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How to get 9 yr old to hurry up

We all sit down and eat dinner together and we all finish at the same time except for my daughter. She will sit there for another hour or two while everyone is in the other room. Sometimes it's because she is that hungry which is fine but other times it's because she is just doodling along taking bird size bites or daydreaming. I grew up with my parents expecting me to eat everything on my plate and I expect pretty much the same from my kids. I know what they don't like and I try not to give them stuff I know they won't eat. But bottom line how do I sorta speed her up in a positive way especially so she doesn't miss family time and so I can clean the kitchen. I thought bout giving her a time limit but then that goes into the whole eat everything on your plate thing.

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Asked by wifey000175554 at 9:41 PM on Nov. 1, 2013 in Tweens (9-12)

Level 15 (1,898 Credits)
Answers (7)
  • I have to say that I do not really agree with the whole finish everything on your plate bit. My parent were the same and while I agree with the whole I do not like to waste food, I also know that the idea of finishing everything on your plate is now pretty hardwired into my brain and even if I have way too much food (like in a restaurant) I still feel like I have to finish it all. I have overcome it for the most part, but I want my kids to eat until they are full, not until they are stuffed completely. It is healthier overall to learn to stop when you are full not when you have eaten everything on your plate.

    Off my soapbox now. I see nothing wrong with leaving her to finish her dinner and you move on to cleaning up. When she is done, she can load her own dishes in the dishwasher and wipe the table down.

    Answer by SleepingBeautee at 9:52 PM on Nov. 1, 2013

  • the eat everything on your plate thing is not good...
    do not make a big deal out of her eating ways if she takes a long time -so what? You do NOT want to create eating/weight issues later do you?

    I thought this was bout taking forever to get dressed, get out of be, out of the car... and if anyone figures that out let me know- my son is 17 and I still haven't figured that one out! Haha

    Answer by charlotsomtimes at 10:06 PM on Nov. 1, 2013

  • Can you talk to her about it? I mean: noticing non-judgmentally what often happens, and expressing curiosity about it with her. And let her know how this impacts you (that you are hoping for her to take part in family time, that you feel some time constraints around cleaning up after dinner.) It is possible that she doesn't realize it affects anyone, or matters!

    Regardless (even if she does realize it & it's already an area of conflict or struggle), shifting your internal bottom line so that you are not attached to a particular outcome is a deeply constructive way to approach this sort of matter. Consider whether what you're saying (& the way you say it) opens or closes the door to your daughter. Don't sabotage your goal of resolving this issue by turning the situation into a power struggle. Keep the ball in your daughter's court & leave room for her to be free to adjust & decide. Trust in trust, respect & relationship!

    Answer by girlwithC at 11:02 PM on Nov. 1, 2013

  • *About taking forever...get out of beD...

    stuuupid typos!

    Answer by charlotsomtimes at 11:10 PM on Nov. 1, 2013

  • Also, if she's taking a long time because she's taking tiny bites & dawdling, in order to finish her plate as expected, I think it'd be worthwhile to revisit or question the expectation of eating everything on her plate. Who is serving up the plate? What is the criteria?
    Consider whether you want that external guide (how much is on the plate/given to her) to be the final authority in how much she consumes, versus her own hunger signals. What might it mean for her if she routinely has to ignore or override the signals of her own organism, in order to comply with house expectations?

    If she's the one taking the food, you could open a discussion, just noticing how she sometimes seems to have trouble finishing the food she takes, maybe it's too much? In the interest of not wasting, you DO hope she consumes what she takes, but clarify that ultimately you want her to listen to her body's signals. So maybe take less to start with...

    Answer by girlwithC at 11:19 PM on Nov. 1, 2013

  • Maybe it takes so long and she takes such small bites because she's full but you expect her to finish everything on her plate. I've never agreed with that rule. If you insist on that rule, give her smaller portion sizes and see if that changes anything. She can always go back for seconds, or thirds or even fourths, but keep all the portions small so that she can finish them with no problem.

    Otherwise, if she's just realy dragging her feet about it, just leave her to do that. My 10 yr old will do that sometimes, and if he does, we just let him sit there alone while we move on to the rest of our night. I check on him now and then, but he hates being left to sit there alone, so he'll usually get his butt moving a bit faster at that point.

    Answer by wendythewriter at 7:30 AM on Nov. 2, 2013

  • Stop making her clean her plate or give smaller portions. That can lead to eating disorders. Time limits are fine. That's what schools do.

    Answer by 2autisticsmom at 9:18 AM on Nov. 3, 2013

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