Why is parenting so difficult? My mother says I'm a horrible mom.

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blueluna5

Active member
Jul 30, 2018
356
235
43
#1
My 4 year old son is one of the most difficult kids I've ever been around. Keeping in mind I work in special education so I work with kids who have behavior needs. Behavior strategies generally work well at work. However they do not work for my son. Mainly bc he knows the right way to behave but chooses not to and takes any consequence with a sly smile. It's not just me either. I heard a teacher at church talking to him in a kind "motherly" voice and I thought oh man... he'll never listen to her. I was right. They came to get me. I wish I could be a mother like that and never yell, but my kid treats them like push overs. Hence my mother...

My mother will watch 1/2 kids at a time bc she says she can only handle 1 at a time. She once watched both of them for 3 hours on my anniversary and I had to hear about it for weeks after from both her and my dad.

Today we went over to my parents for dinner. It was pizza (typical kid approved dinner). To describe my child as a picky eater is an understatement. He use to throw up at every meal particularly if it was a new food (even normal kid foods.) I had to deal with this at every meal until I finally snapped and screamed "Don't even think about it!!" And yelled when he gagged. Fast forward to today and I found the smallest piece of pizza and told him he needed to eat it. He ate a few bites after a half hour and left 1 piece at the end to which my other son knocked on the floor. I yelled "we're leaving now. " he immediately ran to my mother to manipulate her and threw a tantrum.

On my way home I got a text from my mother saying " I will never have you over for dinner. You are horrible." Then talking about how she is sick.... blah blah all about her. I deal with his food issues every. Single. Day. I don't even want to go anywhere with food and him bc it's horrible.

It just makes me feel like such a terrible mother and I don't even think I'm wrong. Most parents force their kids to eat vegetables and I just want him to eat normal food.

Why is parenting so hard? Why do parents forget what it's like being a parent?
 

2ndTimothyGroup

Well-known member
Feb 20, 2021
4,746
1,686
113
#2
Wow. Lots of things happening there. Thank you for sharing . . . I enjoyed your easy-to-understand writing style.

Why is parenting so hard? Probably for some of the same reasons that marriage is hard . . . no one thinks EXACTLY the way we do as individuals. We're all so different down to the finest of details. It isn't always easy having ideal relationships with people when we don't agree.

Much more could be said, but I thought I'd at least reach out and say thank you for sharing your heartfelt message.
 

TheNarrowPath

Well-known member
Jul 17, 2022
532
300
63
#3
My 4 year old son is one of the most difficult kids I've ever been around. Keeping in mind I work in special education so I work with kids who have behavior needs. Behavior strategies generally work well at work. However they do not work for my son. Mainly bc he knows the right way to behave but chooses not to and takes any consequence with a sly smile. It's not just me either. I heard a teacher at church talking to him in a kind "motherly" voice and I thought oh man... he'll never listen to her. I was right. They came to get me. I wish I could be a mother like that and never yell, but my kid treats them like push overs. Hence my mother...

My mother will watch 1/2 kids at a time bc she says she can only handle 1 at a time. She once watched both of them for 3 hours on my anniversary and I had to hear about it for weeks after from both her and my dad.

Today we went over to my parents for dinner. It was pizza (typical kid approved dinner). To describe my child as a picky eater is an understatement. He use to throw up at every meal particularly if it was a new food (even normal kid foods.) I had to deal with this at every meal until I finally snapped and screamed "Don't even think about it!!" And yelled when he gagged. Fast forward to today and I found the smallest piece of pizza and told him he needed to eat it. He ate a few bites after a half hour and left 1 piece at the end to which my other son knocked on the floor. I yelled "we're leaving now. " he immediately ran to my mother to manipulate her and threw a tantrum.

On my way home I got a text from my mother saying " I will never have you over for dinner. You are horrible." Then talking about how she is sick.... blah blah all about her. I deal with his food issues every. Single. Day. I don't even want to go anywhere with food and him bc it's horrible.

