Author Topic: Rude or reasonable?  (Read 4771 times)

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Nurvingiel

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Re: Rude or reasonable?
« Reply #15 on: August 08, 2010, 01:18:46 AM »
I think you were brilliant. Don't change a thing.

Next time, they'll think twice before declining breakfast (of food they helped choose, sheesh!).
If I had some ham, I could have ham and eggs, if I had some eggs.

noexitwounds

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Re: Rude or reasonable?
« Reply #16 on: August 08, 2010, 02:01:35 AM »
I think it's reasonable you went and bought them food in the grocery store. You can say 'My house. My food. Eat or don't eat.' but I think that expecting two minors to completely and utterly change their diets for a visit they may or may not have a lot of choice about (it doesn't sound like SIL or Bro actually do a lot of parenting -- the ILs seem pretty involved too) is a little unreasonable. So, good on you for buying the grocery store food.

And that's what they should eat. Period.

I mean, not only are you helping them by setting firm boundaries and teaching them whining doesn't always work but, dude, the stuff in fast food and how it's processed is scary, scary bad for you. A few weeks away from it gives their bodies time to detox. (Please note: I'm not condemning parents who occasionally buy fast food because, really, don't we all? Or do something like eat an entire pint of Ben & Jerry's ice cream in one sitting? It's just a regular fast food diet is pretty much nutrient free and has things that are bad for young bodies especially.) So, really, you're doing them a major favor in another way.

You did the right thing -- except I'm not sure I would have cut the trip short unless your own kid stopped enjoying it because of the whining. But then, I'm the (extra) heavy with my cousins at home -- and, hey, "coincidentally" the only one that can get them to eat fruits and veggies rather than hot dogs and pizza rolls. (It's seriously so bad my aunt will make burgers for dinner and then make a corndog for the 5 1/2 year old because he won't eat burgers. He eats corndogs for probably half his meals each week.)
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kherbert05

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Re: Rude or reasonable?
« Reply #17 on: August 08, 2010, 02:08:29 AM »

That said I would think a 15-year-old who's a long-time house guest should have some input into what's going to be available throughout the day, being in a quasi-family member position due to the length of the visit.  Were they consulted about the breakfast and snack menu? 

Yup, in the original post, I mentioned I took them grocery shopping and let them pick out food (within reason) for breakfast, lunch, and snacks and buy my kids allergy free equivalents.  My kids consider their cousins' visit junk food heaven since they usually don't get potato chips, hot dogs, soda, or store bought cookies that often.

Thanks for responses.  Regarding, DH's paternal role, he supports me, but he's just as likely to cave with our own kids.  I'm the heavy with all the kids.  He feels very guilty that he's not as involved as he would like with his nieces and nephews because we live four hours away.  SIL and my ILs (who are also raising the kids) are more relaxed about structure and rules then we are.  DH feels it's important to give them time, love, and fun experiences when they are with us.  I think it's just as important to give them security, clear boundaries, and someone they can trust to be there no matter what.  I didn't think I was rude, thanks for the support.  Just for record, DH helped raised my two nieces and two step nieces for almost three years when we were first married.  And I was the heavy that time around too.


/
You are right. Also as far as being the heavy. I'm the fun cousin/aunt trips to the zoo, museum, water park. Behavior like that I've been known to turn around and deposit the offending child in their parents arms. Turn around and go back with the others kids, if that was impossible then I would pick something as close to in level of fun - or a little on the indulgent side for the other kids.

I've done it a couple of times with a bratty cousin, who had been taught the sun and moon rose and set on her shoulders. After the 2nd time she never gave me guff anymore. Unfortuantly she didn't learn to apply the lesson to other relationships.

Honestly if I ever recieved a call from one of their parents like the one from your SIL - Their seats would have been in the car before I hung up and they would have been home in 2 hours flat.
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JoieGirl7

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Re: Rude or reasonable?
« Reply #18 on: August 08, 2010, 02:56:44 AM »
They are not guests, you are not rude.
 
They are your "charges" and you are their guardians while they are in your care.
 
The only change that I would make (and not knowing the allergies of your children, this might be bad advice) is to take along some PB&J sandwiches.
 
And never give in to the fast food option.
 
I have never known a child (unless they were allergic to peanuts) who could eat a PBJ sandwich and have it give them what they needed.  I still eat them when my blood sugar gets low---although, now its whole wheat bread, special peanut butter and not very much jelly.
 
