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Old 10-29-2012, 06:15 PM
 
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she is getting to the age she wants to watch TV and play games. and run around the house befor eating. we want to sit down at the table all together and eat.with out her getting up to go into the living room to turn on the Tv. Also sometimes she will not like the things that we cook. so she will sneak into the kitchen and get some food out of the frig. and if she dont get it she will scream and cry. Please any advise would help.
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Old 10-29-2012, 06:18 PM
 
Location: Maine
2,271 posts, read 5,544,643 times
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Any time she gets up from the table, go get her, lead her back to the table, and tell her gently but firmly something like "we all sit together at dinner time." Do this 100 times in a row if necessary.

Make sure to give her a warning before dinner, too, so she knows to expect that in 5 minutes or so she will need to stop playing, go wash her hands, and sit at the table. Maybe she's like to help set the table?

As for her not liking certain foods, I'd be hypocritical if I suggested that you tell her "this is the food that you can have right now.If you choose not to eat it, and are hungry later on, you will have to eat this food or be hungry." I've usually allowed a back-up food in case the kids hate what I made. Most parents probably would not do that though.
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Old 10-29-2012, 06:26 PM
 
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I never believed in food fights with little ones. I think it just makes dinner time unpleasant for everyone. It woudn't harm her if you gave her milk and cereal or some healthy alternative to what you're having for dinner. And when she's done eating - since she's only 4, it's not bad if she gets up to play instead of sitting there bored.
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Old 10-29-2012, 06:50 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
16,501 posts, read 15,961,355 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lawmom View Post
Any time she gets up from the table, go get her, lead her back to the table, and tell her gently but firmly something like "we all sit together at dinner time." Do this 100 times in a row if necessary.

Make sure to give her a warning before dinner, too, so she knows to expect that in 5 minutes or so she will need to stop playing, go wash her hands, and sit at the table. Maybe she's like to help set the table?

As for her not liking certain foods, I'd be hypocritical if I suggested that you tell her "this is the food that you can have right now.If you choose not to eat it, and are hungry later on, you will have to eat this food or be hungry." I've usually allowed a back-up food in case the kids hate what I made. Most parents probably would not do that though.
You are the adult and she is the child. If your rules are to sit at the table to eat dinner then those are the rules that she needs to follow.

I'm a retired early childhood special education teacher. Time and time again parents would tell me that their child "never sits down to eat" and these same children would sit at the table and eat snack at school without any problem.

I remember one home visit where the 4 year old student would run around the room, slow down and grab a bite of hot dog while still running and then make another circle or two around the livingroom before grabbing another bite of his lunch. He ate the entire hog dog that way. His mom said that he never sat down to eat at home. Mom said that she only gave him food that he could eat while "on the run". She didn't believe me when I said that it wasn't a problem at school. I invited her to come to school and to arrive during our snack time. Mom did & was amazed to see her son eating his snack and drinking his juice while sitting at the table.

I expected him to sit and gently reminded him to sit a few times (and ignored his screaming & complaining) and he started sitting at the table within a few days of when school started. It took his family a lot longer to break his bad habit at home but fairly quickly he sat down to eat as well.

Good luck to you. I'm sure that it will work for you as well.
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Old 10-29-2012, 10:39 PM
 
Location: Texas
1,279 posts, read 1,149,164 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CotyAndAna View Post
she is getting to the age she wants to watch TV and play games. and run around the house befor eating. we want to sit down at the table all together and eat.with out her getting up to go into the living room to turn on the Tv. Also sometimes she will not like the things that we cook. so she will sneak into the kitchen and get some food out of the frig. and if she dont get it she will scream and cry. Please any advise would help.
A few smacks to the rear a few days in a row and she will stop getting up. Problem solved.
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Old 10-30-2012, 06:17 AM
 
11,230 posts, read 9,241,988 times
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All animals need to eat. This very basic survival motivator is your ally. Where meal times are concerned, less is SOOOOO much more. You have such an easy built in consequence to dealing inappropriately with mealtime. You want her to sit at the table with you for your family meals. But think to the long term. You want HER to do it. Not have all of you in a pitched battle. Tell her that all media is off during meal times, and that you sit at the table. She sits for a quarter of a second. And gets up. You clear her plate. She chose not to eat her meal. Another meal is scheduled for x time. You are smarter and bigger than her. You know how to stop the sneaking and cheating. Kid proofing or whatever. It is only temporary until she GETS it that this is how it is. She cannot fail to get it if you keep any angst, upsetness and anger out of it. Matter of fact as you please, this is how mealtime is done. She will not starve. She may feel minor hunger sensations. Personally, I don't think that is a bad thing. I think it can be good for people, all people, to understand the real worth of the food they eat.

