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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>How Do I Nicely Tell A Parent That …. (Long Sorry)
familyschoolcare 11:26 AM 11-08-2011
1. They are expecting their child to eat too much
2. Of course he is hunger at 5:30/6:00 when you pick up it has been 2+ hours since he eat and it is almost Dinner
3. Since I pick the child up from school at 2:30, I cannot tell how much he has eaten that day.
4. I will not make a child eat and if you have problem with that then you can fin another day care.



So a little background this child is 4 years old is in a pre-k or preschool program at a local public school, I pick him up at 2:30. Snack is at 3:20 ( I have no intention of changing snack time) this child comes to me on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays his parents are divorced. All indications are that this is a health boy.

So today I called dad to remind him that Friday is Veterans Day and as such I am closed and to find out when Dad wanted to talk about a resent policy change he has not signed yet because he had some questions. (I did not see dad yesterday and will not see him today).

While on the phone, Dad asked how his child was doing. I assumed that he was asking because he has not seen his son for more than a week now because he is out of town on a business trip. I told Dad that DCB did not come on Monday or Tuesday of last week because I got a call from Mom saying I did not need to pick him up. However, on Friday last week and yesterday (Monday) he seamed to be his normal happy self. Then dad asked how has he been eating, I told dad that DCB does eat snack sometimes it is form his lunch box instead of or in addition to what I offer for snack.

Dad say he was asking because he sees how little he eats in during the day and he is always hunger when they pick him up at 5:30/6:00 and the have to stop and get him something to eat before they can get to the table for dinner. I suggested having a health snack available for the child if he is indeed that hungry (do not know why he can not just eat what is in his lunch) something like apples or carrots something that if he did spoil his dinner over it would not be that big of a deal because is was a vegetable or a fruit.

Skipping over that suggestion Dad asked if I could make sure the child eats enough in a day. I told him no I do not make children eat. I will encourage a child to eat that is not eating anything but I cannot and will not force a child to eat.

Dad said he was concerned DCb is not getting enough food during the day and therefore because of the important time of day he is in my care it is important that he have a good meal. I told dad no I offer a snack not a meal there is a difference. Dad then says I mean if DCB has not eaten his lunch then he needs to eat it at your house. I reminded dad that I do not make children eat.


I asked dad if the doctors are concerned with DCBs weight or growing at all confused, he said no. I said that is an indication that perhaps DCB is getting enough to eat during the day. Dad said I see how much he is eating of his lunch and DCB is always hungry when we pick him up so no he is not eating enough and we do not need to wait for the doctors to get involved to fix it. At this point, I offered to start tracking how much the child is eating at my house and sending written notices of this home.

Dad then asks, with no response to the above suggestion, do you check his lunch box at all during the day. I said yes (what I felt like saying was not very nice so I kept it to myself) at snack time DCBs lunch box is pulled out and he is offered food from it and food from what I am offering for snack usually a homemade muffin made with whole wheat and/or enriched flour and fresh fruit. I went on to explain that while I do limit the muffins to a single severing I do not limit the amount of fruit the children eat so while it is a snack in DCB could eat as much as he wanted.

Dad then says so you do know how much DCB is eating during the day. I told Dad no all I know for sure is what is left in his lunch box. Dad say well you know if there is a lot of food left that he has not eaten anything or little that day. I told Dad no I do not know if he snuck food from a friend at lunch, or if he had fourths a morning snack, or if five times the amount of food a child his ages should consume in a day was in his lunch box at the beginning of the day, or if his class had a pizza party and the parent that packs his lunch Forgot. All I know for sure is what is what is in his lunch box. Dad says the container is his box is his main food and so you can basically tell how much he has eaten. I restated no I cannot tell how much he has eaten I can tell how much food is in his lunch box when I pick him up from school.