It just makes me feel like such a terrible mother and I don't even think I'm wrong. Most parents force their kids to eat vegetables and I just want him to eat normal food.

Why is parenting so hard? Why do parents forget what it's like being a parent?
I understand what you are growing through. I have a picky eater at my house too. A few bites of pizza v no food is a win. You provided the food. You did your job.
I used to get anxiety taking my picky eater out to dine anywhere. I know its hard to watch and I tried dont leave the table til you eat way and the praise the little steps way. Its exhausting isnt it.
But it gets better because a few years later and she is eating and trying so much more. I didnt want to get her tested because I thought it might get worse if she was given a reason why she was a picky eater.
Some ideas I tried that were successful was getting them involved in the meal prep/cooking. Also eating normally at the table, talking about the day while you eat to distract the child from forming a negative thought about the dinner.
I will say a prayer for your son. All the best, it takes time and Im sure others will give you their tips too:) Just know that you are doing your best with what you know and that its hard but its worth it :)
 
Mar 8, 2022
77
59
18
#4
What do your kids like to eat? Why is one of your children throwing up, is it on purpose or he can't help it?

I am not a parent but I would try:
1) Eat this or you go without dinner.
2) Give an easy alternative if he doesn't like the main meals (like PBJ or egg sandwich, etc.)
3) If your child is leaving food on the plate, feed him less next time.

Just like adults, kids have to want to eat healthy. Growing up I hated onions (well into teenage years) and I would pick them out of all my foods. However, now I don't cook without them.
 
Mar 8, 2022
77
59
18
#5
If they are not getting all of their nutrients, vitamin gummies are an option.
 

blueluna5

Active member
Jul 30, 2018
356
235
43
#6
Wow. Lots of things happening there. Thank you for sharing . . . I enjoyed your easy-to-understand writing style.

Why is parenting so hard? Probably for some of the same reasons that marriage is hard . . . no one thinks EXACTLY the way we do as individuals. We're all so different down to the finest of details. It isn't always easy having ideal relationships with people when we don't agree.

Much more could be said, but I thought I'd at least reach out and say thank you for sharing your heartfelt message.
Thank you. I understand marriage can be difficult as well, but to be honest I'd be an abused wife if my husband treated me the same way as my kid.

The manipulation, lying, stealing.... my husband would have been gone a long time ago. 😆 the extremely picky eater is just 1 aspect of a bunch of concerns we're working on with him.

I was a very sensitive kid so when I was little my parents would just have to look at angry and I would cry and say sorry. I wouldn't want him to be THAT way (especially as a boy lol), but a little remorse would be nice. He just doesn't care.
 

blueluna5

Active member
Jul 30, 2018
356
235
43
#7
I understand what you are growing through. I have a picky eater at my house too. A few bites of pizza v no food is a win. You provided the food. You did your job.
I used to get anxiety taking my picky eater out to dine anywhere. I know its hard to watch and I tried dont leave the table til you eat way and the praise the little steps way. Its exhausting isnt it.
But it gets better because a few years later and she is eating and trying so much more. I didnt want to get her tested because I thought it might get worse if she was given a reason why she was a picky eater.
Some ideas I tried that were successful was getting them involved in the meal prep/cooking. Also eating normally at the table, talking about the day while you eat to distract the child from forming a negative thought about the dinner.
I will say a prayer for your son. All the best, it takes time and Im sure others will give you their tips too:) Just know that you are doing your best with what you know and that its hard but its worth it :)
Thank you, yes I try all of that. I just wish I had support from my extended family for something so small. Feel like I can't even go out to eat anymore as well.

Nice to know it got better for you. Hopefully that happens for us.
 

blueluna5

Active member
Jul 30, 2018
356
235
43
#8
What do your kids like to eat? Why is one of your children throwing up, is it on purpose or he can't help it?

