's easier. Sorry, kids but Mum is making sacrifices too. No snacks for Mum either, so if you catch Mum out then feel free to blow the whistle on her.

    You don't have to throw away what you are cleaning out. You could do it by having one last party, or alternatively package up non-perishables and remove them temporarily until you can re-introduce them.

    Next - get cooking/preparing healthy food. Make sure you keep tabs on supplies, get the kids to let you know when you need to re-stock.
    What to cook - boil some eggs (if they eat boiled eggs). I boil 4 eggs at a time and teach the kids my special technique for getting eggs just right - my mother taught me.
    Grill some sausages. Roast a chicken or two (on a different day to the sausages). Cut up the carrots into sticks, also cut some celery sticks. To make the curls at the end of the celery (optional, but it can encourage kids to enjoy eating) you make vertical slits in the end of the celery stick and then put the sticks in iced water for about half an hour. The kids might enjoy watching this, it can be fun. Then dry the celery sticks on paper towel and keep in a sealed plastic container in the fridge.

    If you want some dessert options, then freeze some fruit. Peel a banana, cut it in half and push a stick into the cut end. Place the two bananas on sticks onto a tray and freeze them. Cut oranges into wedges and freeze them. Freeze grapes. Freeze watermelon wedges. Freeze pineapple wedges. Freeze kiwifruit, strawberries.

    For dessert - the kids can either have fresh fruit salad, or fresh fruit of their choice, or frozen fruit (eaten/sucked while frozen). Another fun option is to put frozen fruit into a blender and puree it. Eat with spoon or freeze again into home-made ice treats.

    This works.

    Once the kids realise they aren't going to be left to starve, they will settle. Or should. But by teaching them to help cook, they are working towards the next food intake, working towards keeping the fridge re-stocked and learning to fend for themselves. And 8 is not too young - I was helping my mother make scones before I was school-aged. I would be given some scone dough to mould into my own miniature 'loaf' and bake with everything else.

    I just realised, I didn't mention drinks. OK, that goes without saying. No soda. It can be something you reward with, once they show they can be trusted. Instead, keep plenty of milk and there is always water. You can also buy cordial concentrate (if they can be trusted to not drink it 'neat') and make up a jug of that to keep chilled in the fridge. Keep plenty of ice blocks in the freezer, I have lots of novelty ice block moulds for fun shapes. You can also freeze juice in these to add to a drink for a treat. Again - it needs to be earned.

    You need to be consistent, you need to be strong. Ignore any tantrums from anybody. What can they do, if you have removed all temptation?

    How can a kid do the wrong thing, if there is nothing in the house to eat, except what you WANT them to eat?

    We also re-use leftovers. Any uneaten chicken - I have a lot of recipes that use it, very tasty recipes that the kids love. And they're quick. It's not just sandwiches - leftover chicken can be chicken supreme, chicken vol-au-vents, chicken pot pies, chicken risotto, chicken and corn soup. And more. If you have a sandwich toaster, turn the leftovers into a pie filling and use pastry sheets instead of bread, in the sandwich toaster. Again, you can leave these cooked in the fridge.

    This works. But it needs your commitment and willpower to follow-through, or the problems you have will continue.

    Good luck. If you need any recipes, let me know.

    And if THIS doesn't work, or she fails to make enough progress - get her a packet of seeds and teach her how to grow her own food. She can plant tomatoes and eat whatever she can grow.

    Eventually she should value food much more and not take it (and you) so much for granted. This is also a valuable lesson for well-behaved PCs.

    You are not punishing anyone with this. This is a lifestyle change, not punishment.

  12. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    A lot of our kids have significant impulse control issues. They have a way harder time resisting that impulse and obeying rules.

    With my difficult child, we locked up EVERYTHING. In our old house, we had a second full-sized fridge in the basement which we kept padlocked. The kitchen fridge was only for foods and drinks with no restrictions (fruit, vegetables, etc.)

    We installed key locks on every door in the house, interior and exterior.

    Every morning before school, and every afternoon when difficult child got off the school bus, we would check his backpack (including the seams, in case he hid something between them) and make him empty his pockets, turn up his collar or turtleneck, sleeves, socks and shoes.

    This was the only way we ere able to slow down the sneaking and lying (and he STILL sometimes got things past us).

    I agree with MWM that your daughter may have other underlying issues that haven't yet been discovered or addressed.

    Wish I had better answers too. It sure is hard.

  13. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Mine is 22 years old and still does it. Only now he has to go out and buy replacements. :D

    When Travis was younger this was a major issue. One that no amount of punishment solved. So there were basically no snack foods in the house. What little there was had to actually be prepared and he was unable to do that so stayed out of them.

    Instead I kept baby carrots, apples, celery, and such around for them to snack on. Popcorn was a huge snack around our house. My kids still tend to prefer these as snacks.
  14. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Like Terry, we bought a "normal" amount of snacfood when difficult child 1 was younger and when it was gone, it was gone.l He'd eat it all in one sitting. Cereal incloudedl. If we wanted something else thru the week, we bought it on seperate trips and hid it.l Trunk of the car is a good place.
  15. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Put LOCKS on your door and USE THEM 24/7. Store all snacks in there. In a separate LOCKED cupboard or box.

    Or dont' buy snacks.

    My mom used to buy snacks at the day-old store. 1 snack cake per child per school lunch. If they got eaten before the end of the month, no more were purchased until the next month. If we whined about it, it was another month with no dessert in our lunches.

    this was absolute. She never monitored them. No lectures. Jsut no more - we learned that when she said this was it, this was IT.

    Not sure it would help you. I had to use locked cupboards.