At this point I asked Dad have you talked to mom does DCB eat the same amounts of food for lunch on the days he is not with me. Dad says DCB goes to his aunts on those days and does not have problem eating their. Taking a deep breath I said oh all right but I meant at school during lunchtime. Dad said I do not know what DCB is doing at school during lunchtime. I told Dad you might want to talk to the school about how much DCB is eating at lunch. (BTW, this is not the first time I have suggested this to this parent) I mean really why talk to me about how food is left in the lunch box and not the teacher that over see the eating of lunch.

The conversation ended with Dad saying that when he gets back in town he will set up a time for us to set down and talk about all this.

Today I am going to look at the container Dad referred to and see how much food it holds and go from there. Why do parents think every child needs to eat like a football player not every child needs to eat that much to be health.
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small_steps 11:35 AM 11-08-2011
I don't really see how what he eats at school has anything to do with you. And of course you can't make him eat. I believe that's in my state's minimum standards. Sounds like he is just looking for something to complain about.A lot of children go through stages where they don't eat much at all. And then they start eating everything in the house. I have twins and one of them almost always finishes everything in his lunchbox and the other will just nibble a little on a few things in there. He's growing like he should and has no other health problems so I'm not concerned. He will eat if he's hungry. I bet his teacher at school looks at him like he's crazy if he asks her that. There's too many kids there for her to monitor what each one eats every day.
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laundrymom 11:37 AM 11-08-2011
You are so much nicer than me. I would give dad two Statements
1. Get off my arse about how much HIS CHILD is eating at HIS CHILDS SCHOOL when he isn't in MY CARE.

And 2.
Call and talk to the school about his lunches. I'm only responsible for making sure he is offered a snack. I can't make him eat.
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SilverSabre25 11:40 AM 11-08-2011
Good grief, what a mother hen!

I'm sorry he's putting you through that; good for you for sticking to your guns.

Even my daughter, for whom I know exactly how much she has eaten from the time she wakes up every day, is hungry at that time of day. I simply plan for her to eat a snack around then...just like you suggested to the dad. I think most parents do that. Seriously, how hard is it to hand the kid four crackers or a banana or seven baby carrots?! Then if he's still hungry, "I know you are, you had a little snack to tide you over, dinner will be ready in half an hour. Go play/here have crayons and color at the table/why don't you help me make dinner?/here's some water."
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Solandia 11:40 AM 11-08-2011
Take a deep breath, exhale....

Parents ALWAYS focus on -or- create food issues when they are feeling guilty that they do not have enough time with their child. It like step #1, it seems like. It is a control issue, specifically it is dad's issue. Not yours.

I would just continue to say what you have said, say it over & over without changing the wording or adding points or clarification(he will jump on it as if you are waffling over your decision). I would not create a meeting time for this, everything has been said on this subject. A meeting is feeding into dad's control issues.

He will move on to something else to be 'in control' over, and if he cant get that through you, then he will focus elsewhere for that need.
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Hunni Bee 11:57 AM 11-08-2011
Originally Posted by Solandia:
Take a deep breath, exhale....

Parents ALWAYS focus on -or- create food issues when they are feeling guilty that they do not have enough time with their child. It like step #1, it seems like. It is a control issue, specifically it is dad's issue. Not yours.

I would just continue to say what you have said, say it over & over without changing the wording or adding points or clarification(he will jump on it as if you are waffling over your decision). I would not create a meeting time for this, everything has been said on this subject. A meeting is feeding into dad's control issues.

He will move on to something else to be 'in control' over, and if he cant get that through you, then he will focus elsewhere for that need.
THIS. Totally.
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Christian Mother 12:04 PM 11-08-2011
Sounded like everything got off to a good start until he kept asking for you to monitor his food intake at home. It's not your responsibility to unsure this child eats. Your not the parent. Ur responsibility is to offer it to him. And forcing it would just back fire on everyone involved.

What it really sounds like to me is that the father is tired of going and picking up take out..(McDonald's every night) trust me if a parent has done it a couple times it's started a battle from then on...That parent is going to give in every time now bc their tired of the whining and arguing..best to just blame anyone and everyone bc he's mad he's got to shell out more money. I would put it back on the parent.