I am not a parent but I would try:
1) Eat this or you go without dinner.
2) Give an easy alternative if he doesn't like the main meals (like PBJ or egg sandwich, etc.)
3) If your child is leaving food on the plate, feed him less next time.

Just like adults, kids have to want to eat healthy. Growing up I hated onions (well into teenage years) and I would pick them out of all my foods. However, now I don't cook without them.
So he would throw up even as a baby trying new foods. Even on things like yogurt. It's a texture issue.

However nowadays he makes himself gag as a manipulation tactic bc he knows what pizza is and he only does it around people that cater to the manipulation.

We've definitely used all of those suggestions with him. Making him something else is a slippery slope bc he expects it at every meal. So then I'm cooking up 2 different things AND more than likely he still won't eat it.

We give him extremely small portions. 1 piece of pizza for example.

We give him vitamin gummies as well as breakfast shakes to try to add some calories. It's basically like trying to handle someone who is anorexic, except he obviously doesn't care about the image of himself. He just doesn't want to eat. He's very skinny. My 1 year old eats more than my 4 year old.
 

TheNarrowPath

Well-known member
Jul 17, 2022
532
300
63
#9
Thank you, yes I try all of that. I just wish I had support from my extended family for something so small. Feel like I can't even go out to eat anymore as well.

Nice to know it got better for you. Hopefully that happens for us.
It will get better for your family. He will get older and it will be harder to keep up his stance on the matter. Rejoice in the small victories, like trying new foods or eating 1 thing outside of home. What does your sons dad think about this all?
 

Demi777

Senior Member
Oct 13, 2014
6,848
1,913
113
Germany
#10
Did you get an allergy test done on him to see if maybe he is allergic to things? Its not normal that kids puke out of being picky. When theyre picky they usually just dont eat it or try to throw a tantrum
Id check with a doctor for allergies and if that's not the case its a eat or dont eat at all. He will eventually have to eat. Give him small bits.
Perhaps try a rewarding stratagy when he eats without tantrum that you watch a part of his favorite show or give him something small to make him want to work things out.
 

Runningman

Well-known member
Mar 4, 2020
6,020
2,925
113
#11
My 4 year old son is one of the most difficult kids I've ever been around. Keeping in mind I work in special education so I work with kids who have behavior needs. Behavior strategies generally work well at work. However they do not work for my son. Mainly bc he knows the right way to behave but chooses not to and takes any consequence with a sly smile. It's not just me either. I heard a teacher at church talking to him in a kind "motherly" voice and I thought oh man... he'll never listen to her. I was right. They came to get me. I wish I could be a mother like that and never yell, but my kid treats them like push overs. Hence my mother...

My mother will watch 1/2 kids at a time bc she says she can only handle 1 at a time. She once watched both of them for 3 hours on my anniversary and I had to hear about it for weeks after from both her and my dad.

Today we went over to my parents for dinner. It was pizza (typical kid approved dinner). To describe my child as a picky eater is an understatement. He use to throw up at every meal particularly if it was a new food (even normal kid foods.) I had to deal with this at every meal until I finally snapped and screamed "Don't even think about it!!" And yelled when he gagged. Fast forward to today and I found the smallest piece of pizza and told him he needed to eat it. He ate a few bites after a half hour and left 1 piece at the end to which my other son knocked on the floor. I yelled "we're leaving now. " he immediately ran to my mother to manipulate her and threw a tantrum.

On my way home I got a text from my mother saying " I will never have you over for dinner. You are horrible." Then talking about how she is sick.... blah blah all about her. I deal with his food issues every. Single. Day. I don't even want to go anywhere with food and him bc it's horrible.

It just makes me feel like such a terrible mother and I don't even think I'm wrong. Most parents force their kids to eat vegetables and I just want him to eat normal food.

