I have this fear of permanently warping my child or causing her to lag behind her peers, so I thought I would run this by you ladies to see what you thought.
Zoey gets a lot of vertigo/dizzy spells when she's eating. Which results in her refusal to eat because presumably, it makes her feel sick. This leads to her not sleeping well because she wakes up hungry. Not sleeping leads to an increase in daytime vertigo spells. It all turns into a vicious cycle that never ends.
The reason for the spells while eating, I think, is because when she feeds herself she focuses her eyes on the spoon or fork as it moves from plate to her mouth. Watching it come toward her, you can see it causes her some distress. Her eyes will often roll back into her head at this point and she'll whine and say she doesn't want to eat anymore.
Since she needs to eat, I can do one of two things. 1. I can feed her myself, which I often have to do despite her age and her ability to do it herself. Or 2. I can distract her while she feeds herself, so she's not focusing her eyes on the utensil coming toward her face.
Because I want to encourage her to learn to feed herself and to progress in this area, I always try to provide distraction during meal times so she will feed herself. In the end, that involves one of two things. Either my laptop sits on the table and we'll watch some You Tube videos (currently we're learning letter sounds and working on phonics, and watching short educational videos); or I'll let her look at a book while she eats. I find that if her eyes are not focused on the utensil, she can successfully feed herself without having dizzy spells.
I don't believe in TV at mealtimes and I sort of hate that this is our routine. But its the only way I can get a balanced meal into her. I've tried to distract her in other ways, like to sing songs and talk with her and get her to focus on my face while she eats. I've gone so far as to dance in the kitchen to get her to focus on me rather than the utensils moving toward her face. Nothing else really works as well as the computer does.
So, in the whole scheme of things, how bad is this? I feel like I'm always struggling to decide between two less than desirable options with her. I feel like I'm creating a bad behavior here, but at the same time, I keep thinking that a bad behavior has got to be better than an underweight/malnourished child. Right?
I wish she came with an easy button.