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Anyone have any good tricks for keeping a 3yo at the dinner table...

I have run out of tricks. I used to set the timer and it was a game and if he sat there until the timer went off (eating his dinner of course) he could have a treat after dinner...well needless to say that is getting old after about 2 months of it working. I'm a time out mom and that works but I like to make it interesting for him so he has to use his brain and accomoplish something so we can focus on the good behavior not just always focusing on the bad behavior with a time out.
Anybody got something creative?????


Asked by NaturalMomOfTwo at 2:14 PM on Dec. 8, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (7)
  • Have really fun conversations--that is what eventually worked for us. Include your child as much as possible in what is happening at the table. Also, don't expect too much. When my kids were that age, I would excuse them to play quietly in the next room while the adults finished their dinner. Try to figure out how long your LO will sit at the table & work on expanding that time by a minute each night.

    Answer by SaraBeth1204 at 2:19 PM on Dec. 8, 2010

  • well i have a 3 year old boy and we had an extra car seat sitting in our living room for a while that he always wanted to sit in, so one day we tied it to the kitchen table chair and he loves it, he will stay there with us the entire time. maybe because he can see better now.

    Answer by momslikeme366 at 2:17 PM on Dec. 8, 2010

  • I love that! We used to have a race car seat in the LR that our son loved to sit in but we sold it...wish we still had it he would probably love to sit in that at dinner time ;o)

    Comment by NaturalMomOfTwo (original poster) at 2:19 PM on Dec. 8, 2010

  • Loving the answers...thank you both!

    Comment by NaturalMomOfTwo (original poster) at 2:21 PM on Dec. 8, 2010

  • i have a 3 yr old who some of the time will take a coule bites and say hes done. i tell him he doesn't get anything else to eat for the rest of the night, and now is his chance to eat. he still says hes done and then right before bedtime he tells me hes hungry. too bad for him, he should of ate when hehad the chance. i know it sounds a lil mean, but hes learning to sit and eat all his dinner. you could also try taking the tv or a special toy away from him if he doesn't eat.

    Answer by youngmami07 at 2:21 PM on Dec. 8, 2010

  • I wouldn't give him anything to eat after dinner. When he's done he's done and no more. Don't make him clean his plate though- you don't want him to be obese. After a while of going to bed hungry he will learn to eat when it's time to eat. And try to limit his liquids- if he drinks too much and fills up on that he won't want to eat.

    Answer by badgirl44654 at 2:59 PM on Dec. 8, 2010

  • This is helping me too! :) Thanks!

    My son will be 3 next month and we usually get about 10 minutes out of the whole family together...then he jumps up and wants to play...but he'll eat if I spoon it out for him, so I usually end up doing that.
    At this age, it seems silly to expect them to sit the whole time. I reserve those demands for when we are out to eat and then there are plenty of distractions and things to look at that keep him occupied most of the time.

    Answer by boomamma at 11:40 PM on Dec. 8, 2010

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