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The Internet Applauds This Guy For Standing Up To His Sister And Her “Picky” Children During Christmas Dinner
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The Internet Applauds This Guy For Standing Up To His Sister And Her “Picky” Children During Christmas Dinner

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year
With the kids picky eating,
And everyone wishing to just disappear,
It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

I can’t imagine a worse situation than putting a lot of effort into your Christmas dinner party, only for your sister’s teenage kids to scoff at it all and behave as toddlers do. My anger issues could never! Sadly, one person had to deal with such insolence, leading them to ask the good people of the Reddit community r/AmIthe[Jerk] whether they were in the wrong.

It’s a difficult situation with lots of nuance, but that’s what we’re here for, dear Pandas—to get to the bottom of it. So stick around for a story that is sure to bring your wine to a boil (add some cinnamon sticks and oranges for a festive treat).

As always, don’t downvote just because you disagree with the situation; don’t shoot the messenger! Leave your verdicts in the comments below and let’s dive into it! Oh, and if you’d like another story similar to this, here you go!

More info: Reddit

The last thing you want to hear after putting a lot of effort and love into preparing Christmas dinner for the family is that the “food looks gross”

Image source: cottonbro studio (not the actual photo)

Would you be interested in some buttered bread for Christmas dinner? No, it’s not a starter, it’s your full meal. At this point, you’d probably be racking your brain for all the sins you’d committed that year that would have put you on the naughty list for this sort of treatment. However, when you’re an ungrateful spoiled little brat that’s actually not so little anymore, that’s what you end up with.

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I know I’m getting ahead of myself, but I know what’s to come, and you, dear reader, don’t as of yet! But you soon will, don’t you worry bout a thing. Reddit user Suspicious-Cat1021 shared his Christmas dinner experience on the subreddit r/AmIthe[Jerk], detailing the very simple situation that turned a festive gathering into a frustrating one for all involved.

One man wondered whether they he did the right thing when confronted with such a situation. Here’s the full story:

Image source: Suspicious-Cat1021

‘Eat what’s prepared or don’t eat’ were the two alternatives the man gave his sister to prevent her from cooking meals for her two picky kids during the party

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Image source: Malte Helmhold (not the actual photo)

To be the devil’s advocate, let’s look at all sides of the situation we have before us at present: two picky-eating teenagers, the mom that has helped condition their eating habits, and a very frustrated and confused host.

Let’s start with what picky eating actually means. Kathryn Walton and colleagues define picky/fussy eating as an unwillingness to eat familiar foods or try new foods that is severe enough to interfere with daily routines in a problematic way. Although definitions and measures vary, 14-50% of parents identify their preschool-age children as picky eaters.

Children can become picky eaters for a number of reasons. As discussed by UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals, some kids are naturally more sensitive to taste, smell, and food textures, making the experience of eating all the more strange. Others use it as a means of asserting independence.

But it’s never just the fault of the child. After all, parents are primarily responsible for feeding their children. Some kids develop picky eating habits by modeling their parents’ fussy eating habits. They’re also more likely to develop specific eating habits when parents punish, bribe, or reward their children’s eating behaviors.

A study published in the American Academy of Pediatrics revealed that picky eating was to stay if the parents didn’t nip the behavior in the bud early enough. Furthermore, the study found that children who had difficulty controlling their emotions tended to be very picky eaters, so emotional intelligence also plays a big part.

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Image source: Suspicious-Cat1021

Picky eating should never warrant rude behavior, and it seems that a huge case of miscommunication is to blame

Image source: RODNAE Productions (not the actual photo)

The most commonly agreed upon piece of advice from experts for parents with picky eaters—don’t cook a separate kids’ meal. The family menu should not be limited to the child’s favorite foods; let your child eat what you are eating (with no choking hazards, obviously). If your child chooses to skip a meal or a snack, he or she can wait until the next scheduled mealtime.

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Furthermore, there are certain red flags in this story that should be addressed, mostly the kids’ rude behavior and the mom’s negligence to discipline them. Dr. Traci Baxley argues that teaching compassion to children requires one to start saying ‘no’ sometimes.

Giving consequences to their unhealthy actions will support their ability to see situations from various viewpoints, and teaching kids to be grateful when they don’t get everything that they ask for is a crucial element in one’s development.

You may think they’re not paying attention, but kids watch very closely to see how you respond to situations, and in this one, it seems like the mother being okay with their picky eating habits, as well as the fuss that comes with it at the expense of other people, has led to an unhealthy feeling of entitlement and judgment.

It feels as though the kids’ mom just accepted the fact that her kids want to eat one particular meal and has continued to feed their unhealthy eating habits by preparing everything herself in someone else’s home.

It seems like the mom can’t come to terms with her kids growing up, as it’s really not normal for an 18- and 15-year-old to need their mom to continuously make them special meals when they’re visiting family. So in this case, the family bringing already prepared meals for all to share during dinner could’ve been a good compromise.

But let us know your thoughts in the comments below—what do you think would have been the best solution to this issue? What would your response have been to your nieces or nephews acting this way? I hope your Christmas dinner is all the more peaceful and loving compared to this, and I hope to see you in the next one!

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People online have been as divided as the family over this situation. Some supported the man’s decision and how he handled the disagreement

Others have not been as understanding, criticizing the man for not offering a compromise when he knew of the situation. Let us know your stance in the comments!

