Pff, my kids are 5 and 8 and are constantly up and down, showing tricks, going to the bathroom, hanging off their chairs upside down, singing songs, playing with ustensils, it drives me nuts sometimes. Ds1 is getting a bit better about it, but for ds2 we have to remind him to stay seated and practically talk every bite into his mouth (unless he really really loves it or is really really hungry..)
Poll question: Does your 4/5 year old: - Page 2
Poll Results: Does your 4/5 year old sit for meals?
Yes, both my 4yo and 7yo sit and eat. Always have, since they have been eating at the table with us. When they are done with eating they say "tak for mad" which means thanks for the meal. Then they put their dishes in the dishwasher and go play. This is the key here - once their dishes are put away, it is obvious that there is no more food, so they will not be back asking for more. And if they do ask, then we just say you finished, you have to wait for breakfast now. And we stick to this. It's never caused any problems or power struggles. Maybe once or twice they were hungry, but no one died of being a bit hungry one evening. Now if they were sick, or seriously hungry - if they ate nothing and I know they didn't eat their afternoon snack either - then I would offer an apple or banana, but not the meal again. That hasn't happened though, since they were maybe 2 or 3 yo. They know the rules and eat when they are hungry.
Our rules are - you can eat whatever of the items at the table you want. You get a bit of everything on your plate and you do not HAVE to eat it, but I would appreciate if you tried a bite because you might like it. You can have seconds, and thirds... of whatever you do like. Food stays in the kitchen, you don't walk to other rooms with it. (exception is popcorn-soda-movie night, which we have once in a while on rainy day or if a child is sick...) Once you have said thanks for the meal and have left the table, then you are done.
Ours does sit for meals. He tends to be the first one done, and prefers to go off and do his own thing once we're done eating and have gotten to the talking part, lol. But he does sit with us.
For us it's just a non issue. We sit at the table for (almost) every meal. If there's a baby, and he's awake, he's at the table with us. Toddlers sit on my lap. By the time they're 4 and 5 years old, it's a comfortable normal for them, so rarely a problem.
My kids are 6.5, almost 5, and 2 (and 5 weeks, but she takes her meals in my arms ), and they all sit at the table for meals. If we go out to eat, the littlest one might crawl under the table to get to the other side of the booth or something, but generally sits in her seat for the duration of the meal (definitely not a problem once there is *food* on the table, but sometimes requires a little wrangling before the food arrives).
Yes, the expectation is that you sit at the table (whether it's the kitchen table or the living room table) for meals. When you get up, you're done until snack time. I'm a single mom and dinner doesn't take that long so I'm usually done before they are. There are never toys at the table, so playing isn't an option.
My kids are four and seven.
My kids do and they don't, depends. Allergies, yes, have totally changed all my expectations regarding meals and food. I allow things that I never would have dreamed of in the beginning-- and things that seemed easy to do when I was a nanny minding other people's kids. Allergies, combined with poor growth and weight gain, can completely rewrite the rules sometimes, at least in our case. So, yeah, they don't always sit at the table, though I want them to come for a minute, and they never sit perfectly still and eat, at least most of the time.
So, do I answer "yes" or "no"? DD2 is 5 and her older sister sits still a tad bit more.
Seems that the girls come to the table and linger more than they used to, so I'll answer "yes". But that's not the perfect answer by any stretch.
Yes, my 4 year old does and so does my 2 year old until they ask to be excused. We allow eating elsewhere in the house on occasion but for proper meals they eat in their chairs. It helps that both like to eat generally and "excused" doesn't mean that you ate what I want you to eat. Even at the park or a party or a picnic or whatever they can usually get settled and eat most of their lunch.
And they need to go potty and wash their hands before coming to the table and sometimes after. DD is just 2 but loves being in charge of anything as long as she can make sure it takes 39 steps of behavior.
DS was horrified one time when some light snacks were served at a party and the host said was lunch. That wasn't lunch was it mama?
However, my son at 5... was TERRIBLE about sitting at the table. Still is. He drives me nuts with his table manners. I have tried for 8 years to get this kid to have decent table manners and I find myself quite often frustrated with him at the table. Different personalities, I guess.
Yes: food is served at the table in our house. My two are newly 6 and have 'sat' for meals since 3. They are actually fairly good about it and it is a way of our routine. They eat, we all talk,they clear their spots, and then can go play again. DH are usually done first though (fast eaters).....
They have three meals and two snacks (since about age 3 or so) with little to no eating in between. Food stays in the kitchen or at the table.