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I Traumatized My Kids!

That's how they act when asked to eat at the kitchen table.

I kept trying to get them to eat at the table, but they kept getting up and walking around or they wanted to sit in other places like there desk or the living room sofa, etc. But every time they did I ended up with food everywhere, on the walls, floor, etc.

They are not babies ( 13, 8, 6 & 3) and I feel bad making them stay in one spot, but still, I hate the mess.

I got so fusterated I tried to have them eat at the table on the porch so the mess stayed out there. When asked to do so they carry on as if it is severly emotionally traumatizing to them. They cry, carry on, plead and beg not to eat out there. What gives? It's a nice table and it's nice there and they can come in as soon as meal time is over. I'm right there. Why the upset.

I try the kitchen table again. They do the same thing. So now I have food very literally from one end of the house to the other covering the floor.

What do they act so extreme and get so upset about me telling them where to eat? The way they carry on you would swear they were being beat to death. ( and I would never do that)

I'm at a loss. Why are they so upset?

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 5:09 PM on Jun. 3, 2011 in General Parenting

Answers (14)
  • You eat at the table every meal if that is what you want. If you get up once you get a warning, get up again your meal is over. End of story. If they get hungry enough they will sit still.

    Answer by But_Mommie at 5:11 PM on Jun. 3, 2011

  • I woulnd't feel bad, the dinner table is for eating at.
    My whole family eats at the dinner table for all our meals.
    It's just the way we have always been.

    Answer by SeasideNative at 5:12 PM on Jun. 3, 2011

  • Make them sit there and eat their dinner. It's a rule at my house. If they don't want to eat at the table then they don't eat until they are hungry enough to sit at the table and eat.

    Answer by caseymarie at 5:12 PM on Jun. 3, 2011

  • I don't know.. My son is 3-1/2 and getting him at the table has been a full year of battles.. literally EVERY night to sit, stay and eat, taking food away, no snack, he could not focus and just eat.. the only thing that words and I hate to even admit it is a tv tray and letting him eat in front of his show and setting a timer - he's tall and so skinny so i couldn't do the battle anymore- this way he eats, we are all happy and the night is good.. but I know its a short lived win!~but its easier for me being I only have 1, not 4.. I don't have advice but feel ya!!

    Answer by maxsmom11807 at 5:14 PM on Jun. 3, 2011

  • The problem is, we have gotten away from family meals as a society and once we get in the habit of eating elsewhere, it's very hard to come back to that habit. I would tell them that they can't eat unless they do it at the table. It's not like you are withholding food, you are giving them food, just under your terms of eating at the table. Try and have nice conversation at the table. I know, hard over the screaming. Maybe you can take turns telling jokes or coming up with dinner suggestions.

    Answer by attap5 at 5:15 PM on Jun. 3, 2011

  • Food does not leave our dining room table for any reason, nor do drinks. Period. If my children make a mess, they are responsible to clean it as it is made (if my 4 year old slops on the table, he has to clean it- right then, the moment it happens).
    I'm sorry you're having such a hard time, but I don't really see where the issue is. If food is only allowed in ONE place, then there really isn't an issue.

    It's a rule. You're the adult in charge. Ignore the whining. They'll only do it more if they know it bothers you.

    Answer by ObbyDobbie at 5:18 PM on Jun. 3, 2011

  • i dont know but good luck and heres a bump!

    Answer by Dork4Fish at 5:21 PM on Jun. 3, 2011

  • It sounds like you haven't had a regular routine at eating at the table? Your children are young enough to be "told" what to do by you, not asked. Rules are rules and your kids seem to be rebelling because they possibly haven't been taught to follow the rules. I don't know why meals are so messy in your home, but all the more reason to stay consistent on eating at the table. BTW I think your kids are old enough to clean up their messes. It would probably remind them to be more careful if they know they have to clean it up. I am not a strict mom and I understand your dilemma. It will probably take you a while and lots of frustration to establish this routine you desire, but the positives will outweigh the kids' complaining and crying over it. You go, mom!! Good luck.

    Answer by LoveHerDad at 5:22 PM on Jun. 3, 2011

  • Maybe ease into the routine of eating at the table?

    Answer by tspillane at 5:45 PM on Jun. 3, 2011

  • You have not traumatized the kids, you have spoiled them. You have and you continue to let them rule. Take charge.
    My LO eats at the table unless it is something special "Super Bowl". Not only that they do and did not leave the table until they ask politely to be excused and it is granted. If it is not granted, they are told calmly why and they have no choice but to accept it.

    Answer by tootoobusy at 5:58 PM on Jun. 3, 2011

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