Sunday, January 2, 2011

Highchair Tears

Check out this angry, sad little face.

This sight is becoming a daily occurrence. We get this reaction lately when we are wrapping up meal time. Food has been a soothing factor for Gadisa since we met him, but really isn't it for any child this age?? On the other hand, I've read about adoptive children having issues with food. Gadisa just over eats. And then eats and eats some more. He's at a healthy weight now, but we are trying to come up with how to handle his angry cries for more food. When he screams, it's more like he's yelling at us for more food. We don't necessarily want to give him things when he's got this tone of crying/screaming with us and we know he's not hungry, he's just stocking up. It could be a reaction from his time in the orphanage and the association of hunger with food and the frequency or lack of when it was given. Or, it could be the toddler in him coming out to get what he wants when he wants it. Whatever the reason, this little man is pretty angry at his mama when he sees me going to wipe off his hands and face. Hopefully, this phase will wrap up soon. For now, we just calmly take him out of the high chair and walk around to calm him down and distract him with another activity. If you've got other suggestions, I'd love to hear them!

1 comment:

  1. Yes, our toddler does this too. She's also adopted from Ethiopia, although I think your instincts are right that it might be both adoption and toddler related. What worked for us was to keep food available to her all the time. So, we would keep a bowl of dry cereal or puffs out and a sippy cup out for her all the time. She's on the skinny side, but maybe this could be adapted. Like sippies of water or fruit instead of cereal.

    As for the toddler side, what worked for us was sign language for specific foods. It may help if he can communicate what he would like to drink or eat. Also choices make them feel more in control, so I let her pick milk or orange juice in the morning, for example. If she wants something she can't have right then (like cookies) I make sure not to tell her "no" but to tell her when she can have it.

    This is definitely a tough issue especially if you're wanting to watch his intake. Has his doctor given any good insight while keeping in mind his time at the orphanage and his food insecurities? I hope he makes it through this phase quickly! We love reading your blog and would love to hear how things pan out on this subject. Thanks for the post!