He’s tired of being the one who suffers whenever his son orders something he doesn’t like. So, when it happened again, he let his child go home “starving!”
OP (Original Poster) has a 12-year-old son who orders “adventurous” food on the menu even though he knows he has issues with different textures.
A Bite Out of a Meal
At this point, they have been through the same situation many times where he would order something, take one bite, and then want OP’s food instead.
Let’s Be Clear About It
They’ve talked about the matter so many times, and for this one, when they went out to eat, OP told his son that he wouldn’t give him his food anymore.
Here We Go Again
OP ordered chicken, and his son got a fish soup. Unsurprisingly, OP’s son didn’t like his food and asked for OP’s.
He refused, and his child “complained” that he was “hungry.”
You’ve Got Two Choices
That’s when OP told his son that he “doesn’t care” that he doesn’t like the food, forcing the child to eat what he ordered or skip dinner.
Because his son truly didn’t like the fish soup he ordered, he ended up with nothing in his stomach!
When they arrived home, the 12-year-old complained that OP “starved” him, which he loudly said while making a sandwich.
Easy for Her to Say
In the end, OP and his wife got into an argument, and she accused him of being a “huge jerk” for doing this to their son. However, OP is sick of never getting to eat what he orders.
A Taste of What He Hates
According to OP, his son knows what he doesn’t like, and yet he will still get them. For instance, he orders onion soup when he hates onions.
He doesn’t really like fish, but this time, he still picked that.
Really Not up for Scraps
Every time they ate out, OP’s son never liked anything he ordered, and OP is always stuck with food he doesn’t want.
For him, this ruins almost every meal, saying he isn’t a “food garbage.” He just wants to eat what he ordered.
What People Have to Say
Redditors said that correcting OP’s son’s behavior at an early age is better than having him grow up to be someone worse.
The top commenter wrote, “You and your wife have two choices here: teach your son this perfectly age-appropriate lesson that he is responsible for his own choices or let him grow up to be an entitled a***** who believes that other people are responsible for his choices. You’re not an a**hole, but if your wife keeps choosing the latter, your son will grow up to be one. Don’t let her do that to him.”
Another person agreed, saying, “Spot on. One of my nephews was like this as a child. My sister enabled it and suffered for it. That little jerk of a kid—I adore him, but he was such a brat in those days—is now a father. It sure is fun watching him navigate parenthood, trying to reason with his toddler.”
Others pointed out that OP informed his son clearly of what would happen if he ordered something he didn’t like, and he’s not the a**hole for keeping his word.
“Not the a**hole. You were very clear before your son ordered about the consequences of picking a more adventurous food that he possibly wouldn’t like. Now, he is suffering those consequences. Sounds like a good life lesson to me. He could try some new foods if he is taking a bite of your food, but he needs to order what he is willing to eat,” one Redditor said.
Someone else wrote, “Just to clarify, you told him that acting a specific way will result in specific consequences, and then when he acted in that specific way, you followed through on said consequences? Not the a**hole. You can either deal with these tantrums now or when he’s 20. I think now will be easier.”
It’s All About Strategy
A parent shared their ways on how they handled their child, who’s similar to OP’s 12-year-old.
Someone commented, “So I have a kid who is kind of like this. He’s generally adventurous but sometimes steps into territory that doesn’t work out for him. He also has some texture or taste issues that are a result of neurodivergence. I think there is a balance to strike with this stuff because being too harsh about it makes kids retreat into safe territory, and it can actually exacerbate the problem by making them more picky. I want my kid to try new things always and not feel that he’s fully stuck if it doesn’t work out. I don’t want him to think that picking the wrong thing would be a meal-ending choice for him because it discourages trying new things.”
The same person shared, “The trick I’ve learned is to add ‘safe’ items to the order. That is, get a side they will always eat and order a smaller amount of the main item. So if my kid wanted fish soup, I’d opt for a cup over a bowl, then order some rice or fries on the side, which are stuff he’ll eat 100% of the time. That way, he still has something to eat, and while it’s not ideal, it’s something. I’m not going to give him all of my food or order something different, but he’s safe knowing that he won’t go hungry.”
On Her Plate
People said that if OP’s wife is okay with tolerating their son’s behavior, then she should be the one giving up her food.
A Redditor wrote, “Not the a**hole. And if your wife is so cool with the behavior, inform her that she can be the one to give your son her food from now on. He’s 12; he should definitely understand the concept of consequences for choices by now. I’m a picky eater and order things I’m confident I’ll like. I’m not sharing with anyone.”
Another commenter said, “Not the a**hole. First of all, your son is 12. He’s old enough to know his palate, and if he still wants to experiment, he’s also old enough to wait until he gets home to eat a sandwich. If your wife thinks your son should have someone else’s food, she can give your son her own plate. Problem fixed.”
Then, some people suggested that OP’s son might have that behavior as a way of bonding with OP.
One person said, “Not the a**hole, but maybe he is doing this out of other reasons like wanting your attention for his things. Maybe he enjoys how you share your food with him.”
Are you also a picky eater? What should OP do to fix the problem?
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This post first appeared as He “Starved” His 12-Year-Old Son, Who Constantly Orders Something He Knows He Dislikes. He’s Not a Food Garbage Disposal, and It’s Time He Learned His Lesson! Was He a “Jerk?” on Quote Ambition.