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How can I disengage at meal time

staying calm's picture

Meals, as everyone here knows, are always a problem at one point or another. For some Stepmoms it's an issue everyday. That would be me. SD7 is the usual, grose, loud, rude and obnoxious with her food. I FINALLY convinced DH to not allow her to choose what she would eat, and to get her bigger portions than you would feed a 2 year old. Tonight it was subway. You would think that turkey sandwich with nothing but cheese and tomatos was barf on a plate. She picked out what she wanted, and then almost made herself throw up so she wouldn't have to eat it.

DH and I finished and she wasn't even close to done. She spent the whole meal whispering to DH, asking if she could just eat one more bite and be done, or if she could pick the cheese off, or if she could just eat the meat. So we packed up her sandwich and headed home. We stopped on the way and got some fruit from the store, and I told DH DO NOT GO HOME AND LET HER OFF THE HOOK AND GIVE HER FRUIT. SHE NEEDS TO EAT THE SANDWICH.

We got home, she ate about 3 bites, and DH cut her up an apple and let her eat that. Then I said "Well it's bed time, so downstairs little lady." SD7 looked at me like I had just killed her puppy and said, "but I didn't have dessert!" I said "No you didn't and you won't because you didn't finish your dinner when we were eating! That's the Consequence!"

DH gave her a chocolate bar after some hurried whispering from SD7.

So I have to disengage. How can I do that? This behavior drives me crazy. Do I not eat with them? Do I just ignore her? I'm not sure I can do that. And now I'm mad at DH for being such a weak ass.... I just hate the fact that there are never any consequences for anything she does. Help me help myself!

oldone's picture

Just don't feed her. period. Pay no attention to what your dh gives her. Let her end up fat and gross.

StickAFork's picture

This is a dumb battle of wills and your DH has aligned himself with your SD.

Not good.

Stop nagging and bitching about what she doesn and doesn't eat. She wants to eat portions of a two year old? LET HER. Who cares?

Disengaging is EASY PEASY when it comes to the step eating. You stop trying to control it and let your DH handle his child.

I will never, ever understand why parents, but ESPECIALLY stepparents, decide food is something to battle over. :?

PeanutandSons's picture

I am 100% disengaged when Dh is home, and probably 75% when he's gone. I make the meal and serve it. After that I walk away and eat with bs3 in a different room.

When Dh is home they act like jackasses at the table (throwing food, kicking eachother, fighting, eating with hands) and he ignores it until it reaches a certain point. He yells, then continues to ignore it. I eat a nice respectful meal in the next room with my kids. What they ear or don't eat, and how long it takes them, not my problem. I made a healthy balanced meal, its his job to make sure they don't just eat the meat and throw the veggies away, and don't act like wild animals.

When I am home by myself with them (most meals) I prepare and serve, and eat in the other room. I only say anything if the cacauphany reaches a volume that I can't enjoy my meal, or is physical violence is occuring. I don't allow dessert if they don't eat their food, and I don't entertain any negociations.

They still act like asses, but I don't have to see it and it doesn't affect my son.

Starla's picture

I liked the reply from CheriWilson the most. Very good points and it works!

My fears about yr DH's parenting and yr SD's ways, its the start of a eating disorder. Children use food as a means of control and when the parents are blind to it as they cater to them, their child is at risk of developing an eating disorder. As generations are going on, it seems that parents are allowing their children to run the household more then ever.

My advice, find information that can help yr DH see the problem that he is creating and how he can put an end to it before it turns into a real problem for her down the road. Not much you can do but disengage from yr SD for your sake during meal time. The less attention yr SD gets from this food thing, the better off she will be IMO.

I suggest that you eat with everyone as a family and focus yr eyes on yr DH if need be. The girl is just doing what she knows and its her parents that need to be educated. Good luck

Kitkit's picture

You are being very disrespected. You set yourself up for it. Every time you say something regarding the skids eating, your H will go against you. Making you not worthy of respect and tag teaming with his child against you. Why set yourself up like that? Let him raise his kid how he wants your input is not valued or wanted. The next time H whispers, walk out. Totally unacceptable and unnecessary. You can raise a spoiled nasty brat very easy with no whispering.