Oh really, you stop off to get food for dcb...exactly where do you take him? I'm willing to bet it's some sort of fast food Mcdonald's type. Now of course that child is hungry... the parent has basically taught that boy to forgo lunch and snack bc something much better is on it's way. If the parent would be a parent and engage in this fight over wills...then he'd get that child to eat healthy...eating when he should be eating.

I can see if that child was in your care 9-10 hrs a day. The father could then question what he eats and how much but he is not...he's there only a couple to a few. Not enough time for you to monitor food intake. Tell him he's talking to the wrong person. He needs to be speaking w/his teacher. All you can do is tell him whats left inside his lunch box and offer him what evers left over and what ever you provide for snack. If he doesn't want anything that's not your problem. How would they like to have you force it on him? lol!! If he wants to discuss further I would ask that mom be apart of this conversation. I wouldn't want to discuss something with other the other parent there.
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daycare 12:06 PM 11-08-2011
I had a mom whos kids were with me breakfast lunch and dinner and all meals in between.

She was a controll freak and sounds just like this dad.

I stopped talking about it and just started saying. Sorry I don't have those problems here and as much as I wish I could help you at home with any issues I can't.

Every day she would come with some other issue and this was always my response.

It finally stopped when I told her that they needed to leave because it just seems Like no matter what I do I can't please her...

I felt better to not have to deal with her anymore, but miss the kids a lot
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nannyde 01:02 PM 11-08-2011
Dad say he was asking because he sees how little he eats in during the day and he is always hungry when they pick him up at 5:30/6:00 and the have to stop and get him something to eat before they can get to the table for dinner.

He wants you to give him supper. He's telling you that the kid is eating meal food when he's with the aunt. He's telling you that when the kid comes from the aunts house it's easier for the Dad. He doesn't have to be organized and have food already ready for the kid when he walks in the door because the kid has already had a meal. That way he gets to take it easy and do supper on Dad time instead of immediately on kid time.

The lunch box discussion sounds like chaos talk so that he can TALK about food. He WANTS it to be a convo that you say "it can't be done" because you don't really know about what he came with in the first place. He wants YOU to get to the point where YOU realize that ... because you don't REALLY know how much the kid has eaten.. and it IS five thirty p.m.... because YOU must make sure that he is perfectly cared for and has his needs met... then YOU must offer him meal food so he has what he needs.

His bringing up the lunch food is to get you to DO the supper convo with him. His baby NEEDS to eat because none of us REALLY know how hungry he is and what he has eaten in a day. All we really know is he's had a small snack and that's not enough when he's so hungry and it's so late.

Just tell him that you don't do supper for the daycare kids even if they are hungry for supper when they are at your house. When he says the kid is starving for supper when he picks him up you say "I know... all my daycare kids eat supper RIGHT when they get home. Aint bein a parent fun?"

It's not special

It not unusual

Human babies that eat lunch around noon and have a snack around three/four need supper by six. Just being a parent.... no biggie.
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safechner 01:03 PM 11-08-2011
Well, you said they pick him up between 5:30pm to 6:00pm. That is dinner time. I would tell his father that well if he is hungry because it is dinner time.

I would tell him it is his problem, not yours because you are making sure he is well care in your care. You are right you cannot force him to eat.

Some parents!!
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daycare 01:12 PM 11-08-2011
whatever you do don't give in like I did and start offering dinner services...

Trust me, the dad still wont be happy...
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CheekyChick 01:16 PM 11-08-2011
It seems to me:

A) Dad does not trust you're feeding his child enough. He needs to talk to the SCHOOL about what he eats during the day - not you.

B) Boy plays on that and probably gets chicken nuggets on the way home because he's FAMISHED. I would do the same if I were four.

If I were you, I would give the little boy a protien with his snack (yogurt, hard boiled egg, string cheese) along with fruit and a muffin. I know my older children would not stay full very long with a muffin and fruit. I would write them a daily note - stating what was offered, at what time, and how much he ate. If he continues to give you a hard time, it's time to let the family go.
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grandmom 02:53 PM 11-08-2011
I agree, it's a great way to get nuggets on the way home.

