Lately, my 3 year old has been requesting peanut butter in a pretend way. It's obviously on her mind and she is doing some pretending. For example, I ask her if she wants a cheeseburger or chicken nuggets at Burger King and she says Tell them I want a pb sandwich. I try not to make much out of it at the time, thinking that if I freak out this will just be reinforced. she says she just wants to pretend. She knows she cant have it and always asks if it is in foods. Anyone know how best to handle this and if I'm doing the right thing?
On Jun 1, 2002
My 3 yr. old is doing something similar so I will look forward to hear what others have to say in response!
When offered food he also asks if something has peanuts in it. However, on more than one occasion, when I have seen him become itchy and talk outloud to myself, "I wonder what you ate that made you itchy?" he says, "I ate peanuts or peanut butter." He says this knowing full well he hasn't and looks me in the eye to see me respond. I tell him not to say that when it's not true because if he did eat it, it would make him very sick, I'd have to give him a shot and take him to the hospital. I basically use it to reinforce the issue. I also believe they are looking for consistency in us and in our responses to them.
He has recently become very much into creative play and pretend and I think it's part of the way he deals with a serious issue for him. Oh and he has been enjoying telling me some whoppers lately. Today after I left him with Grandma and a lunchables for lunch, I told them, "And no cheese from the lunchables." (He is lactose intolerant) When I came home he told me that Grandma MADE him eat the cheese. He said she put it in his mouth and made him crunch it! LOL BTW, She's the best, so I know it is one of his stories. Oh, to be 3 yrs old! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
On Jun 2, 2002
Madisonsmom, In my opinion this is not something I would pretend not to hear and keep on going. What I would do is use this for reinforcing the allergy to your child. Everytime she pretends she wants PB you need to tell her why she can not. The children learn about their allergy from how we react. I was constantly telling Chris "That is PB and you can not have it,because it will make you very sick". They learn how to handle the world by us and if we ignore what they are saying they may not feel the allergy is severe unless we react to the comments. I know it can drive us crazy but we have to keep drilling the words into their little heads. If your daughter was to tell someone she wanted/had pb and they believed her then she would be in so much danger. Someone may actully believe she has had it before. I think you ought to have a game of pretend with her and maybe help her come up with something else to pretend she ate. once you have the PB thing out of her head she may very well forget that game of PB sandwiches. I think these little ones love to test us. My 4 year old pretends to do hair all the time. YES he is a boy. it drives dad insane. Best of luck claire
On Jun 2, 2002
If kids see that something annoys or upsets you, you can bet they'll repeat that behaviour. It's a power issue. It's important that you make sure they understand about the dangers of pb and explain it in calm factual terms, but don't give it too much attention. These kids are trying to get your goat.
On Jun 2, 2002
My 7 year old jokes with me about it when I ask her what she wants for lunch at school. However, she is in a different developmental stage than a 3 year old. She asks for the pb sandwich then we discuss if we really want to go to the hospital tomorrow, and we decide we have too many things to do. Arlene
On Jun 4, 2002
My two PA children (ages 3 and 6) pretended they had tried peanut butter occasionally in the past and seemed to fantasize a little (just a little) about getting to taste peanut butter or peanut butter containing candy. We recently bought a jar of soy butter and made a big deal out of making soy butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch. Two things were achieved. 1) They realized they aren't that hip on the taste and smell of soy butter/peanut butter (though I loved it!) and, 2) now they got that fantasy thing out of the way.
Now I have a safe alternative in the house for me. Though it probably wouldn't be that good on crackers or apples or anything, it is good on wheat bread with jelly. Most important I think the girls got a chance to sample something they really had questions about. It does smell and taste amazingly like peanut butter and I was thrilled it didn't appeal to the girls. Maybe you could try this; especially later when your child is old enough to differentiate between soy butter and peanut butter. They are very similar in appearance, smell and taste so it might be good to discuss this with your child so no confusion occurs. Either they will have a safe peanut butter alternative they enjoy or they might realize peanut/peanut butter isn't all that great anyhow. Joey
On Jun 5, 2002
Thanks for the feedback!!