How do you make child understand?

Posted on: Tue, 06/15/2004 - 12:12pm
laurajean's picture
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Joined: 10/26/2003 - 09:00

Hello Everyone,

I really need some good advice. We were at a birthday party on Saturday with my 2 1/2 year old son. When the cake came around, I did not let him have any and instead offered him a cupcake I made and brought for him. Well, he pitched a fit b/c he wanted the same cake as everyone else. (It was a Spiderman cake from a local supermarket.) I felt HORRIBLE and I could see the disappointment on his face. DH was there with me and supported my decision. I had called the supermarket beforehand (Hannaford) and checked out the cake and icing thoroughly and was assured it was PN/TN free but I still feel I have to get him in the habit of taking the treats I bring.

What would you have done? Would you have let your child have the cake? How do you make them understand they cannot have what the other kids are having? I live in a neighborhood with a lot of kids (9 of them in the 2-4 age group) and they are always together. So far I have gotten our daily gatherings to be peanut/tree nut free but birthdays are still tough.

It was a tough day for all of us. I almost broke down in tears with my son b/c I know what it must feel like to be left out. I don't want him to have to feel that way forever.

Also, to make matters worse there was a bouncy bounce in the yard and one mother (who I had never met before) was passing peanut m&ms to her daughter through the mesh sides. I almost had a breakdown!!!!

Thanks,
Laura

Posted on: Tue, 06/15/2004 - 2:07pm
mcmom's picture
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Joined: 06/15/2004 - 09:00

Laura, I would have done the exact same thing you did. My son is almost 5 now, and I have always brought him his own cupcake whenever we go to a birthday party or family gathering. It's routine now, he expects it and actually looks for his own special treat. I know it was hard to see you son disappointed, but it's important IMO to get him into the routine of having his "own" treat. My ds was in public school pre-k this year - there were many birthdays and class parties, all involving food (of course). I tried very hard to make sure he always had something comparable, but let him know from the start that sometimes his treat would be different than what the other kids were having, and for the most part, he was very ok about it.
I can absolutely relate to the "not wanting him to feel left out" part. Today, my son's class had ice cream sundaes - I had provided, in advance, what I felt was some "safe" ice cream for him, and his own decorations. When I picked him up, it turned out that somehow his ice cream had been misplaced? and he didn't get to have any. My heart broke over this. But I have talked to him about the fact that things like this may happen, and that when/if they do, I will "make it up to him" with a special treat at home. Was he disappointed? Of course - but not terribly, and I think that is due to the fact that he's been taught from age two that there are things he will not be able to have. As your son gets older, it will become easier. But IMO, you are laying the groundwork now that will make things easier later.

Posted on: Tue, 06/15/2004 - 8:59pm
LaurensMom's picture
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Joined: 05/23/2001 - 09:00

We always bring enough cupcakes for the entire party. i figure it costs me $2.00 for cupcakes and frosting (I buy/trust Betty Crocker/Cake mate). DD#1 (PA), DD#2 and DS, usually help decorate the cupcakes - which they love to do. DH frosts the cakes and if he has time, he takes separates the frosting into separate pastry bags (a dime a dozen at the market) and adds a few drops of food coloring then pipes it on. I've done it but DH is a chef and doesn't allow me in the kitchen .
When I bring them to the party, I always tell the hostess, "I hope you don't mind but I brought enough cupcakes for everyone I didn't want anyone to feel left out because Lauren had her own." Nine times out of ten, the kids are scrambling for the cupcakes and the cake doesn't get eaten!
And, for the mother passing M&Ms to her daughter, I probably would have either 1) frankly educated her about PA or 2) if i didn't think she'd respond well, I would have pointed out that it was a very dangerous choking hazard (even if her child wasn't jumping at the time, another child could have "bounced" her enough). You could have also told the hostess about it. I wouldn't want one of those things in my yard with kids eating on it. Seems like a lawsuit waiting to happen.
But, through it all, have patience - it gets easier.
HTH
Andrea

Posted on: Wed, 06/16/2004 - 1:31am
California Mom's picture
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Joined: 07/14/2000 - 09:00

laurajean, I think you did the right thing since it is not in you comfort zone to allow your son to eat the bakery cake. I surely know the feeling of wanting to cry along with your child - I have done it many times!
As for the mom passing the peanut M & Ms; I agree that this was a severe choking hazzard as well as a potential danger to your child. I probably would have spoken to the mom - but maybe speaking to the birthday mom would have been better.
As for the idea of bringing your own cupcakes for the whole party: I can see where this is in the best interest of the pa child, but I think it is something that could upset the birthday mom. I know that I get very excited about making and decorating my kids' birthday cakes. I would not be happy if a guest showed up with a bunch of cupcakes and the kids ended up wanting those instead of what I had made for the birthday child!
JMHO; maybe the moms you know are different.
[img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] Miriam

