The 5 mysterious meanings when a child keeps says “I’m hungry”

child keeps saying I'm hungry

Over my three glorious (and not so glorious) years of motherhood I have never found the English language to have such different meaning when it comes to our little folk. Recently, I wrote about the utter abuse of the word “cuddle” in my household. Now, it’s time to set on when your child keeps say “I’m hungry” which although sometimes does mean what it says on the tin, can often mean some totally unrelated ridiculousness too.

1. I’m bored

Easily the most overused reason for uttering those hungry words, you can bank on the fact that even though your child has eaten as much as a bear at breakfast, if they are bored in any way shape of form they will be whining like they have been starved within the hour. Make that twenty minutes if they are stuck in a car.

2. I’m tired

Incredible how being hungry and tired can somehow be confused, but because communication is still not a forte when it comes to little sproglets, I guess they can be um….forgiven. Otherwise cunningly used as a bizarre rouse to deflect from the fact they are actually tired..but no of course…really, they’re hungry (aherm!).

3. I want attention

A close relative of number one, you can pretty much bank on the fact that if your toddler or preschooler does not have your undivided attention (read: talking to another mum in the playground), that sooner or later they will be hanging off your leg whining as if they were hungrier than a hostage.

4. I am taking you for a ride

I swear sometime kids just throw out the “I’m hungry” curveball just for s**ts and giggles, and I know I can’t be the only who thinks this, especially after they have pretty much annihilated the entire contents of your kitchen cupboard that day.

5. I’m delaying something

“I’m hungry” – the ultimate smoke screen and avoidance tactic, especially at bed time. Yup, throw that out there just before we’re about to go upstairs and brush our teeth and set our hearts aflutter with panic that perhaps our little cherubs will be going to bed hungry…when quite clearly, they have already fulfilled their calorie requirements for the day. Manipulative with a capital M!

What other situations do your kids play the “I’m hungry card” in?

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  1. I can so relate to this post, when out with my daughter and she announces that she’s hungry, chances are she’s really just tired and not really peckish. Kids eh? 😉

  2. I think sometimes Freud may be right about the “oral fixation” and they are not so much hungry as they just want something in their mouths!

  3. We used to say when working nights, if you cant sleep, then eat, they were kind of interchangable, the canteen opened at midnight! Glad you are enjoying the fun and games.

  4. The I’m board and I’m delaying something is so my child! He’s forever using “I’m hungry” as an excuse not to do something, just like nursery this morning, moaned about sandwiches until I made them and then never touched them and said he was still hungry! Great post.

    Jordanne ||

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