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spoiled children

July 23rd, 2017 at 10:55 pm

When you think about spoiled kids you think of things like buying fancy toys, clothes, etc. But I'm starting to think there are other ways to spoil a child non-financial but that can lead to financial problems. Mostly it's the fact that it's easy to learn never being told no.

I've been watching a friend's kids a lot recently with her going through a divorce and packing. They enjoy playing with my kids. But watching them this Friday and Saturday it was hard. Friday her mom watched the kids for dinner and had to make do with what we had. It was an unexpected dinner and I didn't have anything her kids eat. They eat chicken nuggets. and that's pretty much it for real food. They eat candy and snacks and some fruits. So on Saturday she dropped them off with chicken nuggets and tortilla. I made a quesadilla for the kids and they told me they don't eat it. They didn't eat any veggies or anything else. I said there wasn't enough chicken nuggets for them to eat only that and there wasn't. She said to feed them anything because if they don't eat they wake up in the middle of the night demanding food and milk. She can't deal with it.

I get it now. She talks about having outrageous food bills and never having food. After seeing what her kids eat I get it. Everything is processed and packaged and expensive.

But real problem is that catering to every want and need I think could lead to problems. Yes it's food only but never being told no and having every whim catered to can lead to not understanding you can't have everything in life.

I tried to guide my friend to a budget. But she ignored it. That's fine but I pointed out that calling herself poverty stricken while getting $2500/month support seems a bit much. I pointed out that DH and I live on not much more a month. Yet she isn't responsible for anything but groceries, gas, and utilities. Plus she's working and making $1000/2 weeks. So it's a lot of money since she isn't paying mortgage, car, insurance of any kind. But it's hard to hear that other people live on a lot less. I pointed that out and she's like but "my kids will be deprived."

I can't help but wonder how people think kids manage when their parents make less? What happens to people who make the average?

15 Responses to “spoiled children”

  1. rob62521 Says:

    Spoiled children who will grow up to be entitled adults expecting everything their own way and having horrible health besides. Our neighbors have kids and the boy will only eat junk stuff. The mom said he wouldn't eat vegetables. I'm thinking when he was little, did she even try? Of course one day my husband was working out in the yard and she went outside and called "Dinner time...we are having Hot Pockets!" That explained way too much.

    Your friend would rather complain than help herself. It's easier to give in to her kids than to have them eat decently. Plus, there's always the pity party factor on her part...she can't live on what she makes. You are a good friend to try and help even if she won't take your sound advice.

  2. Butterscotch Says:

    Is she still paying her legal bills? Divorce is expensive. Maybe she is crying poverty becuase she has more financial responsibilities than she is willing to share with you.

    Additionally, if she is still dealing with the psychological damage of finding out her husband was screwing women he met on Craigslist, then arguing with her kids about eating a salad probably isn't going to be on her radar. Not that it shouldn't be, but it might be that she is already barely holding what's left of her life together. In time she might be more open to advice.

  3. laura (deacon's wife) Says:


    I tend to agree with Butterscotch. When my husband was diagnosed with cancer last year, my kids ate cereal for dinner on many nights. And if they ate a home-cooked meal, it was because friends or family came over with a meal or brought a pizza. When your mind is worried about figuring out the future (whether divorce or illness), sometimes what you're going to cook for dinner isn't even on the list of concerns. I'm not sure what your friend's home life was like before the divorce, maybe it wasn't always like this.

  4. My English Castle Says:

    I think sometimes it's the guilt of a divorce too--even if it's not their fault folks try to "make up" for not being a traditional family any more.

  5. LivingAlmostLarge Says:

    Nope the kids were always like this. I've never fed the kids before candy and sweets. She's always catered to them but I think it's gotten worse. She can't sleep because they won't eat but instead wake up screaming they are hungry in the middle of the night. But probably part of it is the candy and snacks aren't holding them over. I feel terrible because I did what she said and feed them sweets and snacks and everything but she needs sleep I agree to try to get through the day. I can't give advice on food because it's a catch-22.

    Feed them junk food and they get hungry in the middle of the night. But it's a battle to feed them real food. Something she's too tired to do and I can't say it's bad.

    Nope before too she would bring food and feed them constantly snacks. I usually had to refuse for my kids because it was too much. But perhaps before they ate more food in general. Now it's picking at everything and so they are hungrier and worse behaved for her and she's exhausted since all 3 get up demanding food nightly. But maybe eating real food isn't the answer.

  6. CB in the City Says:

    Some kids are really obstinate about their eating habits. My BFF pretty much raised her son on hot dogs and baloney and baby carrots. He's turned out normal, eating a normal range of food. My grandsons are picky, too. It's a battle royale to get them to eat anything but mac & cheese, pizza and quesadillas. My DIL tries hard; goes at it with them every day, but they are firmly entrenched. I think it's a by-product of our affluence. If the kids were really hungry, they would eat anything.

    I agree with the others than going through a divorce is so devastating and draining that many issues just go off the table. (No pun intended.)

  7. Isbella Says:

    It's a terrible habit to get into--letting kids eat just what they like. When my four children were growing up, they had two choices for meals--take it or leave it. Do children like everything? Of course not. Did I make a lot of healthy meals they enjoyed? Of course. But they still had to take a taste of something new or different. Over time, even the meals they did not particularly like at first became fair game, even if not the favorite. All in all, they were very good eaters. They tried and enjoyed all kinds of fruits and vegetables.

