Should I not be allowing this? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 06-13-2003, 03:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Ds, who is 2, likes to eat like a dog - he likes to pour his food or water or milk onto the floor or tabletop and then bend over and eat it. He only does this at home. He doesn't do it with everything all the time, but I would say at least 2x a day I look over to find that he has dumped his bowl onto his little table and is slurping away. He did it today with his chopped almonds and then again with his blueberries and watermelon. Oh, and with his cup of rice milk too. And he absolutely loves to do this with dried oatmeal, dried muesli, and shredded cheese. I remember him doing this in his highchair when he very first started eating solid food.

We have a pretty casual eating style - we often eat sitting at his little table, sitting in the living room with him just eating off of our plates, or standing around in the kitchen. Nowadays he only eats in his highchair when I'm in the shower (I bring it into the bathroom with me).

Is this a bad habit that I should not be allowing, or do you think it's just an experimental phase that he'll eventually get over?
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#2 of 9 Old 06-13-2003, 09:51 AM
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He's too young to *get* manners, but many are taught manners this early and manage because they get love (or less heat) from their parents. Anyway, in my opinion, you should set limits because of the feeling in yourself, not because there is a societal "should" like with manners (at this age anyway). But, if you are pretty casual and don't have hang-ups around manners, it is likely that as this is beginning to get to you, you have a great opportunity to develop your ability to set limits. Coming at it with the spirit of your own limit (vs society's limit) because it causes you discomfort or just more work in clean-up, are perfectly good reasons to set limits with a toddler. But if your worry is just that he will never outgrow it, that is unfounded. If it is about now, and you can't put your finger on why, you still have a right to respect your feeling and ask for his cooperation. KWIM?
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#3 of 9 Old 06-13-2003, 01:35 PM
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My DS (19 mos) does this, too, and we always ask him, "Are you a doggie?!" to which he grins and continues to eat that way. I think it's a great opportunity to practice imaginary play.

However, I agree w/ Cindi. If it concerns you, maybe now is a good time to start introducing the concept of manners and, as my mom likes to call it, "civilized behavior." Your post leads me to believe that you're relatively easy-going about it, so maybe you could try something along the lines of "X, it's pretty funny when you pretend to be a doggy, but big boys really eat like THIS." and then model it. Or you could just sort of frown and indicate that it isn't really appropriate or something like that.

In any case, I would think it's likely to be a phase and not much of a big deal.

;-) Melina

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#4 of 9 Old 06-13-2003, 04:05 PM
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I wouldn't worry about it too much either.

My boys like to be dogs and often ask for a bowl of water on the floor. Maybe you could just point him that direction. Oh, oatmeal is not for puppies, here is a bowl of water.
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#5 of 9 Old 06-13-2003, 04:13 PM
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My son does this too. I don't care as long as he doesnt dump his dry cereal all over the couch. I think he spends too much time with the dog.

I don't mind it and I am sure it's a fun game for them...he doesn't usually do it in a more formal setting and I'm sure it will end eventually.


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#6 of 9 Old 06-13-2003, 05:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for your replies. It doesn't usually bother me, as long as it's not too big of a mess, so up to now I've been kind of letting it go. If he does it on an inappropriate surface, I frown and let him know that that's not an okay place to pour his water or whatever it was.

I'm glad to know that he's not the only crazy kid doing this! The funny thing is - we don't even have a dog! So I have no idea where he picked this up.
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#7 of 9 Old 06-13-2003, 06:47 PM
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Originally posted by oceanbaby
The funny thing is - we don't even have a dog! So I have no idea where he picked this up.
Well... we HAVE dogs... my DD (19 months) sticks her face right into the dogs' water bowl and drinks (she also uses the more human-oriented "anything plastic which can be used as a cup" to scoop the water out and drink it daintily), as well as spending hours, if we let her, playing with the dog kibble, eating it, dumping it, putting it in the water, hand feeding it to the dogs, pouring it, scooping it... oh, how she loves the dog kibble and the dog water bowl. Let's just say... we don't need a sand-and-water table, OK?

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and DD2, 11/2004
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#8 of 9 Old 06-13-2003, 07:03 PM
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What works for us with some behavior that I don't specifically oppose but don’t want to encourage is to make as little over it as possible.

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#9 of 9 Old 06-13-2003, 07:14 PM
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I think if you have to clean it up, he should help you out. (Not in a mean way or a punishment way)
Then he can chose to do it any way he wants and it's not any different for you either.

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