Good luck!
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Old 10-30-2012, 06:54 AM
 
Location: San Antonio
1,289 posts, read 3,261,379 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malamute View Post
I never believed in food fights with little ones. I think it just makes dinner time unpleasant for everyone. It woudn't harm her if you gave her milk and cereal or some healthy alternative to what you're having for dinner. And when she's done eating - since she's only 4, it's not bad if she gets up to play instead of sitting there bored.
All you're going to end up doing there is raising a picky eater.

As others have already stated be firm and patient. Just because a kid throws a tantrum at the table doesn't mean anyone has to respond in kind, no one should be 'fighting' with their kids anyways at any age.

I always like to let my kids think things through and make their own decisions where possible. When we went through what the OP described I told them it's up to you. You can eat or not, but that's all there is until breakfast tomorrow. On a couple of occasions they didn't sit with us but we always wrapped the plate and set it aside for when their stomaches inevitably made the decision for them. I never made them 'clean their plate' but did ask that they try at least a little of everything that was made.
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Old 10-30-2012, 10:39 AM
 
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Yes the kid should learn to sit at the table and stay there.

And also learn to eat what is provided... That is "when necessary" in my view...

There is a built in feature to humans called a "specific hunger". We will crave and want to eat certain foods if our bodies are lacking in a certain nutrient. For example a pregnant woman will crave all sorts of weird food. She is making a baby and needs all sorts extra nutrients.

Or when we get sick, we may want no food or suddenly have an urge for some specific drink or food. (I feel it is best to eat and drink whatever you want when sick. It is my opinion this helps your body to fight the illness.)

And same thing with growing kids, although this gets complicated when you factor in candy and junk food! Anyway they are growing and they may need / crave specific foods at certain times. I should think what they need to eat would be quite different from a grown adult who just needs to "maintain" the body (not growing) or an overweight adult who is trying to lose weight.

For example my brother and his wife were overweight and constantly cooked low cholesterol meals. Their "skinny" kid had a constant craving for high cholesterol foods! Why? Because he needed that to grow and was not getting enough in his diet. The kid threw a fit about being allowed to eat what he wanted - macaroni and cheese was a favorite of his. And they finally relented.

So I think a kid's "specific hunger" should be a consideration sometimes. If possible give them a choice. And that of course does not mean meals of candy and Twinkies!

Also if you have read in the news about these nutrition "experts" trying to force kids at school to eat salad and fruit. And the kids are throwing it in the trash... Well is that a "specific hunger" thing? Maybe the kids know their bodies need something other than that?

Anyway their only other choices are junk food. I guess the best way to find out what they prefer to eat would be to take them to a buffet and let them choose for themselves. What would they choose?

Anyway I feel there can be a "balance". Sometimes make something different for the kid - ask what they prefer to eat. Other times they should be required to eat what is on the table, but perhaps allow them to eat more of one thing than another.

Note: I also feel that our body's specific hungers are more "correct" sometimes than what nutritionists and doctors recommend. A classic case of this is the person in the hospital who is offered one thing to eat "on doctor's orders", but wants to eat something else.

Here is a bit on all this...
Specific appetite - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 10-30-2012, 11:00 AM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
10,866 posts, read 18,930,000 times
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In my house, we have two rules about food: Eating takes place at the table. And, ask mom before you eat something out of the pantry or fridge. The reason for the first rule is that the kids destroyed the carpet eating on the go. Now we have a nice carpet, they have to sit and eat. The reason for the second rule is that I do grocery shopping for a month at a time and most things in my pantry or fridge are destined for a future meal.

Having said that though, I do keep extra food for my picky eater. She will go without rather than eat something she doesn't like, and she's already quite small for her age. I won't give her something different at the mealtime, I let her sit there and move the food around on her plate and sometimes sneak small bites to make sure she doesn't like it. I don't say anything and she doesn't complain about the food, because I don't take complaints on my cooking, only compliments. Then, an hour or two later when she gets restless, I suggest that she have a yogurt or a bowl of cereal or a piece of fruit. I'm not allowing her to demand different food or replacing food at the meal, but I don't want her going to bed hungry either.
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Old 10-30-2012, 11:03 AM
 
2,763 posts, read 4,440,971 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cowdog View Post
A few smacks to the rear a few days in a row and she will stop getting up. Problem solved.
Worst advice ever.
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