Get The Kids To Sit Still
* And teach them how to enjoy spending time at the Dinner Table too.
Remember that your tot's attention span will last 15 minutes max, with your pre-schooler's lasting a little longer. So if you expecting them to sit through your elaborate three-course meal, you may end up disillusioned, not to mention frustrated. Use these tips to keep their attention and make mealtimes memorable.
> AVOID DISTRACTIONS. Turn Off the TV or video games during mealtime. You may be tempted to keep the TV on so he can watch as you feed him, but this actually distracts him from his own body signals, and he won't be able to tell if he's hungry or full.
> WATCH THE SNACKS. If he's not hungry at the dinner, check if he's been fed a snack too close to mealtime. Try to have a two-hour gap between snack and mealtimes then.
> START SMALL. Get your child to stay at the table for small periods of time, and gradually increase this as he grows up. Try to include him in your conversations as well. This shows you value him as part of the family, no matter how young.
> LEARN TO SHARE. Show your children equal respect by offering them five minutes each to talk about their day. If they know they will get their chance to share, they will wait their turn and not leave the table. Or try a word game: for example, name a category, like fruits, and each person takes turns naming something in that category after a taking bite.
> WHEN DINING OUT. If you've already started a stay-at-the-table habit at home. it's likely the children will behave better at a restaurant. You can let them pack a colouring book or a toy they can play with while they wait for their meal as an appetiser so it comes first. Keep them occupied with a game like "I Spy" too.