>Dear Dr. Hackney,
My four year old son, Nathan, is a very picky eater. I have read and tried all sorts of different tactics… unsuccessfully. I’m sure some (possibly much) is control related, but I’m not sure some of the issue isn’t sensory.
I learned of a Picky Eater Group through a local private practice. They claim this class is geared exactly for kids like Nathan, and I’m ready to try anything. However, they have changed the times of the class, and it is now offered during Nathan’s class time at preschool. He is in four half-days a week and would miss one day of school each week for the eight weeks that the class runs. I would like your opinion on whether you think I should enroll in the Picky Eater Group. Would that be too disruptive missing school? His eating issues have not impacted his health, and the pediatrician is convinced it is all a control thing. But it impacts my life greatly because he can’t sit down to a regular meal. My goal is to get him eating the same food as the rest of the family. I hope to learn as much from the group as he does.
Mother of two, ages 1 and 4 years old
Take the specialized class! It is preschool, and missing one day a week for eight weeks will be fine. The potential benefits far outweigh the extra day in preschool. I wouldn’t try to make it back for that one hour a day – no need to wear everyone out for one hour, and he and you both may need time to relax following the group.
I also wouldn’t make the fact that he is missing school for a day each week to do this a big deal with him. If the group isn’t fun, then he has another point to his argument for not going – that he is missing preschool. Just put it on the calendar as the plan for the day rather than thinking there is a debate to be had over attendance.
Good Luck with this!
Rene Hackney, PhD.
Parenting Playgroups, Inc.