drinking in the living room - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: What should I do about DD's spilling issue?
nothing - have her clean it up, but that is it 10 17.86%
do not let her drink outside the kitchen, but everyone else can 21 37.50%
no one gets to drink outside the kitchen 3 5.36%
other 22 39.29%
Voters: 56. You may not vote on this poll

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#1 of 49 Old 02-01-2011, 09:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We allow eating anywhere on the ground floor.  People regularly drink (coffee, water, etc) in the living room.

 

DD, 8, has spilled drinks at least 5 times in the last week.  She has always spilled the appropriate amount for her age, but this is getting to be a bit much.  Usually the spill is on the floor, which can be wiped, but sometimes it is on the couch.  I think she is simply not as aware of her environment and her cup as she should be.

 

I do not want her drinking in the living room right now - maybe not for the next few months, until she grows a bit.

 

The thing is - other people (including myself) do want to drink in the living room, and they rarely spill things. I am drinking a coffee at the computer as I speak.

 

What to do?

 

Poll time

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#2 of 49 Old 02-01-2011, 09:23 AM
 
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can you give her one of those sports bottles?  We don't allow open cups outside of the kitchen.  I use a travel mug for coffee.  My kids use some form of closed cup, too.


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#3 of 49 Old 02-01-2011, 09:26 AM
 
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That does sound like a lot of spilling.  I feel like my seven year old doesn't spill more than a couple of times a month maybe.  BUT, he is very careless with his cups and bowls and things.  Or maybe not careless -- maybe it's an age appropriate misunderstanding of his physical reality.  Either way it can make me crazy.  lol  So, we have a table where his water glass or whatever has to stay if it's not in his hand.  Part of the reason for it is that I also have an almost 2 year old, so it's the only way to keep it away from his brother.  It works out pretty well, though.  He can drink in the living room and we don't have a lot of spills.


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#4 of 49 Old 02-01-2011, 09:28 AM
 
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My kids can drink in the living room if they have a covered cup. If they have an open cup they need to stay in the kitchen. 


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#5 of 49 Old 02-01-2011, 09:30 AM
 
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My 8 year old spills alot too.

 

We keep all food and drinks in the kitchen (dh and I can and do eat elsewhere), except on movie night.  Then they have pop and popcorn in the living room. I just watch alot and make sure they're aware of where things are.  They do pretty well for the most part.

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#6 of 49 Old 02-01-2011, 09:31 AM
 
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My DS, 7, is pretty good about not spilling his drink, but when he was younger it was a big problem. Our solution was to have him drink only in the kitchen. He would cry "unfair!" but we explained to him that it was completely up to him and as soon as he could keep a drink without spilling it, he could drink like the rest of us. We still have a problem with him running or not paying attention to his personal space and drinks spill occasionally that way, but that is another issue entirely.

 

We did let him use sippy cups but he didn't like having to use a baby cup, so it didn't hamper his initiative to drink with the grownups.


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#7 of 49 Old 02-01-2011, 09:31 AM
 
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She's spilling, nobody else is, so she needs to keep her cups in the kitchen for a while.  Nobody needs the exact same privileges as everybody else if they've proven they can't handle it right now.  It's not like you won't reinstate it later on and let her have another try.  Even an adult would have to stop taking cups into the living room if they kept spilling it.  

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#8 of 49 Old 02-01-2011, 09:32 AM
 
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I don't think this makes logical sense, but I think it's ok to have water, coffee or tea outside the kitchen/dining areas. I don't think it's a good idea to have juice, milk or soda outside those areas. The water makes sense - a spill is not a big deal - but coffee has plenty of staining potential, so I don't really understand my own opinion on that. Yet I do think people in general often have tea in the living room or whatever, so I can't be the only one who has that idea.

 

That said, if that were the rule, then I think that could be applied equally to everyone. The 8 year old can have water outside the dining areas. Maybe I'd enforce that she use a reasonably small cup, though, so she doesn't regularly spill 32 ounces of water on the sofa. I'm hoping she doesn't drink tea or coffee, so it's either water or she has to go in the kitchen. You are still permitted to have your coffee at the computer. That's how I see it.

 

We were pretty lax about drinking anywhere in the house (even upstairs - or rather, mostly upstairs - it's FREEZING downstairs in the winter and we tend to gravitate upstairs when it's cold) but DD, 5 years old, has a habit of spilling too, so we clamped down on that. But DH is pretty much constantly nursing a cup of tea, and he'll do that anywhere and I don't think that's caused any confusion or resentment. (Though I know a 5 year old isn't an 8 year old :)).


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#9 of 49 Old 02-01-2011, 09:33 AM
 
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We have a no-drinks policy in the living room (for everyone) unless certain guidelines are followed.  DD can drink in the living room if we set up her little table and chair.  No drinks are allowed near the couch and chairs.  This policy is for the living room and bedroom only.  DD can have drinks in her playroom and our computer is also part of that playroom. 