Posted on: Wed, 06/16/2004 - 3:06am
KatiesMom's picture
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Joined: 03/01/2000 - 09:00

My daughter is 9, she now expects that she'll bring her own desert to parties. When she was younger I always talked to her right before the party and made sure she understood she wasn't going to have any of the cake or whatever desert was being served. When kids are young I think it's important that you discuss the situations in advance and get them prepared for it so they have time to internalize all their feelings. Katie has still become upset at times when she has felt left out, but most times she's been very accepting. I think the key is to prepare them ahead of time.

Posted on: Wed, 06/16/2004 - 7:50am
LaurensMom's picture
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Joined: 05/23/2001 - 09:00

I can see what you mean about the cupcakes but when I address them as "Didn't want anyone (including the birthday child) to feel left out", they take it as me being considerate for their child's feelings. Lauren's been re-invited to the same birthday party's so I don't think it's been a problem.

Posted on: Wed, 06/16/2004 - 12:54pm
laurajean's picture
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Joined: 10/26/2003 - 09:00

Thank you everyone for your support and suggestions. I feel strongly that I have to get him used to the idea of having his own dessert at parties. It is very hard b/c you don't want your child to be singled out or "labeled" in any way. He will start preschool in the fall and I'm "thrilled" that there are 2 other children in his class with food allergies as well. (Not thrilled that other kids have allergies but thrilled that he won't be alone - I'm sure you know what I mean!) Thanks again! Laura

Posted on: Thu, 06/17/2004 - 2:31am
California Mom's picture
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Joined: 07/14/2000 - 09:00

LaurensMom, I am sure you must come across in a very diplomatic and kind way. I'm sorry that I insinuated that your approach wasn't a good idea. It is great that you shared an idea that has worked well for you.
[img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]Miriam

Posted on: Thu, 06/17/2004 - 4:45am
LaurensMom's picture
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Joined: 05/23/2001 - 09:00

CaliforniaMom,
:-)
Not a problem. Just clarifying in case someone didn't see it like that because it really works well for us and might help someone else.
Again, no problem.
:-)

Posted on: Thu, 06/17/2004 - 5:19am
CorinneM1's picture
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Joined: 06/20/2002 - 09:00

I have been there, and it is a horrible feeling.
However, I let my son eat cakes that come from our Costco, who have also assured me that their cakes are PS. In the past (after a similar experience to yours when he was 2) we have decided to leave before the cake comes (that has only happened twice).
My son is just starting to understand his allergy (he will now say "I don't like nuts" or "no peanuts" during certain meals). So, there have been times at the store when he wants something adn I have told him no, bc it has peanuts in it, and he understands.
I think now (a little over 3) that he would not eat the cake without a problem if I told him that it wasn't safe. But I know at 2 or 2.5 he wouldn't understand.
If the cake is safe, I would let him eat it. If not, I would leave. At least for now. When he gets older is when he will understand why he can't eat it and will eat the safe treat that you bring.

Posted on: Sat, 06/19/2004 - 8:50am
mcmom's picture
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Joined: 06/15/2004 - 09:00

Laura, I already posted above how I have been sticking to the rules and teaching my ds about his allergies since he was two. I thought I would share a nice experience I had with him today [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
I took him to a classmate's birthday party. I had already let the mom know I would be staying, and that I would provide his cake/cupcake. I was lucky that quite a few moms stayed too instead of just dropping their kids off, so I had company! My son was very, very good (for a four year old!) about sitting on the end seat at the table, and ate his cupcake without even so much as a glance at the cake. There was a pinata, which he had never seen before (I've been lucky so far with that!) I quickly pulled him aside and explained that he could pick up some candy (if I had seen anything with obvious nuts like snickers I would have intervened), but warned him to bring it to me, and not to eat any. Thankfully, it was filled with that Kids Play? assortment that is made by Tootsie Roll, which is safe candy, and he isn't too aggressive so he just got a few lollipops. I saw him looking in his bag, and of course all the other kids were cramming candy into their mouths, lol, but I called him over and he was so sweet about handing over his bag. I suppose I could have let him eat some, I know Tootsie Pops are ok, but I wanted to set a precedent for future parties where the candy may *not* be safe. I told him he could have some at home, and he was fine with that. He had a great time!

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