I tell parents my two primary jobs are:

1. keep them safe
2. send them home hungry so they will eat dinner at home with their parents.

I don't apologize for it. Snack is snack. I don't even offer seconds of snack.
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cheerfuldom 03:07 PM 11-08-2011
Stop having a discussion about the food. Type up a list of what you WILL do, do not talk about all the scenarios of what you won't do, if he is not happy with the list of what you can provide then he is welcome to find a new provider.
Do not offer to check the lunchbox, track what he its, etc, etc because he will just find fault with how you do these things and continue to push for you to provide dinner.
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daycare 03:11 PM 11-08-2011
Originally Posted by cheerfuldom:
Stop having a discussion about the food. Type up a list of what you WILL do, do not talk about all the scenarios of what you won't do, if he is not happy with the list of what you can provide then he is welcome to find a new provider.
Do not offer to check the lunchbox, track what he its, etc, etc because he will just find fault with how you do these things and continue to push for you to provide dinner.
ditto to this and to the post above...

The more answers you try to give the more he is going to try to search for a new way to control and complain...
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wdmmom 08:12 PM 11-08-2011
Sounds to me like dad wants you to give him dinner.

I would probably approach it like this.

"Ya know John, we've had this discussion several times. I don't know what you packed in his lunch versus what he eats and throws away. I will provide him a snack here everyday at 3pm. I don't make him eat it but I do offer it. I can only tell you what he's eating while he is in my direct care. If you are concerned about him not getting enough, talk to his doctor about his diet."
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familyschoolcare 08:37 PM 11-08-2011
So I think that what I am going to do is start writing down what DCB is eating at my house. (The food program whants me to start offering/doing this anyway)

Then when this comes up a again (and it will because I need Dad to sign the new comunicaition policy and he has questions about it first. I just know that when we are talking about that this will come up) I can tell Dad to refer to the daily sheets to see how much he is eating when in my care. If Dad asks about my checking DCB's lunch box I will say the lunch box is gotten out at snack time and I encourage him to eat anything still in it. If it is brought u that DCB is hungry at oick up then I will say yes I know he is. All human children that eat lunch about 12:00 and snack between 3:00 and 4:00 get hungry for dinner between 5:00 and 6:00. I am glad to here that DCB is normal in that regaurd, that way he will eat the health dinner you provide him.

Not sure how to respond id Dad say but DCB can not wait untill we get home to eat dinner. Might say I do not think DCB will die of starvation in that amount of time. But I am not sure I could say that with a straight face.
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mismatchedsocks 06:43 AM 11-09-2011
Wow you are nicer then me. I dont pull out the school agers lunch box when they get here. They get the same snack as everyone else at 3-330(ish) and if they are picked up at 5, well they should be hungry its dinner time, then the time it takes to make dinner...etcetc.

This child might not like what is being packed for his lunch, he may eat other kids lunch, who knows. Does the child seem like he is starving?
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familyschoolcare 06:59 AM 11-09-2011
Originally Posted by lilrugrats:
Wow you are nicer then me. I dont pull out the school agers lunch box when they get here. They get the same snack as everyone else at 3-330(ish) and if they are picked up at 5, well they should be hungry its dinner time, then the time it takes to make dinner...etcetc.

This child might not like what is being packed for his lunch, he may eat other kids lunch, who knows. Does the child seem like he is starving?
To me letting the children pull out thier lunch box is not a big deal I only have school agers so everone has a lunch box. I can difently see how if I had some littler children it could cause a problem.

My DD will out food that she whants to eat for snack in lunch so that it will be leftover at snack time.
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mismatchedsocks 07:01 AM 11-09-2011
Its not a big deal to pull it out, and i didnt know you had all school agers sorry. in fact this is great that you do it with all of them.

maybe he is waiting to show his friends what he has in his lunch?
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Tags:eating issues, meals provided, parents - ask too much
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