And for a kayaking trip, if they are in a plastic baggy that has been shoved into a paper bag and are squooshed up a bit, that makes them even better!
 
I have a feeling though that these kids were testing you.

aventurine

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Re: Rude or reasonable?
« Reply #19 on: August 08, 2010, 03:09:01 AM »
The fact that Tim apologized to you says a lot to me.  It sounds as though he learned something valuable, and Sara might well learn from him in the future.

Well done.




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Clara Bow

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Re: Rude or reasonable?
« Reply #20 on: August 08, 2010, 04:40:50 AM »
There is no greater monster on earth than a person who has never learned that their actions have consequences, whether they like those consequences or not. I think that not only were you right, you did those kids a huge favor in teaching them that all our choices have clear outcomes and that we have to live with the decisions that we make.
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bopper

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Re: Rude or reasonable?
« Reply #21 on: August 09, 2010, 08:58:41 AM »
As a parent, sometimes I know better than the kids.  They may not be hungry at THAT EXACT INSTANCE and don't want to eat, but I know they will soon be hungry.  Next time bring some of their preferred breakfast food (assuming it isn't eggs  ;D) and give it to them when they are hungry.

ShadesOfGrey

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Re: Rude or reasonable?
« Reply #22 on: August 09, 2010, 09:14:07 AM »
I'm a little concerned that the 11 year old was responsible for her own breakfast- is she allowed to cook on a stove? For a physically demanding activity of that length of time, I'd want some sort of protein to hold over ontil lunch. How did your own kids get bfast? That's the only part that concerns me.   

But I 99% agree with the pp's and think you're right on track!
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Ambrosia Hino

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Re: Rude or reasonable?
« Reply #23 on: August 09, 2010, 09:26:32 AM »
I'm a little concerned that the 11 year old was responsible for her own breakfast- is she allowed to cook on a stove? For a physically demanding activity of that length of time, I'd want some sort of protein to hold over ontil lunch. How did your own kids get bfast? That's the only part that concerns me.   

But I 99% agree with the pp's and think you're right on track!

What's wrong with an 11 year old being in charge of their own breakfast? I've been in charge of feeding myself (or not) breakfast since I was 9, often including cooking it. I'm sure the OP would've helped if she'd been asked, but since the kids didn't even try to eat...(I would've been more forgiving if they'd eaten, and later realized that they hadn't eaten enough)

I think the OP did fine. This is one of those instances where "you're not a guest, you're family" (OP is their 'parent' for 2 weeks) and her rules are 'the law'. Honestly, I spent several summers with my grandparents (Mom was usually there too though) and was expected to eat what was served, with no input on the menu (well, I could request favorite sides...might not get them though). My little brother got more leeway, but you can't hold a toddler to the same standards as a middle schooler.

ShadesOfGrey

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Re: Rude or reasonable?
« Reply #24 on: August 09, 2010, 09:31:04 AM »
I dont think there's anything wrong with it, just that not all 11 year olds cook/use the stove, so I'm curious about this particular 11 year old.  

Also, I wouldnt expect an 11 year old to think "I'm going to be doing a physically demanding activity with limited time for snacks, for 5 hours, and it will likely be 6 before I eat again, so I should eat a good breakfast.  Preferrably including protein and fiber, which digests slower and makes you feel fuller longer. Cereal isnt going to cut it today."  But I would expect the adult in the situation to think that and mention something to the young ones if they were responsible for their own breakfast, or make a breakfast with that in mind if they werent.  
« Last Edit: August 09, 2010, 09:32:38 AM by DigitalPumpkin46 »
Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with shades of deeper meaning. - Maya Angelou

I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. - Maya Angelou

bah12

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Re: Rude or reasonable?
« Reply #25 on: August 09, 2010, 11:53:22 AM »
I'm a little concerned that the 11 year old was responsible for her own breakfast- is she allowed to cook on a stove? For a physically demanding activity of that length of time, I'd want some sort of protein to hold over ontil lunch. How did your own kids get bfast? That's the only part that concerns me.   

But I 99% agree with the pp's and think you're right on track!

I was thinking the same thing.  While I think the OP did nothing wrong and the kids were rude to demand a stop for FF after declining breakfast, I do think that if anything in the scenario could change it would be this.

Instead of telling all the kids to "eat breakfast", I might have just made breakfast or laid out the foods in the kitchen and had a specific time in the morning dedicated to eating.  It sounds like everyone was just getting ready on their own schedule and had to fit in breakfast whenever they could.  Sure, 11 and 15 are old enough to do this on their own, but I wouldn't necessarily trust kids to do the responsible thing if given a choice.