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tristanjones avatar
Tristan J
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Could be bad parenting, but people are clearly not considering the possibility of a degree of autism common in picky eaters.

sin_2 avatar
gas station cola
Community Member
1 year ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

YES! im autistic & a very picky eater because of it. i get a lot of anxiety when trying new foods, & it's even worse when i'm already out of my comfort zone (someone else's house) & i'm being pressured by others. although ive learned to politely say "no thank you," when offered food i dislike, there are others on the spectrum who struggle more with social cues & may not realize that their honest answer of "it looks gross" will be perceived as rude. autistic girls are very rarely diagnosed because of how misunderstood autism is as a spectrum. i don't doubt that the girls' reputation of being "bratty" to other family members is actually more evidence that they may be autistic & just misunderstood (temper tantrum vs overstimulation meltdown, intentional rudeness vs accidental brutal honesty, etc). either way, op just comes off as pretentious the way he doesn't even TRY to find a way to incorporate the girls' tastes into his menu so his sister wouldn't have a need to get in his way. "suck it up or f**k off" is such an unwelcoming energy whether the girls are autistic or not. it's just not a nice way to host, especially for family.

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mariedahme avatar
Marie Dahme
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

At that age though, these kids…ones 18 so an adult already; were basically displaying rude a$$ behavior by making faces or saying the food looked gross. Usually family is well aware of what is going to be on the menu so it’s no surprise. With all the dishes available to them, they could’ve at least TRIED one of the dishes like cheesy potatoes (they like Mac n cheese obviously) and said “No thank you but thanks for making it. These girls are acting entitled. That no matter who’s house they go to, the food has to be prepared for THEIR liking. Not cool. I wouldn’t put up with that crapola in my house. My mother would’ve asked them to leave the table but my stepdad would’ve been quietly livid.

dodsonmichelle avatar
Celtic Pirate Queen
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Right? What entitled little brats. I dare one of my nieces to try that bullsh*t in my house! My sister & her family are vegan. It's never been an issue. I make spaghetti and serve the Italian sausage on the side, with homemade bruschetta and a garden salad. Or we'll do "build your own" Greek salads where everything is in separate bowls, along with hummus and naan. The family (sister & fam, brother and wife, stepmom) husband & I got together about once a month. There was always something that everyone could eat.

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laura_ketteridge avatar
LK
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The one of the main duties of the host is to take into consideration the allergies, sensitivities, preference, cultural, and religious needs of their guests. If you know your guests won't eat X, Y and Z, then why on earth are not providing them with food they can/will eat?! A fantastic way to make people feel loved and welcomed is by providing food they can enjoy.

phil84vaive avatar
Phil Vaive
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Yep, exactly this. You should have way more likes. It is not the job of the guest to cater to what the host thinks they should eat. If I was making dinner for a bunch of vegetarians, I wouldn't make turkey with bacon stuffed potatoes and ham on the side, then get mad that they won't eat it.

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tristanjones avatar
Tristan J
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Could be bad parenting, but people are clearly not considering the possibility of a degree of autism common in picky eaters.

sin_2 avatar
gas station cola
Community Member
1 year ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

YES! im autistic & a very picky eater because of it. i get a lot of anxiety when trying new foods, & it's even worse when i'm already out of my comfort zone (someone else's house) & i'm being pressured by others. although ive learned to politely say "no thank you," when offered food i dislike, there are others on the spectrum who struggle more with social cues & may not realize that their honest answer of "it looks gross" will be perceived as rude. autistic girls are very rarely diagnosed because of how misunderstood autism is as a spectrum. i don't doubt that the girls' reputation of being "bratty" to other family members is actually more evidence that they may be autistic & just misunderstood (temper tantrum vs overstimulation meltdown, intentional rudeness vs accidental brutal honesty, etc). either way, op just comes off as pretentious the way he doesn't even TRY to find a way to incorporate the girls' tastes into his menu so his sister wouldn't have a need to get in his way. "suck it up or f**k off" is such an unwelcoming energy whether the girls are autistic or not. it's just not a nice way to host, especially for family.

Load More Replies...
mariedahme avatar
Marie Dahme
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

At that age though, these kids…ones 18 so an adult already; were basically displaying rude a$$ behavior by making faces or saying the food looked gross. Usually family is well aware of what is going to be on the menu so it’s no surprise. With all the dishes available to them, they could’ve at least TRIED one of the dishes like cheesy potatoes (they like Mac n cheese obviously) and said “No thank you but thanks for making it. These girls are acting entitled. That no matter who’s house they go to, the food has to be prepared for THEIR liking. Not cool. I wouldn’t put up with that crapola in my house. My mother would’ve asked them to leave the table but my stepdad would’ve been quietly livid.

dodsonmichelle avatar
Celtic Pirate Queen
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Right? What entitled little brats. I dare one of my nieces to try that bullsh*t in my house! My sister & her family are vegan. It's never been an issue. I make spaghetti and serve the Italian sausage on the side, with homemade bruschetta and a garden salad. Or we'll do "build your own" Greek salads where everything is in separate bowls, along with hummus and naan. The family (sister & fam, brother and wife, stepmom) husband & I got together about once a month. There was always something that everyone could eat.

Load More Replies...
laura_ketteridge avatar
LK
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The one of the main duties of the host is to take into consideration the allergies, sensitivities, preference, cultural, and religious needs of their guests. If you know your guests won't eat X, Y and Z, then why on earth are not providing them with food they can/will eat?! A fantastic way to make people feel loved and welcomed is by providing food they can enjoy.

phil84vaive avatar
Phil Vaive
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Yep, exactly this. You should have way more likes. It is not the job of the guest to cater to what the host thinks they should eat. If I was making dinner for a bunch of vegetarians, I wouldn't make turkey with bacon stuffed potatoes and ham on the side, then get mad that they won't eat it.

Load More Replies...
Load More Comments
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