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Table talk...

Posted by on Jan. 18, 2010 at 11:18 AM
  • 5 Replies

My 2 yr old son will move from chair to chair to chair all around the table while eating his meals. It wouldn't bother me, but by the time he's done, the whole table is a mess! Just wondering if anyone else has dealt with this, or had any ideas? I've tried pushing the chairs all the way in, and moving them away from the table. He'll just push them right back to where they belong! I am at my wits end, because most of the time I sit with him while he's eating, and he'll climb on my lap, and then off again, and on again, and off again. Either that or he'll take 2 bites and then run away to play, come back 20 minutes later for 2 more bites, and run away again, come back 5 minutes later..... you get the picture. I have tried telling him that if he gets down, I'll put his food away (and following through!) but then he comes back, sees that his food is gone and SCREAMS until I get it back out for him. More often than not, he'll go get it himself, and dump it all over the kitchen floor. These habits are wearing me and my husband down, it's gotten to the point that I don't even want to make any food for DS, because he won't eat it anyway. Can anyone shed some light on why he might be doing this? Or what we can do to stop the cycle?

by on Jan. 18, 2010 at 11:18 AM
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by on Jan. 18, 2010 at 11:25 AM

For around $25, you can get a booster seat that has straps to keep him in place and it's own tray, unless you want to scoot him up to the table. That'll keep him in one spot. If not that, maybe do something to designate that one particular chair is HIS chair (put a cover over it, make a placemat with his name, SOMETHING) and just keep moving him back to that chair, telling him "this is your chair, if you have food you need to stay RIGHT HERE." If he doesn't stay in his chair, simply take whatever food he has in his hands and move it back to the spot in front of THAT chair. 

We have a highchair for DD and we've been teaching her that food stays at her chair because she likes to climb down and carry food around. She's gotten pretty good about only eating at her chair (unless it's a snack; then it stays at the coffee table.) but we've had to work with her.

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by on Jan. 18, 2010 at 11:32 AM

if you get the food back out for him, you aren't following through ... dump it in the sink.  Don't leave it where he can get to it.  I give 1 warning if my DD or 1 of the kids I watch gets up from the table ... After that food goes in the trash and they get only a veggie snack until the next meal.

by on Jan. 18, 2010 at 11:34 AM

I'm sorry.  My DD is like this too.  I just deal with it because she won't eat if I strap her into the chair.  I know she'll eat if she can run around and then come back every so often for a bite or two.  I'm interested to see how some people taught their kids that food stays on the table and you sit and eat.

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by Silver Member on Jan. 18, 2010 at 11:43 AM

do not give it back just because he screams. It may be a headache (literally) to listen to it but after a few times he will figure out it doesn't work. And when you remove his meal throw it away or put it out of sight. Do not make it accessible. Kids do what the learn works. If my kids do something aggrivating I stop to think what they are getting out of it. It is human instinct to do what serves a purpose. Then problem solve how to meet that need in another way. I imagine your son is enjoying the attention he gets. Either ignore the behavior to remove the attention. Or make sure he is getting the attention he needs before dinner (or both)

by on Jan. 20, 2010 at 2:08 AM

I'll clarify: I don't give the food back because he screams. I wait until he's done screaming for the moment, then ask him if he's hungry. If he says yes, I take his food out and put it back at his spot. He has a special Elmo placemat that he likes to use, so I always put that in the same spot, and he knows that is HIS chair. If I strap him in a booster seat, he'll just unbuckle himself, or he'll start throwing food all over the floor. I don't really feel like mopping every day, so I ditched the booster. We're working on a high chair, but he likes to climb onto the tray of it, which causes the tray to snap off of the chair.

If he throws food at all, it goes in the garbage. If he throws his whole meal on the floor, then he goes hungry until the next meal. He only gets one snack a day, so I can't really cut that out.

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