But, hopefully they learned a valuable lesson about pre-planning and the importance of eating a good breakfast!

Amava

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Re: Rude or reasonable?
« Reply #26 on: August 09, 2010, 12:01:31 PM »
As a parent, sometimes I know better than the kids.  They may not be hungry at THAT EXACT INSTANCE and don't want to eat, but I know they will soon be hungry.  Next time bring some of their preferred breakfast food (assuming it isn't eggs  ;D) and give it to them when they are hungry.
Cold scrambled eggs sandwiches are yummy, though!

I was thinking along these lines too, of packing a brunch. I know that I, myself, cannot eat breakfast first thing in the morning; if I am going to go somewhere for a whole morning and until after noon, I'd better pack some stuff to go! I can only eat when I'm hungry; and I only get hungry when I've been moving for a while.
So, if you can't teach / convince them to eat breakfast, maybe you can get them used to packing a brunch!

Squeaks

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Re: Rude or reasonable?
« Reply #27 on: August 09, 2010, 12:17:15 PM »
As a parent, sometimes I know better than the kids.  They may not be hungry at THAT EXACT INSTANCE and don't want to eat, but I know they will soon be hungry.  Next time bring some of their preferred breakfast food (assuming it isn't eggs  ;D) and give it to them when they are hungry.
Cold scrambled eggs sandwiches are yummy, though!

I was thinking along these lines too, of packing a brunch. I know that I, myself, cannot eat breakfast first thing in the morning; if I am going to go somewhere for a whole morning and until after noon, I'd better pack some stuff to go! I can only eat when I'm hungry; and I only get hungry when I've been moving for a while.
So, if you can't teach / convince them to eat breakfast, maybe you can get them used to packing a brunch!


This was my thought as well.  OP,  you brought stuff for your kids that you know (i assume they like), why not extend a similar courtesy to the guests.
Tossing in something that you know they are more likely to eat seems the simple and logical thing to do. 

I also can't don't like to eat first thing in the morning.  My stomach is usually a little squirrely (and even was as a kid) in the morning and needs time to settle.  This could be especially true if it is earlier than the normally get up.  It is always worse when i get up early.

As another idea. A lot of grocery stores have lots of yummy options in the Deli.  Perhaps next time suggest stopping in to get a Sandwich from the deli there rather than "fast food".  It seems to me the meats, cheese, breads there are often more real and less preservative filled as they turn things over faster. 

Basically you could suggest something healthy to pick up on the way home as a sort of compromise.




Night_owl

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Re: Rude or reasonable?
« Reply #28 on: August 09, 2010, 04:03:36 PM »
OP here.  Sara, the 11 year old, wasn't expected to make her own breakfast.  She was offered a choice of yogurt, cereal (picked out by her), fresh fruit, toast with PB & J, or hard boiled eggs with juice or any combination of the above.  I didn't "make" breakfast simply because there are five kids in the house, getting up between 6am and 8am or later most days.  Plus my own kids age 5, 5.5 and 9 get their own breakfasts with minimal help.

I like the idea of brunch, I'll try that.  I usually pack a more elaborate snack when we are out, but we were out on the water in kayaks with limited space.  I'm used to my own kids who consider granola bars and juice a treat.  The granola bars and juice were picked out by Sara and Tim.  They spend quite a bit of time with us each year, I'm pretty familiar with their eating habit which is why I take them food shopping.  The deli is a good choice, but honestly feeding two extra kids for two weeks gets pretty expensive, especially when you consider how much a 15 year old boy eats in a day.  Our food bill at least doubles while they visit and a stop at the deli means there is less money for movies, mini putt, the fair, and Sara's dance camp and Tim's computer animation class.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2010, 09:22:57 PM by Night_owl »

ShadesOfGrey

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Re: Rude or reasonable?
« Reply #29 on: August 09, 2010, 07:54:18 PM »
So it sounds like they may have a different appetite than your kids, and that's fine, you're quite accommodating.  My MIL had this same issue among her kids.  She would make breakfast whenever she made it, and then leave it out (or refridgerate as needed) for anyone else to reheat as needed.  That was the deal. If they wanted fresh, they got up earlier, and if they didnt, they just reheated or made their own.  :)
Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with shades of deeper meaning. - Maya Angelou

I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. - Maya Angelou