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16 Jul 2008

Difficult toddler
Hi Doc
I am a working mom, and only comes home at about 19:00 at night. By then my 4 year old son has been collected from day care by his grandpa and then again collected by either myself or my husband. My son would be very happy and chirpy, until we drive off from my parent's place. He then would demand to have at least a hamburger or a sweet or something to drink bought for him. I mostly refuse, because I don't want to re-start a habit. He used to get a little something when I would buy the bread and milk, but I've stopped going to the shops after he's been collected completely. This happened because I realised that he is dehydrated by the time he comes from day care and unfortunately the habit has been created. It has gone well for a while, but we have changed day care centres last year, and now he comes home even more thirsty and hungry. We changed day cares because I have discovered unacceptable sexual exploring happening between the older boys, with the younger ones (girls and boys) exposed to that.
When I ask him why he is so hungry lately he would first lie and say they don't get food, but after a bit of probing, he admits to not eating his food. The day care also confirmed this. I have heard from other parents however that the children are fed rice with gravy everyday, iso the promised, more balanced eating plan.
I never used to force the issue of him eating (he's never been a good eater) for fear of other pshycological eatng problems later in life. But now, he'd rather have flavoured milk at home than actually eating. I am starting to believe that is too lazy to eat, because when we offer to feed him, he eats quite willingly.
The other problem is, that when he comes home from school, he is in a terrible mood (I can only assume it is low blood sugar levels) and he screams and shouts and throw tantrums and is just plain unreasonable. It usually end up in us having one hell of a fight before we even had a chance to make a quick sarmie. Usually after he had a drink and something to eat, he is his beautiful charming self.
Have I been too lenient with his eating behaviour? How do I correct that?
How do I handle this screaming and shouting child? I do not want to fight and scream before we even had a little snuggle and kiss after the long day. (it's no use trying that with him before he's eaten something, he just gets vicious)
Should I confront the day care about the food supplied?
Would it be wise to change day cares again so soon after the previous change. He adapts quickly, and has already made very good friends at the current day care. There is also no more screaming fits before having to go to day care - he even forgets to greet me once he's there!
I hope that you can help me based on the info supplied.
Answer 421 views
Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

AGain, I am amazed that our many experienced moms haven't responded to your long and detailed question. This is not a psychiatric problem, so I have no special suggestions to offer --- maybe the parenting forum would be useful if you would copy and re-post this question there
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