Why is parenting so hard? Why do parents forget what it's like being a parent?
I'm not a parent, but I just remember my experiences from being parented decades ago. The way my father put it was "you'll eat what you're given. If you don't eat you go hungry." It was as simple as that and it wasn't flexible. I would literally have an empty belly for as long as I chose to not eat what I was given. A person, a child no less, can only go hungry so many days before they aren't such a picky eater anymore.
 

HealthAndHappiness

Well-known member
Jul 7, 2022
890
390
63
#12
My 4 year old son is one of the most difficult kids I've ever been around. Keeping in mind I work in special education so I work with kids who have behavior needs. Behavior strategies generally work well at work. However they do not work for my son. Mainly bc he knows the right way to behave but chooses not to and takes any consequence with a sly smile. It's not just me either. I heard a teacher at church talking to him in a kind "motherly" voice and I thought oh man... he'll never listen to her. I was right. They came to get me. I wish I could be a mother like that and never yell, but my kid treats them like push overs. Hence my mother...

My mother will watch 1/2 kids at a time bc she says she can only handle 1 at a time. She once watched both of them for 3 hours on my anniversary and I had to hear about it for weeks after from both her and my dad.

Today we went over to my parents for dinner. It was pizza (typical kid approved dinner). To describe my child as a picky eater is an understatement. He use to throw up at every meal particularly if it was a new food (even normal kid foods.) I had to deal with this at every meal until I finally snapped and screamed "Don't even think about it!!" And yelled when he gagged. Fast forward to today and I found the smallest piece of pizza and told him he needed to eat it. He ate a few bites after a half hour and left 1 piece at the end to which my other son knocked on the floor. I yelled "we're leaving now. " he immediately ran to my mother to manipulate her and threw a tantrum.

On my way home I got a text from my mother saying " I will never have you over for dinner. You are horrible." Then talking about how she is sick.... blah blah all about her. I deal with his food issues every. Single. Day. I don't even want to go anywhere with food and him bc it's horrible.

It just makes me feel like such a terrible mother and I don't even think I'm wrong. Most parents force their kids to eat vegetables and I just want him to eat normal food.

Why is parenting so hard? Why do parents forget what it's like being a parent?
Is your son's father involved?
 

Billyd

Senior Member
May 8, 2014
4,379
1,033
113
#13
I hope that his father is involved.

I recommend that you begin with a complete health check, including the digestive system, by a competent pediatrician. Before you go to see him, record his daily activities, in detail. Follow the pediatrician's instructions. Don't give up. His condition took a long time to get to where he is now. I may take a long time to cure.

I also strongly recommend family counseling.

Finally I strongly recommend a family prayer time.
 

Dirtman

Active member
Jul 19, 2022
426
131
43
#14
You may have bigger problems than normal parenting can handle. I think it best to seek professional help.
 

Roughsoul1991

Senior Member
Sep 17, 2016
8,154
4,043
113
#15
My 4 year old son is one of the most difficult kids I've ever been around. Keeping in mind I work in special education so I work with kids who have behavior needs. Behavior strategies generally work well at work. However they do not work for my son. Mainly bc he knows the right way to behave but chooses not to and takes any consequence with a sly smile. It's not just me either. I heard a teacher at church talking to him in a kind "motherly" voice and I thought oh man... he'll never listen to her. I was right. They came to get me. I wish I could be a mother like that and never yell, but my kid treats them like push overs. Hence my mother...

My mother will watch 1/2 kids at a time bc she says she can only handle 1 at a time. She once watched both of them for 3 hours on my anniversary and I had to hear about it for weeks after from both her and my dad.

Today we went over to my parents for dinner. It was pizza (typical kid approved dinner). To describe my child as a picky eater is an understatement. He use to throw up at every meal particularly if it was a new food (even normal kid foods.) I had to deal with this at every meal until I finally snapped and screamed "Don't even think about it!!" And yelled when he gagged. Fast forward to today and I found the smallest piece of pizza and told him he needed to eat it. He ate a few bites after a half hour and left 1 piece at the end to which my other son knocked on the floor. I yelled "we're leaving now. " he immediately ran to my mother to manipulate her and threw a tantrum.