 

I know it probably sounds silly to some, but we don't plan to buy any new furniture and rugs until DD is older, and it is important to us that we take care of them for the long term.  Plus, it is not like we live in a castle, LOL, people can walk a few extra steps to the kitchen table if they are thirsty!


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#10 of 49 Old 02-01-2011, 09:33 AM
 
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We have a little table (from IKEA Kids) in the living room where his drinks stay. No drinks on the couch. If a spill happens, it's no big deal! (And at the table, spills are much less likely to happen.)


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#11 of 49 Old 02-01-2011, 09:39 AM
 
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If you spill a drink does your DH berate you and insist you can't be trusted to drink anywhere but the kitchen?  That seems so heavy-handed to me - appropriate for deliberate chucking about of drinks, wilfully staining furniture etc.  Totally OTT for an accidental spill, no matter how often it happens.

 

I was the clumsy child.  I always cleaned up if i spilled.  I have mostly grow out of it.  DP was a clumsy child.  He still VISIBLY FLINCHES if he accidentally spills something because of how his parents reacted to it.

 

So i vote have her clean it up.  She'll grow out of it.  Meantime start saving for your new fancy couch you can get when all the kids are grown and out the house.

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#12 of 49 Old 02-01-2011, 09:49 AM
 
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Is 5 times in the last week typical or an anomaly? That changes how I would handle it. If it's an anomaly, I'd chalk it up to being a bad week for her. If it's always that often, then I would probably work with her on how to handle herself. DS has always been really careful. He moved to open cups before age 1, and he's had a handful of spills ever. DD is another story. She just turned 4, and she still spills often. We mostly work with her on recognizing that her elbow is near her cup, putting her cup there will be a problem when she lifts her popcorn bowl, etc. She really needs more instruction on physical space. Maybe your dd is like that, and you could (gently, of course!) work with her on it.


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#13 of 49 Old 02-01-2011, 09:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have never berated anyone for spilling things.

 

In reality, if I spilled things regularly I would stop drinking outside the kitchen or get a mug with a lid.  Cleaning up is no fun - particularly if it stains.

 

 

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#14 of 49 Old 02-01-2011, 09:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VisionaryMom View Post

Is 5 times in the last week typical or an anomaly? That changes how I would handle it. If it's an anomaly, I'd chalk it up to being a bad week for her. If it's always that often, then I would probably work with her on how to handle herself. DS has always been really careful. He moved to open cups before age 1, and he's had a handful of spills ever. DD is another story. She just turned 4, and she still spills often. We mostly work with her on recognizing that her elbow is near her cup, putting her cup there will be a problem when she lifts her popcorn bowl, etc. She really needs more instruction on physical space. Maybe your dd is like that, and you could (gently, of course!) work with her on it.


I am not sure.  It seems a bit higher than usual this week - but I think she is a bit "spilly" to begin with.

I might try to work with her on being more aware of her personal surrounding - but i do not want to make her self conscious, you know?

 

I am heading towards using a kid table for her in the living room.  She has done this before and it does work.  I had hesitated, as she often brings in the table, starts playing with stuff on it, does not clean up after herself and we have (another) flat surface with clutter on it.  However, if might be the solution -  and it might just be she has to clear it off or clear a spot on it before she gets a drink.

 

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#15 of 49 Old 02-01-2011, 09:57 AM
 
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Ok, I voted "no one drinks outside of the kitchen", but not for the reason you might think.

The thing is, if your DD isn't aware of her own drink, she's sure as heck not going to be aware of anyone else's drink, and you're still going to be cleaning up lots of spills. I say this because I had to give up coffee because sure-shootin', DD knocks that thing over in spite of multiple, MULTIPLE reminders/warnings, no matter where I put the dumb thing. Unless you can somehow put your coffee high up on something that can't be bumped, you might be surprised at your daughter's spilling ability. smile.gif

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#16 of 49 Old 02-01-2011, 10:06 AM
 
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I think I would ether prohibit everyone from drinking staining liquids in the living room or provide containers that are not easy to spill. I would rather buy new cups and bottles than create another clutter area with extra furniture, just for drinks.
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#17 of 49 Old 02-01-2011, 10:39 AM
 
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I voted "other". I would get a few of those covered cups - not baby sippy cups, but the travel cup kind. They have hot and cold cup versions at Bed, Bath & Beyond.

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#18 of 49 Old 02-01-2011, 10:53 AM
 
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My kids still spill a lot too. (Particularly if they're anywhere but the kitchen!) They can drink from open cups all they want in the kitchen, however they need to fill a water bottle if they want to take it anywhere else in the house. Since they only drink water (no juice/milk) I'm not terribly concerned if the odd cup makes it's way out of the kitchen or a water bottle gets knocked over in the hallway.

 

I chose other. Does she take a water bottle to school? Maybe she'd drink from one at home too?

 

 

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#19 of 49 Old 02-01-2011, 10:56 AM
 
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Is she going through a growth spurt?  If so she is probably more tippy than usual.  During the growing years kids aren't always aware of where their bodies are and they tend to be clumsy.  I would not do anything except encourage her to find a place to set her cup so it won't spill and let her clean it up.

