Most times he looks ok. But then there's the days where he doesn't.
Dark circles under his eyes makes him look like an extra from Oliver.
You know, as in: "Please sir, can I have some more?"
Except, most days he doesn't ask for more.
He's a picky eater. Mealtimes are a struggle. A struggle that I believe has been exacerbated by my separation from his Dad.
Psychologically he is trying to control what he can in his out-of-control life.
And food is the ONE thing he can control right now.
He's stubborn and smart. So the more you try to MAKE him do something, the more he digs in his heals and fights back.
Reverse psychology doesn't work. Withholding rewards doesn't work.
I learned this a loooonnnngggg time ago. His Dad hasn't.
Mealtimes at His house are a battle of the wills which my EX is not willing to lose.
Hansel has been force fed. Made to eat his dinner for breakfast the next day. And then lunch. Punished.
All to no avail.
Now red flags have gone up. His therapist is concerned over the beginning of an eating disorder.
I've tried talking with PC, asking him if he'd rather be RIGHT or have a peaceful relationship with his son.
"If I give in, then he wins," PC tells me.
What, exactly is it that he will win????
Hansel's therapist has tried to reach out. Numerous calls have been made by her office in an effort to set up an appointment where she can share her concerns and perhaps offer some guidance.
So far, PC hasn't been available to set up a time to come in and speak with her.
"We keep missing each other," is what he says. The therapist tells another story.
At my house, I offset the malnourishment with vitamins and Carnation Instant Breakfasts with every meal. I don't punish if Hansel doesn't eat. Nor do I purposely make foods that I know he won't try.
I make an attempt at keeping a balanced offering of foods, so he can choose to try something.
I try not to make a big deal out of it either way, in spite of my fear of him becoming ill.
We don't have the same struggles as he does at his Dad's. But he still doesn't eat well enough, for me.
My stress is sometimes palpable, and I see him reacting to it.
I'm asking for advice.
Something constructive that will help my kid develop a healthy relationship with food.
In case you're wondering, this is what he will eat:
- Pasta (mostly DRY, sometimes w/ tomato sauce, and always with TONS of parmesan cheese)
- Bread (wheat)
- Beef (sometimes, but plain)
- Baby carrots
- Iceberg lettuce
- Oh, and ketchup, hot sauce and vinegar. On EVERYTHING.
- French fries (McDonald's ONLY, and he will NOT eat potatoes in any other form)