Feeding on Demand Gone Wrong

Dec 10, 2008 by

A friend once told me that her child had, on waking that morning, asked for cupcakes. The cupcakes were baked, and the child had eaten nothing but cupcakes all day.

Besides the obvious health hazards in this story, what habit is being built? A child becoming a prisoner of her own cravings starts in the kitchen, with “feeding on demand” gone wrong.

Parents’ natural impulse is to indulge children. We enjoy pleasing them. We also tend to give them what they want because it’s easy.

“When we indulge our children around food, we are indulging ourselves,” writes Dan Kindlon, Ph. D., in Too Much of a Good Thing: Raising Children of Character in an Indulgent Age.

Furthermore, it’s currently popular parenting wisdom to give choices. Letting Billy choose between red and blue pants each morning will teach him to make decisions. A child’s opinions should…

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