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ADHD eating mannerisms

Answers please's picture

does anyone else have a adhd step child that can not seem to eat without both hands in his mouth?   Spill cups, drop food everywhere etc?   How can you make this better?  Nothing seems to work.  

Peridwen's picture

Sounds like ADHD is being blamed rather than parenting. ADHD causes challenges, but does not make basic tasks such as eating neatly impossible. How does dad respond to the poor manners?

Our 1 diagnosed ADHD child is the neatest eater of all of them. She hates mess and is careful about eating, unless she's allowed to watch TV while eating. But that's normal for all of the kiddos.

Answers please's picture

My bio son can manage to use manners and eat normal.  The ss with adhd can NOT eat without smacking, dropping food, or eating with both hands.  

I am trying to figure out if it is more than adhd?

Peridwen's picture

That's why I asked what Bio-parent does when the poor manners happen. SS13 & SS11 take a meal or two to 'reprogram' to use manners when they come back from BM's house. But after a few reminders from DH they start using their manners again. 

Eating manners need to be taught. It's not a matter of brain chemistry. It's a matter of parenting.

Answers please's picture

If I hear chew with your mouth closed one more time I may go insane.  Nothing sinks in.  Everything has been tried. 

Peridwen's picture

Consequences that are more than words? Consequences evey single time? SS11 and SD13 have both been banished to the kitchen to finish their meals when they refused to use manners. In the past DH has also barred the kids from eating out until they changed their manners (a rare treat at our house. We usually eat at home). Sent to their rooms without the opportunity to finish dinner when they argued or ignored. Loss of dessert. Loss of activity they love. It's not a quick process, but you just need to find the currency that matters to him.

FrustratedGF's picture

Omg yes!!! No matter how many times my SS is reminded, he can’t seem to chew with his mouth closed. He is 7. And I have made him go in time out because he can’t seem to chew with his mouth closed. I hate eating meals with him. 

catmiao's picture

Eh, similar situation here. I remind my SS to chew with mouth closed almost like on daily basis.

I mean, no, he doesn't act like that "just to annoy anyone" but it sure takes him way longer to change. This is, after 11 years of "no-one-give-a-fk-of-how-I-eat-my-food," plus ASD pepole is never at their best when it comes to changes. As long as your husband/partner/bf is not giving you crap when you corrected that, just keep doing it XD 

Note: My husband and I are on the same page with this table manner thing. It seems to me like he never notices how his son chews (loud and with mouth open) but DH never seems to be annoyed when I corrected his son anyway. I feel like a witch every time I correct the kid but oh well...


Fiona79's picture

i do think it’s parenting, I have two bio kids, taught them from day dot, no problems 

I have two sc every meal I’m reminding them, in one ear out the other.

Rags's picture

Set the behavioral expectations in your home and enforce them.  Though there are certainly legitimate developmental conditions that some people have, I also believe that the never ending new syndrome of the month cycle is primarily an excuse for crappy failed parents to give themselves a shitty parent get out of jail free card and for a number of pseudo science otherwise unemployable non contributors to justify their employment.

Set and enforce the standards of behavior for your home.  Apply escalating age appropriate consequences for non compliance until you land on the sweet spot of abject misery that drives behavioral compliance.

Keep it simple.

Hairmoda's picture

I literally just finished posting something similar. It fn grossed me out. My SS eats like a savage. He’s 14. Sauce all over his face. Picks at the food on his fork with his hands before demolishing it. He will drink milk and it will be on his top lip and the cracks of his mouth and he just carries on like there’s no cow juice on his face. Mortifiesme. 

StepMomT's picture

Wacko My ADHD/ASD ss (age 11) will use his fork to take a chunk of anything and try to shove in his mouth. He does it knowing that he will 100% get into trouble.  He looks us right in the eyes.  So we started only putting out a little kid fork for him to use. He has reverted back to not using a knife, just to be difficult.  He was also trying to shove as much food in his mouth at once. So we have told him it will be blended foods with a tiny spoon if he doesn't knock it off.  This just happened again this past weekend, after just getting his  adult size fork back after  six months at least, so we do follow through on stuff, we will see how he eats when he's here next time.

And don't even get me started on snack foods watching a movie... I think from now on it will just be yogurt Smile I bought Bugles a couple weekends ago as a treat, and all we heard was him crunching. He does it so disgusting and doesn't know he's doing it even though DH will correct him.  I have had to leave the room several times. We will see how everything goes next visit, and if he's just doing this s*** to make us mad, then I will just take away any food in front of the TV privileges away.

Just remembered another behaviour that we nipped in the bud.  When he first started coming to us last year, I would say that he "vomited" every weekend.  He was 11, and could physically get up to be sick, but one time he threw up all over his bed, we are sure he made himself sick as he had done it many times begore, and tjis time made sure it was everywhere. I had told my DH before, that this was an attention seeking behaviour and I wasn't falling for it anymore. So DH cleaned it up, and afterwards we told SS we've had enough, if he vomits ever again in his bed, he will clean it up himself.  So guess what..he stopped that behaviour. If he does say he was sick in the night, we've never heard him, but he's looking for attention, so as soon as we hear that, he gets dry toast, water, crackers etc instead of the lovely breakfast. He's finally catching on that he's not getting that attention.