It seems like every single child goes through a picky-eater phase.
Chicken nuggets. Hot dogs. Spaghetti.
Whatever it is, they get stuck on one thing, and one thing only.
"The pediatrician on my show says that the best way to deal with picky eaters is to give them small portions of everything and they can’t have more of anything 'til they have eaten everything. That has worked for me.
I get the concept of not trying to intervene at all levels of parenting, and maybe just let the kid eat when they’re hungry, but people will say “but my kids only eats chicken nuggets,” to which all of our fathers would say, “He isn’t hungry enough to eat other stuff."
I like the point the researcher makes that modeling healthy eating is the best way to get your kids to eat healthy in the long term. And it makes sense that pressuring a kid to eat can create a distrust in their hunger impulses. But, as a parent, you need to have guidelines for when we are eating and when there is no food. But, maybe the better thing is to always have a little healthy snack of some nuts or dried fruit to offer up if they say they are hungry. The fact remains, that for the majority of kids in the US, food supply isn’t an issue. So, if they wait a few hours being hungry, it isn’t the end of the world."
Have you ever heard of "bird nesting?"
It is a co-parenting strategy that Psychology Today outlines as one in which the parents stay in the same main home, keeping the child from having to go back and forth from home to home.
"Rather than the children having to adapt to the parents’ needs and living in two separate dwellings, they remain in the family home and the parents take turns moving in and out, like birds alighting and departing the “nest.” During the time parents are not at home with the kids, they live in a separate dwelling, which can either be on their own or rotated with the other parent."
Justin, whose parents divorced when he was young, thinks it's just too complicated.
"My parents divorced when I was about 5 and the idea of them sharing a house but having a second house seems crazy. Having two people who couldn’t find a way to live together and getting them to agree on how to raise children is hard enough. Adding the fact of sharing property still sounds even more difficult. I would imagine that this only works for people who have an amicable split.
Personally I am against the one week on one week off. It seems to create volatility for the kid. But, again, I never had to go through that, so what the hell do I know."
To hear more of Justin's take on dealing with picky eaters, bird-nest co-parenting, and other parenting topics, you can check out all of his stuff at The Dad Podcast
Check out his latest episode with Kevin Miller about the afterlife and Justin's obsession with finances.