I have a 7 year old daughter who is CONSTANTLY hungry! She was always very petite and just in the past year I have noticed she is getting heavy around her middle. I have had to buy new clothes 3 times since June. I try to offer her healthy choices but she's always wanting pasta,cheese and sweets! She is very obssesed with food in general. We have told her no snacking after supper then we have caught her sneaking food in her room at night! I have resorted to putting a lock on the pantry door. I don't want to have to make a big deal about it but I worry she will grow up to be obese. My mom and neice are very obese and it can be hereditary. Should I assume this is a phase or a growth spurt or should I be concerned? I get really worried about the sneaky behavior! Any suggestios or feedback?
How long has she been constantly hungry? Did this behavior begin at some point in time? If so, what event(s) may have been associated with this behavior. You need to be careful not to turn this into a game, one which she could win easily and often. Even if she doesn't get the food because you have locked it away, she has forced you into that behavior so she's in control. Without knowing too much about the history, I would suggest you consider this: First, give this approach a few weeks and see what happens. If it doesn't work, you can always stop it. Let her eat whatever she wants whenever she wants. Don't get upset, don't even think that she shouldn't be eating that much. Give her total freedom to eat what and when she wants. When she sees that you are no longer reacting in any way, she will stop, if her motivation is to get to you. Another part of this is to actually ask her to eat, present her with the foods - often. Right after a meal, offer her some more food. It must be genuine and you have to let her eat more if she wants. If she asks for a bag of potatoe chips, ask her if she wants two - and giver her two if she wants them. Ask her if she wants three! On the condition that she eats it then. But, your goal is actually to get her into the practice of refusing the (extra) food you offer her to eat, which she may do if you keep offering it to her. Assuming you get some responses you desire from this paradoxical approach, stop it anyway after a few weeks and see what behaviors ensue.
That is a wonderful idea! She is very used to getting LOTS of attention. I never even considered that this is a great way for her to get it! She does seem to be acting out alot latley. I'm not sure why. The only thing that I can think of is her 11 yr. old brother has gotten high honors this last quater and we were giving him alot of positve attention for that.
She is a very beautiful child and is used to people telling her so -even on the street. I've really tried to tone that down. She won't always be a "cute little girl"! I will definitly try what your suggesting and see what happens!
Thank you for you help and happy holidays!
I have asked my daughter if somethings bothering her. She dosen't tell me anything that should be of concern. We have spoken to her teachers at school who say that although she's a big talker she seems too be well adjusted. She is VERY emotional- so it's really difficult to tell! I was also thinking that the eating could be a source of comfort. Thus far I've seen nothing.
dfroman, yeh, my 7 yr old is the same way. I'll ask her and she doesn't know. I always have to figure it out. This last weekend our family went on a little overnight trip and did some really fun things together for two days straight. After we got back (the next day) my 7 yr old (she's a girl) was really grumpy. I asked her why and of course she didn't have a clue. It popped into my head that maybe she missed her dad on that day because she had just spent 2 fun days with him and on this day he went back to work (she of course is on Christmas break). I asked her "are you missing your dad". She said "no!". But of course then her mood changed and it was very good the rest of the day. These sort of things have happened many times before. Thank goodness I can figure out what is bothering her. When exactly did your daughter change and what was going on before or during this time?