September 17, 2008

Parenting P Words That Aren't Punish.

I was reading an online conversation about punishing kids for sneaking food. Regular YDMV readers know I am not a fan of calling it sneaking or cheating. What I found particularly useful in one of the replies was a positive way to manage it. Here is what my friend Kristin had to say about punishing for sneaking;

We do not. But that is only our situation. I realize each child is different. At one point we used to make a joke. I told my son that if he was going to "sneak" food that he was to come to me and tell me he was sneaking food with a wink. Of course the agreement is that I can't say anything but ok and wink back and he would of course bolus himself! He did this once or twice and that was the end of it. He doesn't sneak any food. I also try not to limit food for d reasons. I will for health reasons but not for d. Like I said this just worked for us.

Here is what I find particularly helpful. First it is an ‘I’ statement as in I do this. Not you should do something but I do this. Next she is right up front with the idea that situations differ. Yeah YDMV! OK Y Parenting MV

Now comes the real brilliance - Joke about it. Wink and a nod support for breaking rules. Making it kind of fun to do what is the long term goal. Specifically know that it is OK and FUN to eat and bolus.

Kristin flips confrontation potential into a positive parenting practice pre positioning proper independent performance. That is 8 parenting P words that aren’t punish!



  1. I grew up in a different D era, and I was constantly sneaking food because flexibility was not an option once upon a time. Unfortunately there was no internet for my mom to engage in dialogues about how to manage that behavior. My sneaking contributed to an incredibly unhealthy relationship with food that included 18 years of an eating disorder. It breaks my heart in unimaginable ways to know there are parents out there who punish for "sneaking", but I'm always so relieved to learn that there are parents like Kristin who have found ways to accommodate the needs of a child without compromising 'betes care.

  2. Lee Ann makes a great point. Back in the very beginning when I was on 70/30, sneaking was NEVER an option because it's not possible to correct. I'm with you on this one. Punishing them for it makes it more enticing.