Don't understand this

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by busybee, Aug 29, 2008.

  1. busybee

    busybee New Member

    Okay, I'm not sure where this fits in with difficult child's issues, but it has me totally frustrated. He is taking food into his room (which is not allowed) and eating large quantities of it and then hiding the trash under his bed. We have told him that if he is hungry is welcome to eat, especially since I know his medications mess with his appetite, but he is still being secrative about it. He is even lying about it. We had a box of nilla cakesters that disappeared. We went to his room to look and found empty boxes and packages of food shoved under his bed and in a trash bag in his room. The box of nilla cakesters only had one package missing. That means he ate 10 cakesters. I don't understand why he is doing this. Has anybody had similar problems?
  2. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Yes, similar to a certain degree. difficult child 1 gets hungry after his medications wear off, too. And I ALWAYS find wrappers and empty cans of food, drink bottles/cans, you name it under his bed, next to his bed, on his nightstand. I'm amazed he doesn't have an ant invasion in there yet. I'm guessing the combination of intense hunger and lack of impulse control is what drives the bingeing, especially if it's something he's normally rationed or limited in what he can have. Just guessing, though. I've given up on that fight. He needs to eat and at this point I'm done fighting him over what he eats. I'm just too tired.
  3. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    What medication/dose is he taking? Does the eating occur at a certain time of day?
  4. busybee

    busybee New Member

    He is taking 72 mg of concerta a day. I know he has no appetite during the day because of the medications so I allow him to eat in the evening. I don't really tell him no. I'm not really sure what time of day he is eating this stuff because he is doing it in complete privacy. I wouldn't have an issue with it except he is eating such large quantities of food that I'm worried about his health. He is eating things like an entire box of poptarts, a package of lunch meat, a whole box of cookies, etc. I don't understand it because I don't limit what he can eat, but I probably wouldn't let him eat an entire box.
  5. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    My difficult child 1 does much of his "secret" eating very late at night. I truly believe that he is so starved for calories some days that he is wakened by hunger. There have been nights that I've been up late, like 2am, and he's stumbled out of bed into the kitchen looking for something to eat. Or some mornings he'll wake up at 5am and open a can of fruit and eat the entire can, then goes back to bed. Last week I found an empty jar of maraschino cherries with a fork in it underneath a wingback chair when I moved it to vacuum! And guess who is the only one in the house who eats these?

    Oh and P.S. He is very thin and behind in his growth because he was sick with Crohn's, so that's another reason I don't sweat him eating. If his brother was doing this, I'd probably be locking up the food because he has put on too much weight.
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2008
  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    The binge eating is a facet of a number of disorders. It can be a function of the concerta, or of other things. It could be something new emerging. you need to talk to his psychiatrist about it.

    the only way to handle him eating entire boxes of things is to have the food locked up that you feel is inappropriate for him to eat the entire package of. put a lock on everything else or have him help you excavate his room and other areas every week. Usually, from what I have seen/heard/lived with it is the junk food and simple carbohydrates that they binge on.

  7. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    M used to go into the garage and say he was looking for "something". He found that something in the freezer, which was big boxes of Costco creamp puff balls, which he ate frozen. I think it was typical teen stuff. They'd eat ahouse then grow a foot or tow...
  8. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    My son does this, too. When he's hypomanic/manic he is a compulsive eater but then some medications (AP's) also made him eat non-stop.

    I do recall though, that my step-brother would do things like that when he was that age, so I think some of it is a boy thing. difficult child and his friend used to laugh about it last year- getting fussed at for sneaking food into their room and eating so much. As far as I know, the other boy was not on any medications.
  9. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Something we've found with rebound from stims - not only does their behaviour lash back, but so does their appetite.

    But hiding it and hoarding it are not good signs.

    For those of you concerned about the poor quality of what he's getting into - never forget, you are the parents and you have ultimate control. Not only can you lock it up, you have ultimate control because you can always refuse to buy the stuff in the first place. If difficult child takes the junk food you buy, then stop buying the junk food. If this means that others in the family have to miss out on the cream cakes and crisps - then so be it. Let EVERYONE eat healthier for a while. It's not difficult to do, and surely is better than the alternative (where everyone has to eat rubbish only).

    If you lock up the food and he still gets to it, then be prepared to give up on locking it away. We tried locking the fridge, but difficult child 3 found ways to beat the lock. Putting a lock on a cupboard is no good, if the kid can undo the lock with a screwdriver.

    With a difficult child who is hungry but who isn't overweight - we filled the fridge with good food, the sort of stuff we would serve as part of a meal. The kids were permitted to help themselves when they were hungry. So if difficult child came home form school and went straight to the fridge it was OK. The kids could only choose from cooked sausages, cold cooked chicken, raw vegetables, pre-cooked roast vegetables (which the kids would re-heat with the chicken or sausages in the microwave), cooked rice, cooked stews. If the kids pigged out on this for afternoon tea and spoiled their appetite - so what? There's nothing wrong with filling up on what they would have been fed for dinner anyway. And often the kids ate a good meal at a time when they COULD eat it. If I made them wait, sometimes they'd be too tired to eat - after fighting with me all afternoon about being hungry.

    When they began to eat only rubbish, we stopped buying it. No more fizzy drink. No more sweetened anything. Only water and milk to drink. For anybody. Yes, we could still have tea and coffee. But no more biscuits in the house, no cakes. The kids could still eat whenever they wanted, but the range got reduced. "Treat" foods had to be earned back - nobody could have any (including parents) until EVERYBODY had earned back the privilege.

    If you try to do this any other way - by allowing say, parents, to have treat foods - then the kids will feel that this is very unfair. Again, by only restricting it to one child, then again - the kid is less likely to get the message. It's also leaving temptation too close.