    I remember a favorite snack was to make a large tray of veggie crudites (even sliced turnips) with a tasty hummus dip. They devoured it. When it comes to a child's health, food is non-negotiable, in my humble opinion. Kids need to eat right! If you put the right foods in front of a child, they will eventually eat it or go hungry. Sometimes there has to be a little tough love.

  8. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    Waking up during the night very hungry can be a symptom of diabetes. Any chance....?

  9. Anne Says:

    This is a parental problem. I just can't believe the parents today who let their kids call the shots on something as important as eating healthy! You are the adult! Take care of your kids. Set limits. This does not mean you don't love your children. I am an elementary school teacher, and believe me, kids are crying for limits. They do not want to be in charge or in control.

    In my classroom, we have rules that are lovingly set by our administration and by me. These rules are for the good of our classrooms and for each student. These rules help them to be responsible kids. These rules help us to have fun in our room and for children to be safe and respectful toward me, as the teacher, and to their classmates. I see the food issues a lot in my career, and it absolutely boggles the mind. I want to say, "Parents, get a grip." We talk about it in my classroom. Eating all kinds of food is good etc., but I know I can't turn it around unless the parents are doing their job at home.

  10. crazyliblady Says:

    What is it they say about leading a horse to water? Anyone could see she is going through a lot and meals might not always been perfect, but that's not the time to get lax on nutrition for kids.

  11. ceejay74 Says:

    That is rough. I think my kids are pretty picky, and I do allow them a fair amount of junk and snacks, but nothing like what you describe. I feel bad for her now even though it sounds like she enabled the situation. Lack of sleep makes me feel crazy.

  12. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    (Just trying to resubscribe to comments here. Pardon me.)

  13. ThriftoRama Says:

    I'll throw in two more cents.

    With kids, money doesn't stretch as far as in households without kids. Who knows how much she has to pay for daycare/summer camp, etc. so she can work. Plus the zillion dollars of beginning of the school year tech and workbook fees, and outgrown shoes.

    I have WAY less free money now that I have kids.

    I also have one of those picky eaters. It's an obsession with him. He's so picky. He won't budge on it. No, We don't let him eat candy constantly, but we do try to do things he likes so that he has something in his belly. For him, it's about having control over one aspect of his life, when so many other adults control everything else. I imagine a kid in a divorce would want to retain that power and control, and often the only place they can get it, is by controlling the food.

  14. patientsaver Says:

    I personally do think raising kids to be fussy eaters IS a big deal. It sets them up for a lifetime of poor diet choices. I see this with my friend R., who because he largely has eaten only cheeseburgers, corn on the cob, steaks and pizza his whole life, now is obese and has prostate cancer. (Yes, they are related.) And I'm sure others here have countless other examples. Being a big nutrition nut, I believe that eating a wide assortment of foods, preferably non-meat, non-dairy, really helps maintain good health.

    I don't have kids, but if I did, and I had one that was picky, I would require him/her to at least try new foods at least once, and then not "enable" his pickiness at meal time.

    I liked what Anne said above. It reminds me of people who complain that they have overweight or obese pets. I mean, THEY are in complete control of what their cat/dog eats; there's no excuse for it except laziness or lack of discipline.

  15. LivingAlmostLarge Says:

    CB the problem is mac and cheese, quesidilla, pizza are all things my friend would be over the moon if her kids ate. The problem is they eat literally junk food only. Chips, sweets, gogurts, crackers, etc. Nothing really healthy. She'd kill for her kids to eat kid food like pizza.

    Today her oldest again we had dinner at our house, comes up 5 minutes after dinner and says I'm hungry. DF says "well you should have eaten more at dinner." DK1 says "but you didn't let me eat the snacks today at the beach (we went before dinner) so I'm hungry. I didn't get to eat chips and crackers and everything else. I didn't want to eat dinner." But the lack of sleep is hard on her and I can see she's TIRED.

    Ann I agree it's hard when I hear her 7 year old telling her that she didn't eat dinner because she prefer to eat snacks and knows she usually tells her mom she's hungry and gets feed snack foods is hard to hear. I think a week or a month of no snacks would change all three kids eating habits. But divorce is hard and she's tired. I know she just needs to and wants to sleep while she can. So how can she fight the battle now?

    Yes the kids are all overweight and the dr has told her from before we met to control what they eat. They are supposed to cut all white bread, carbs, etc. I think it's supposed to be more balanced. And she was trying since we've met. I know she refrains more when we hang out from giving her kids snacks because I cut mine off and say no way or else they won't eat dinner. A bag of pirate's booty or popcorn = no dinner my kids are full.

    I don't know it's a rough time and sometimes you have to pick and choose your battles and she needs sleep to function.

    Thrift what does your kid eat? I've met picky kids before. Those who only drink 1 juice box. Or eat only 5 foods. I've very rarely met kids who eat only snacks because usually most parents enforce the you have to eat your meal rule. Most parents will let their kids get away with chicken nuggets, pizza, grilled cheese, peanut butter sandwiches, mac and cheese. Boring kids foods. Until now I haven't met parents who say "oh you don't have to eat kids foods even, how about a bag of chips? Or crackers? Or just junk food?" Most complain about their kids eating the same things. And unwilling to try new foods.

    My kiddos eat like adults. They eat what's in front of them because we never bothered making kid meals. They eat lots of different foods because it's in front of them. But they will not eat if we give them a bag of chips or snacks between meals.

    I did point out to her that you aren't supposed to feed the kids only fruits all day. She was feeding them only fruit and junk food. I said one serving I think she cut back for 5-6.

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