Solitude by Dr. Priyanka Raut
December 2, 2019
December 2, 2019


  • One of the most crucial and central point of interaction between a child and parent revolves around FEEDING and FOOD.
  • It cannot be emphasized more that responding to the hunger cues of the baby / child in a timely manner is the basis of bonding and lays the foundation of the secure attachment and trust towards the parents.
  • However because of overindulgence , anxiety and compulsive personalities of parents, cultural pressure and media influence related to giving the BEST POSSIBLE NUTRITION FOR YOUR CHILD'S GROWTH, being a good parent (especially a mother) has become synonymous to food habits of the child.
  • In this whole process, the basic point forgotten is that hunger is but a "biological drive and motive". There are specific areas in the brain for centre of appetite, hunger and satiety. Even as aware and vocal adults we struggle to get complete voluntary control over our eating habits. Even before child develops any ability to vocalize his needs through language, nature has wired the babies and children enough to signal hunger and signal NO HUNGER as well. As much as nourishing is important, understanding the "cues" related to refusal of food are equally important .
  • A bird mother getting worms to feed its chicks with their beaks wide open is nature's magic at best. However we see no where , the bird thrusting feed into a closed beak of chick.
  • Most common point of friction between an older child and mother are related to food. So many mothers complain of child not eating food, not finishing the tiffin box, not eating nutritious food.
  • When parents unknowingly force feed the child, based on their own anxious evaluation and obsessions, they use emotional manipulation and negative reinforcements like punishment. This causes a three fold damange, the child develops a negative relationship with food, child's basic biological right is denied and child feels helpless and controlled, a feeling of mistrust towards parents develops.
  • Being cautious is one thing but not every refusal to feed as per the "rules of parents" is pathological. It may just be NORMAL after all.

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