Post # 1
I have two neices, aged 7 and 8. They spend most days with us until their mom or dad gets off work. Well, today my brother (their uncle) bought 2 pizzas for dinner (we have 6 people living in the house, not including the girls, but my parents stopped to eat while they were running errands). He, my mom’s friend (who is staying with us right now), and the two girls ate, but SO and I decided to wait till he woke up so we could eat together (he works nights). There were three pieces for each me and SO as well as some for SO to take to lunch tonight, but when I went out later, only one large piece was left. My neices, it had turned out, had taken all of the pepperonis off of the other pieces, ate them, and then threw thepizza away. I wouldn’t be mad if they had actually eaten the pizza- I would gladly go without if it meant them getting full. But they completely wasted mine and my SO’s dinner! Now, if they were older and got an allowance, I would insist that they pay their uncle back, because he did not buy pizza for them to waste it. I am going to talk to them, and insist that they apologize to both my brother for wasting his money, and to SO for wasting his dinner and most of his lunch, but is that enough because these children are consistently wasteful when they come over (although part of that is everyone gives them adult portions). So bees, what would you do?
Also, please note that their parents are fine with us (aunts, uncles, grandparents) disciplining them, so that isn’t an issue. I know my sister and brother in law won’t feel I’m overstepping my bounds by handling this myself, if anyone is worried about that.
ETA: Love the ideas about taking the kids to a homeless shelter to teach them about not taking food for granted, but how do I teach them that their actions affect others (basically they wasted mine and SO’s dinner since we haven’t been grocery shopping yet)?
Post # 3
Take them to a homeless shelter that serves food, or do a “Feed My Starving Children” food pack… let them see that there others out there who don’t have food.
Post # 4
Wow, I’d be pretty mad!
I’d suggest taking them to help out at a food bank/homeless shelter to help them see the value of food and the things they take for granted. Or is that sounds too extreme, maybe take them to a farm that allows tours, etc to see where their food comes from and the work that goes into it – make a pizza with them from scratch, start a little garden with them, etc. I think those might help 🙂
Post # 5
I just spoke to my brother; they wasted about 3/4 of a whole pizza by doing that. My brother left a pizza minus two pieces for SO and I and a little extra for the girls if they wanted more. When I went in there was one large piece (probably about 2 normal slices left). Needless to say, I’m pretty ticked right now. I definitely like the idea of taking them to the homeless shelter to show them that there are people who don’t have food on the table. But how do I show them that their actions affected others (by taking away mine and SO’s dinner, because we haven’t gone grocery shopping yet)?
Post # 6
@ForeverBirds: In addition to taking them to the shelter (very eye-opning experience), you can try other ideas.
1) Only feed them the parts they eat. For example, they wasted the pizza and only ate the pepperonis? Feed them only pepperonis next time you have pizza for dinner. They only eat the chicken and toss the veggies/rice? Feed them only a serving-size worth of chicken. Try this for a while.
Once they complain about being hungry/not enough food, sit down with them and explain to them how wasteful they have been and why their attitude needs an adjustment. Let them know that until they are ready to eat everything on their plate, they will not get more of what they like or move on to the next course (i.e. dessert).
2) Give them a full kid-sized plate of food for dinner. Tell them they cannot leave the table until they have finished their entire meal. If they refuse, send them to bed. In the morning, give them the food they failed to eat the night before. That is their breakfast. Repeat until they learn their lesson.
Both of these tactics worked beautifully on picky, bratty eaters (myself and my friend when we were younger).
Post # 7
Tell them what they did was wrong. Tell them that wasn’t their food to pick at and throw out. Tell them that from now on when they eat in your house they are to wait to be served by an adult. If they are still hungry and want more they need to ask permission.
I honestly think they are too young to understand “Some person somewhere is hungry/doesn’t have food so you shouldn’t throw yours out”. They will understand, “That wasn’t yours, that was mine. Next time you want something, ask.”
Post # 8
@ForeverBirds: Maybe they thought they were doing the right thing, and were cleaning up? Personally I’d be happy they knew where the bin was! At that age my kids would have left the mess on the table.
By all means explain to them that leftover food should normally be kept, not thrown out. And that it was your dinner. But I wouldn’t give any punishment because it sounds to me like a mistake, not actual naughtiness.