On my way home I got a text from my mother saying " I will never have you over for dinner. You are horrible." Then talking about how she is sick.... blah blah all about her. I deal with his food issues every. Single. Day. I don't even want to go anywhere with food and him bc it's horrible.

It just makes me feel like such a terrible mother and I don't even think I'm wrong. Most parents force their kids to eat vegetables and I just want him to eat normal food.

Why is parenting so hard? Why do parents forget what it's like being a parent?
I can hear my wife in your voice. Parenting is hard. Very hard. We have kids that are 4, 7, 8, and teens we have guardianship of who are 15 and 16.

Our 4 year is similar to how you describe. Today was his first day in Pre K and we are really hoping he was good.
 

Nehemiah6

Senior Member
Jul 18, 2017
18,545
9,463
113
#16
Why is parenting so hard? Why do parents forget what it's like being a parent?
I believe it has a lot to do with the culture (hedonism, TV, video games, etc) and with society (lawlessness) in general. In traditional cultures divorce is unheard of, and the relationship of children to parents is affected by this. Also schools are teaching children to disregard the wishes of their parents. and listen to the nonsense and indoctrination they put out. At the same time we should never forget that those who are unsaved (including children) are governed by "the flesh". So there is a whole host of factors influencing children towards what is evil rather than good.
 

JohnDB

Well-known member
Jan 16, 2021
3,282
1,460
113
#17
Well....
If you treat a normal child like a special needs child he will become a special needs child.

Normally you got one chance at dinner and two choices....eat it or don't. Nothing else will be available until morning, which is when last night's leftovers are brought out and served again.

Fussy eaters are not ever catered to....because they grow up with some serious health issues in their 20's &30's.


You can be firm without getting angry.....it's called having Natural consequences of their actions.

My son used to play at the dinner table and every time he wasn't looking and playing I'd start eating his pineapple chunks or something else he liked off of his plate.....*of course I'd let him catch me at the last second*

He began to focus on eating and not hesitating. He would try to say that he didn't like something before he would try it....two bites were always required.

Today he eats a wide variety of foods. No issues there
 

Joey1964

Junior Member
Sep 20, 2017
19
16
3
#18
Totally agree with you. I told my son from a very small age whatever he does not finish at a meal will be served the next meal until he finishes it. My child's doctor told me that you never negotiate with a child. My boy tried it once or twice and then he saw I was serious and he started eating everything I put on the plate.
 

TheNarrowPath

Well-known member
Jul 17, 2022
532
300
63
#19
I'm not a parent, but I just remember my experiences from being parented decades ago. The way my father put it was "you'll eat what you're given. If you don't eat you go hungry." It was as simple as that and it wasn't flexible. I would literally have an empty belly for as long as I chose to not eat what I was given. A person, a child no less, can only go hungry so many days before they aren't such a picky eater anymore.
There were less cases of anxiety back then too. I got the same treatment from my parents. They had 6 children and no time for 6 different menus :) Nowadays there is too much choice.
 

Beckie

Well-known member
Feb 15, 2022
1,093
364
83
#20
Knowing it is not always possible but staying home raising our kids is the most important career a person can have. Sounds like a very smart 4 year old. Who sees you leave him most days to take care of other kids.
My, 'take care of your own kids' lesson was learned. I come home from work Suzanne the baby sitter said Beckie you did not tell me Johnny could walk. You can never get back first steps or any other firsts.
Talking 50+ years ago most stuff was not so expensive as to day. As a family we did not have the big toys our friends had , Did not have a new car etc.
If i could go back years i would make less demands on the kids but make the demands stick. We did not have a picky eater not even close. As said above be comfortable he is medically okay then put the rules in action. The 1 year old is watching and learning.