I'm Hungry!!!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Christy, May 29, 2008.

  1. Christy

    Christy New Member

    Yesterday, difficult child sits down to dinner and starts arguing with me about why we can't get another kitten (we have three cats already). He storms upstairs to his room yelling about how mean I am, blah, blah. blah. He settles down and comes back downstairs to eat (husband and I are finished at this point). He asks to watch a movie while he eats. It's too close to bedtime to watch a movie but you can watch a half hour show OR you can eat quickly and watch a movie in you bed. "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" he screams. "It's my way or no way!" I remind him about the need to negotiate and how the all or nothing thing always results in him getting nothing. I calmly repeat the choices. He starts kicking and flailing about. We escort him to his room and the fit continues. Eventually he calms down. "Mom! I'm hungry!" he bellows. By this point it is 9:30 his usual bedtime is 8:00. I offer to bring him a cup of milk and chicken and applesause I saved from his dinnerplate. He wants something else (which literally translates to nothing you offer me). He finally agrees to the food. I bring the food and and two nutterbutter cookies (I figure that he'll be pleased, dumb me). "Two cookies," he yelled, "that's not enough!" He eats everything and is still screaming. He yells (not cries) himself to sleep ranting the whole time about how mean I am to him.

    I know that his medications make him hungry but usually when it is a true hunger thing, he will eat anything in his path. This seemed like more of a power struggle.

    I felt like I'd been beat up (emotionally I had). Today is a new day. Thanks for letting me vent.
  2. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    Sounded like a power struggle to me. Especially after you did the unthinkable and told him NO about something. (How awful of you! lol)

    I've sent my difficult child to bed after fights over food and he's either not eaten or only had a bit. He would lay there and loudly say "HUNGRY" over and over and over and over. As his room is right off the living room, it got to be pretty annoying. I just got up, shut his door and turned the tv up. He was the one to cut off his own nose to spite his face, he wasn't going to starve so I wasn't going to be sucked into yet one more battle. Someone else said on another post....something about difficult child's using so much energy to go AROUND the hoop instead of just jumping through the hoop. Just makes you want to bean them with the hoop.

    Sending hugs. been there done that.
  3. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    You are nicer than I would have been. If my kids through a fit that causes them to miss dinner, they don't eat. Have you tried that natural consequence?

    I hope today goes better for you.
  4. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Power struggle? You bet.
    I agree with-JJJ. Nada. Zilch. You were too nice.
    So sorry. I know how you feel. been there done that.
  5. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Christy, sometimes when my kids yell, "I'm hungry" and no food options seem to satisfy, it's really a cry for something emotional they can't define. The "hunger" is really an "I feel . . . (angry, depressed, irritable, etc) and I want you to fix it, but I don't know what will fix it." Sometimes all they really want is a parent to calm them down, rub their back, give them a kiss or lie with them until they fall asleep. At least that's how I've experienced this scene several times with my kids.
  6. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    SW, I am so glad you posted that. Tink does much the same. I will remember that next time.

    Christy, big ol' Bad Kitty hugs. I know. I've been there. You are SO mean, and so am I. The nerve of us.
  7. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Another vote that it's more than hunger. When my daughter got like that, I had no problem removing food as an option. I did. however, sit with her, read her a story and rub her back. For some strange reason, she really didn't miss the food she wasn't getting.
  8. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Well-Known Member


    I would have fed Duckie in a similar situation especially if she were on medications that caused hunger. Plus, our little ones tend to really get a work out when raging and the hunger is very real. I would have, however, drawn the line with the cookies. That might be viewed as a reward when one definitely wasn't warranted.

    You might want to consider keeping alternates on hand when there is meal refusal, though there is nothing wrong with re-heating the missed meal. Some of these alternates could be:

    PB&J sandwich
    Tuna sandwich
    Cheese with crackers & fruit
    Yogurt & fruit

    Make sure he knows what to expect if he misses the meal beforehand, and be sure the alternate has some fat & protein to hold him over to the next meal.
  9. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    My difficult child will do the "I'm hungry" thing when something else is amiss. With him, tho, its easy to tell just by the way he asks if he truly wants food or something else is up. What isn't hard to tell is what it is that's missing when he's "hungry" but not.
  10. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    My difficult child will say he's hungry at 9:30 p.m., 1/2 hr past his bedtime, when he wants to stall ... :)
  11. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member

    been there done that, I would have fed my difficult child, too.

    The alternates are a good idea and making sure he knows what to expect. But, if he is just ready to rumble - there is not much you can do except stick to the plan and remain calm.

    You did good!!!
  12. Christy

    Christy New Member

    Thanks everyone!

    I am always torn when it comes difficult child going to bed hungry. Yes, I know that it wouldn't hurt him and is a logical consequence but on the other hand I know that he is extremely hungry a half hour after taking night medications. (he is usually asleep before this kicks in). That's why I fed him. The cookie, a moment of weakness, I feel bad for him even when he is taking his anger out on me. Plus, he had agreed to put his pj's on while I was getting his food and I thought he'd calmed down.

    You guys who had metioned that "I'm hungry" can also be mean a lot of other feelings are right. husband and I ended up sitting beside him trying to comfort him until he drifted off to sleep. I feel so bad when he can't seem to get past things. I wish he could better communicate or be willing to listen to suggestions when he gets stuck in a power struggle.

    Thanks again,
  13. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    sometimes our kids get the signals from their brain, heart and body all mixed up. I know it is hard to figure out. My Wizard literally couldn't tell me his ear hurt. He knew he hurt, but even massive ear infections registered as all over not feeling good. Our pediatrican couldn't understand it, but it is VERY common in kids. I can't remember where I found literature to explain this.

    I think offering food is a personal decision. I know Wizard and thank you esp have a really hard time controlling themselves when they don't get enough protein. they actually NEED more protein than the average person. with-o it they are just plain nasty. Well, and thank you cries and cries over everything.

    I would offer foods very high in protein, even fortified with protein powder. Sometimes that is a good trick, because it is often sweet so they think it is a treat. Just be wary if they react to artifical sweeteners.

    Sending big hugs,