Post # 9
@ForeverBirds: You should ask their parents if you can have a couple of their toys to sell to repay their uncle. Maybe that would teach them a lesson that food costs money, just like toys do, and they shouldn’t waste food, especially someone else’s food.
Post # 10
@myaltarego: I actually thought of this. Their uncle and I bought them some toys to take on a trip that I and my best friend are taking them on (the hotels we’re staying in all have pools so we bought them a couple of pool toys) and we considered making them take them back to help pay for what they wasted.
@paula1248: Honestly it was my mom’s friend who tossed out the food they left on the table (which is how we knew it was the girls who wasted it- no one else really eats at the table). By the time he walked in, the cats had jumped on the table and were nibbling at what the girls left, which is the main reason it was tossed (although who really wants to eat pizza someone else has picked off of?). And I don’t think they were intentionally trying to be naughty, but the fact is they did waste a lot of food and that needs to be addressed, especially because it is becoming a reccuring problem (although a lot of times it’s because people give them adult portions so I can’t hold it against them). I’m giving a lot of hard thought to the “punishment” but I know my neices and talking to them doesn’t do a lot of good- they take lessons to heart better when there are tangible consequences. I’m just not entirely sure what age and offense appropriate consequences would be, since I agree they weren’t trying to be bad, they just weren’t thinking. Any ideas? I don’t necessarily want to punish them, but I do want to drive the lesson home that food shouldn’t be wasted and their actions do affect others.
Post # 11
@ForeverBirds: I think that the taking back the toys thing (with a lecture on the connection – food costs money, toys cost money, you wasted our food so now you have to repay us by getting the toy money) is probably the best if you want to make a big impression. It won’t truly hurt them, but having them stand there with you while you return the toys should give them the feeling you’re looking for.
Taking them to a soup kitchen or somesuch may seem like a good deal, but A. They are likely too young to make a connection to their actions and B. This might seem like a weird thing to pick up on but it kind of feels like using homeless people as an object to teach a child a lesson, which seems wrong.
Post # 12
@MistySoda: I agree with what you’re saying, and maybe the visit to a homeless shelter is something better saved until they’re a little older. But I have issues with making them ask permission from now on because they WERE given permission to get more *if they were still hungry.* They were also old other people still had to eat. There was ample enough pizza for them to get another slice each (and 2 slices should easily fill them up); the issue is that they got wayyy more than a slice or even two apiece.
@MlleFabuleux: Love the suggestion of only giving them what they eat. It’s kind of ironic- being punished by getting what you want. I’ll definitely have to remember that.
Post # 13
Do they have any favorite snacks or treasts at your house? Tell them that, since someone wasted your dinner and uncle’s lunch, you had to eat the snacks up instead, so there won’t be any for the next week.
Post # 14
@Bebealways: I agree they may be too young to really understand going to a soup kitchen, so I may hold off on this, but I do think it can be an eye-opening experience for children and teach them to be grateful for even the basic things- a hot meal, a roof over their heads, clean clothes. But I think it’s more suited to an instance when they’re being ungrateful rather than a moment when they’re simply not thinking. I don’t think they were intentionally wasting; I think they just wanted the pepperoni and didn’t think about the fact that they were wasting the rest of the pizza, which cost money. I think they weren’t thinking about what they were told about other people needing to eat.
Post # 15
@moriah: Not really. We generally don’t keep junk food in the house for them;they get snack at school, and dinner is usually on the table fairly early so there’s not a lot of time between after school and dinner time to throw a snack in there.
Post # 16
I agree with @paula1248: … I’d want to know first by talking TO ALL THE PLAYERS what actually went down
And at 7 & 8 I’d be guessing they don’t actually KNOW what they did wrong (or perceived to be in your POV thru your “adult eyes”)
They may not even have a concept for what being wasteful means
(Something that is a much easier concept to understand as an Adult because we are used to paying for things or going without… something that children don’t normally experience… in that all their needs are met)
It is fine to educate them about the world…
BUT I am disappointed by all the Bees here who have brought forward examples to PUNISH them.
You don’t punish a child, if they haven’t a clue what it is that you perceived to be wrong. As an Adult it is your job to educate them first.
Hope this helps,