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Managing Transitions

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

DS is 2, and doesn't manage transitions well.  He usually runs away from me whenever there's a transition in our day.  So, I warn him 5 min ahead, and 2 min ahead, "In 5 min we're going to go to the park.  We have to put on your shoes!"  then we do whatever it is.  For the most part, this works.  We're having a terrible time with dinnertime, though.  DS always runs away at dinner time, even with the warnings.  We talk to him to bring him back, and he refuses to come back.  DH goes & bodily brings him back to the living room, we sit on the couch and talk about dinnertime some more (during which one of us is trying to keep DS at the couch, as he's still trying to run from us), "Mommy's so hungry, aren't you hungry? We're having yummy x for dinner!  Do you want some?  You even get a blue fork to use with dinner!  Do you want to buckle yourself in your seat at the table?  After dinner, we're doing x!  But we have to eat dinner first."  Until it deteriorates to firm voices and crying, and usually time-out (which we do more like a time-in).  

 

What else can I do to help him manage this transition better?

 

Our usual evening routine is, Daddy comes home, DH takes a shower, which DS usually wants to join, while I finish up dinner prep, then as I'm plating, I start talking about dinner to DS, while he acts like he's fine with it, then when I actually say it's dinner time, DS says, "No!  Leaving!"  and runs upstairs.  

 

He does not have this problem with breakfast or lunch (I don't even warn him of those), and when DH is out of town, he doesn't have this problem either. 

post #2 of 5

DD has problems with transitions too... my one thought about your problem is that maybe your DS is hungry earlier than when you eat and he's already in meltdown mode?  If DD eats too late it's HARD to get her to eat because she's so overhungry that she's already too far gone. 

post #3 of 5
I guess I would try not doing so much talking, not building it up so much -- maybe it's creating some anxiety in him or something? I'd just say something like, "Dinner time is in 5 minutes," and then when it's dinner time, just pick him up & put him in his chair. Maybe you've already tried that though... My DS has a lot of trouble with transitions as well & I find if I don't make a big deal out of it (but still give him plenty of warning/notice) he generally does OK with it.

I'd also consider not buckling him in (we stopped by 18mos I think & DS was much happier being unrestrained!) -- maybe he just wants more freedom a that time of day? You could even try a dinner picnic on the floor, if that's something you'd be up for...

Maybe do some kind of ritual before dinner -- it could be a prayer, or washing hands, or having him set the table... here we do a song and say grace before the meal. DS really looks forward to singing & he usually chooses the song. We try to make dinner fun & really involve him in the conversation... sometimes it's easy for DH & I to spend the time catching up and paying little attention to DS...
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 

DH gets home pretty late, so DS & I usually have a snack about an hour before DH gets home, and dinner isn't usually for almost an hour after DH gets home, because we were both so hungry at dinner.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by physmom View Post

DD has problems with transitions too... my one thought about your problem is that maybe your DS is hungry earlier than when you eat and he's already in meltdown mode?  If DD eats too late it's HARD to get her to eat because she's so overhungry that she's already too far gone. 


 

 

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 

This has only been going on for about three weeks.  Before that, we simply started having dinner, and he didn't have a problem.  Not sure what started it.  Anyway, we do say a prayer, which he also resists.  If we don't buckle him in, he'll climb on the table.  He is the sort of kid that always has to be buckled if we expect him to actually sit somewhere, or remain somewhat still (Library storytimes?  Forget it, he runs around the whole room grabbing all the computers.  Church?  Yeah, right, he jumps off the seats, and climbs under to see other families.  Lessons in nursery at church?  I'm not sure what happens, but I bet a teacher sits with him, holding him down.  I've seen them do it with other kids, anyway.)  Once he's buckled, he doesn't fight it, I think because he knows it's the routine, in fact, in a seat he's usually buckled into, he buckles it himself, without a fight.

 

So, I think I am going to try getting him to help set the table, and maybe help me finish making dinner somehow, so he can be a part of the process.  Maybe then he'll be less resisitant. 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post

I guess I would try not doing so much talking, not building it up so much -- maybe it's creating some anxiety in him or something? I'd just say something like, "Dinner time is in 5 minutes," and then when it's dinner time, just pick him up & put him in his chair. Maybe you've already tried that though... My DS has a lot of trouble with transitions as well & I find if I don't make a big deal out of it (but still give him plenty of warning/notice) he generally does OK with it.

I'd also consider not buckling him in (we stopped by 18mos I think & DS was much happier being unrestrained!) -- maybe he just wants more freedom a that time of day? You could even try a dinner picnic on the floor, if that's something you'd be up for...

Maybe do some kind of ritual before dinner -- it could be a prayer, or washing hands, or having him set the table... here we do a song and say grace before the meal. DS really looks forward to singing & he usually chooses the song. We try to make dinner fun & really involve him in the conversation... sometimes it's easy for DH & I to spend the time catching up and paying little attention to DS...


 

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