Pick Your Battles

Yes- all parents know that you have to pick the battles you fight with kids. Actually, I think everyone (parent or not) has heard that phrase. The hard part comes with what battles do you pick? Which ones do you fight and which ones do you walk away from? Which ones are important enough or meaningful to fight? Do you fight over socks? Do you fight with what to wear to sleep? Do you negotiate what to eat for dinner or just fix something and they can eat it or not?

One battle I have chosen to give up on (for the most part) is what my daughter wears to school. She is in preschool and honestly, who cares? The teachers don’t and certainly the students don’t notice. So I decided that why should I? I do battle when we are going out to dinner or to church… but for school, I decided just to let her wear what she wants to. It has made our daily routines much easier and about 20 minutes less without a battle!

Here is one of her outfits- green striped tights, green athletic shorts, warm boots (because she refuses to wear socks, she wears warm shoes), white shirt, her silver Ariel jacket and a beautiful athletic headband. She was happy and it gave me a smile that morning on what she picked.

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Picky Eaters?! Great Tip from a Occupational Therapist

I have written about picky eaters before and for any new readers… I was a SUPER picky eater growing up. I would not eat many foods and luckily the foods I did eat were fairly healthy. Well, now I am blessed with my own picky eater. She has a list of about 15 foods that she likes to eat and there is no amount of coaxing, bribery, trickery, etc. that can convince her to try foods she doesn’t like.

I get lots of parenting advice about this topic. “She will eat if she gets hungry enough” is my favorite. I always nod my head and say, “Yep, I guess she will”. But in my mind, I want tell them that she won’t. She would rather go hungry then eat something that smells funny, looks different, or that she just doesn’t think she will like.

So for now, we just try to remember, she won’t be eating creamy peanut butter sandwiches that are cut in circles when she is out at a business lunch!

Our occupational therapist gave us a great idea the other day- have her just touch the food and put it up to her lips and even in her mouth. She is allowed to spit it out but she needs to work on getting it into her mouth.PickyEater_300x

So we will try that- but I know she will outgrow some of this. I know as she gets older, she will eat more food. So I work on not being frustrated when I cook a great meal and she wants a peanut butter sandwich. 🙂

Food Battles and Parent Advice

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So I have a confession… well some of you already know this. I was extremely picky eater growing up. I hated most foods. My childhood friends could all tell you what I would pack in my lunchbox because it was pretty much the same for 13 years of school. In fact, pretty sure my college roommates could list the food items I would eat- there wasn’t many.

Now that I am a mother of a picky eater, I really try not to let it stress me out. I know she will eventually outgrow it and won’t be sitting in business meetings eating a peanut butter sandwich cut into a circle. I know she will eventually learn that fruit does taste good and so do vegetables.

What does stress me out is the parenting advice I get for her eating habits. I realize she needs to eat more fruit, vegetables, meat, etc. But I also know she would rather go hungry than eat something she doesn’t want to. I can’t bribe her, negotiate with her, explain to her it is healthy, etc. She doesn’t care– she won’t eat. I honestly think she would die of hunger before she ate a vegetable.

So in the meantime, I do feed her what she likes. My parents did and guess what?? I am ok and eat very healthy.

PS- I do put food in front of her and she won’t eat it.

PSS- Click on the picture above for a short article for parents.

Food Battles, Anyone??!!

Sometimes, the saying, “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” is VERY obvious in our household. Growing up, I ate about 15 different items about half of those were breakfast foods. I didn’t like pizza, vegetables (not many kids do?!), spaghetti, cheeseburgers and most everything else. But that was normal to me and I didn’t know that people ate so many other things. Well… my child is just like me. She eats just about nothing. NOTHING! Yesterday, I decided to try to trick her. We were out of the one kind of yogurt she will eat so I colored the vanilla yogurt purple. I didn’t think she would fall for it but she LOVED it. In fact, our son then asked for red yogurt. They had so much fun making the colored yogurt. carly No judgement either- we do put a few M&M’s in it to get her to eat it.

I know others have food battles. Wonder what other tricks parents use?

Just an idea for other parents…I have been following a blog: http://learntolovefood.com/.  Cute ideas on for being creative with eating time.

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One More Parent Tip for Sensory Issues

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I am not an expert on this topic, nor do I claim to be. However, I do have some personal and professional experience with it. Here is my last piece of advice… decide what is really important to be fighting about with these children.

They really are bothered by the touch of clothing so no amount of bribery, coaxing, punishment, rewards will change this feeling that they have. It truly upsets them and you have to be sensitive to this or you will have lots of battles.

Here are some things we have done to help:

1. We have 2 “handsome” days during the school week. These two days our child has to wear a dress or fancier clothes. This is not to punish but to help on the days she has to wear nicer clothes. It also gives her a feeling of control over the other days.

2. We have tried LOTS of kinds of underwear. I highly recommend boy shorts for girls or even biker shorts. I know some parents that don’t even fight the underwear battle but do make them wear leggings or biker shorts.

3. Jeans are not worth the fighting about- they are uncomfortable to them.

4. Athletic wear is a favorite (like C9 clothing from Target or Reebok clothing).

5. We buy shoes that don’t require socks (lined Crocs or boots).

6. Short hair- brushing is not a big deal any more and we don’t fight the hair bow/ pony tail battle.

Response to Sensory Posts

Well…there are somethings that still surprise me now that I am blogging. Like how many more views we get when I post a personal picture or if I post a video. But the one thing that surprised me the past week is the feedback or response I have gotten personally from my posts about sensory issues with children. It is a personal topic and one that I was nervous to write about. I think it seems like a “taboo” topic to many parents- it was for me in the beginning too. The amount of personal notes, emails, text messages, etc. has been amazing. I am SUPER proud of even educating one parent on the topic- but there have been many. I think I might pat myself on the back for that.

I will revisit the topic again in my blog. But I will leave you with a few more links.

WebMD Information

Checklist for parents 

Fact Sheet for Parents

General video explaining Sensory Processing Disorder

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Is There Really Such a Thing??

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People are questioning sensory processing disorder? Have they talked to teachers? Yes- there is really such a thing. I am sure the doctors and psychologists have reasons for not officially recognizing sensory processing disorder as a separate diagnosis.  I do recognize they know more than I do about it but if you talk to any parents that experience this with their children, there is no doubt that this is real. It does happen often with other diagnosis (like Autism) but I don’t think that is always the case. I think it can range from be debilitating to easily managed depending on the child but they may not necessarily exhibit characteristics of other disorders. But that is just my opinion.

Here is an article from Washington Post about this debate:

The debate over sensory processing disorder: Are some kids really ‘out of sync’?

Higher Percentage of Sensory Challenges with Gifted Children

With everything I post, some people may agree or not agree and I am ok with that. But in my opinion (and there is information to support this by others), there can be a correlation between being gifted and having sensory challenges. I do believe that many gifted children have intensities can also include the senses.

Unfortunately, I do think there is a social stigma about talking about “sensory processing disorder” and its direct correlation to other disorders. But it is getting to be a more common term in education and hopefully more accepted too. It can be debilitating but can also be minor and easily adapted for when it is understood.

Here are two articles about gifted children and sensory processing disorder. I would HIGHLY recommend any parent of gifted children read it. Your child might not exhibit these characteristics but I bet some other children around you do.  Always good to be an informed parent. 🙂

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