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#20 of 49 Old 02-01-2011, 12:13 PM
 
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I'm tempted to vote that for now she should have to keep drinks in the kitchen, even though others are allowed drinks in the living room.  We do this at our house *but* the big difference is that the dining table is in the same room as the living room, so even though kids need to sit at the table to drink they can still stay in the same room as everyone else.  So, I didn't vote because I'm not totally decided.

 

I do think having a special "sports" bottle for her to use  - to help minimize spills - is a good idea.  Or only allowing water out of the kitchen.


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#21 of 49 Old 02-01-2011, 12:23 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoBecGo View Post

If you spill a drink does your DH berate you and insist you can't be trusted to drink anywhere but the kitchen?  That seems so heavy-handed to me 


Oh.. I totally missed the part where the OP said she berates her daughter, or is heavy handed.

 

Yes.. if my husband continued to spill his tea into the couch, I'd request he stop bringing tea into the living room.  

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#22 of 49 Old 02-01-2011, 12:39 PM
 
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I wouldn't be heavy-handed or berate a child. With a few spills, I would of course be patient, and help the child clean up the mess without judgment. But if a child was spilling a lot, I would talk to the child about the situation, and lay down a rule that the child needs to keep drinks in the kitchen for a period of time, and then we could try again. Yes, it's important to recognize that a child is more important than the furniture, but I would also like to have a home without huge stains all over anything, and I don't think that's selfish at all. I don't have the money to be replacing things that are damaged. And I don't think it does kids any good at all if we don't expect them to take reasonable care with household furniture.

FWIW, if it were my husband, or my mother, or my neighbor who was constantly spilling things, I would also request that they keep their drink in the kitchen. We already have a rule in our house about DH drinking coffee in the family room, because he doesn't pay attention and spills it all the time. The kids can drink down there, but DH can't.


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#23 of 49 Old 02-01-2011, 12:50 PM
 
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I don't get where all the berating and heavy handedness is coming from?  The OP clearly said she's never berated anyone.

 

I have no problem with not allowing my children to do things that dh and I can do.  If I was a big spiller, I'd keep my drinks in the kitchen.

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#24 of 49 Old 02-01-2011, 12:55 PM
 
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I agree with the sports bottle idea.  We allow DD(3) to have a drinking glass at the table, but she likes to sip throughout the day at home  so we keep  water in her sports bottle that she can grab from the fridge whenever she'd like.  She also gets thirsty at night and keeps a sports bottle by her bed as it doesn't spill.

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#25 of 49 Old 02-01-2011, 01:26 PM
 
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Didn't read all the responses yet, but I voted 'other' -- she can drink in the living room as long as it's a closed-top (sport-top bottle or something) or water/seltzer. If it's something that stains, I wouldn't want her drinking it in the living room unless it was contained. I wouldn't tell her no drinking outside of the kitchen because that just seems silly to me, especially if everyone else is allowed to.


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#26 of 49 Old 02-01-2011, 01:27 PM
 
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ETA: I'd also get her input on this -- would she rather drink only in the kitchen, or with a closed cup, etc.


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#27 of 49 Old 02-01-2011, 01:41 PM
 
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In our house, food and drink are confined to the dining area (carpeted - UGH) and the kitchen. DH, ds1 and I also eat and drink at the computer sometimes. DH sometimes has a beer in the living room while watching a movie, and we also eat popcorn in there as a family when we're watching a movie, but those are the only exceptions. This is one area where the kids and adults have slightly different rules. (I'm "allowed" to drink in the living room, too, but I usually don't. Sometimes, I have some water, but with dd2 climbing on me so much, there's just too much risk of spills.)

 

If I allowed drinks in the living room, and someone was regularly spilling them, I wouldn't have an issue with banning drinks for that family member alone. I know it doesn't make a person feel very good to have a rule that's just for them, but if the spilling problem only applies to one person, then there's no reason to change the rules for everyone else, imo.


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#28 of 49 Old 02-01-2011, 01:46 PM
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Ds 1 doesn't pay attention when urinating and "spills" on the floor surrounding the toilet. Maybe he's clumsy, maybe he's in a hurry, maybe he's imagining a star wars battle? Idk, but ds #2 gets it all in the toilet every time.

If I resolve this issue by saying no standing and peeing, is it fair to ds 2 ( or even dh) that even though he can stand without spilling, he now has to sit? Or what if I implemented a rule that whoever stands while peeing has to clean the floor around the toilet daily?

In either case, it seems unfair to those who aren't clumsy/inattentive/etc to lose the privilege because someone else doesn't have the maturity to handle that privilege. As far as spilling on the furniture, well my kids are more important than furniture which is exactly why I'm trying to instill in them the need to take care of the items we have. How wasteful would it be to replace an entire couch because things are repeatedly spilled on it?

Ds spilled a large bowl of rice the other night bringing it to the dinner table. As we are a family of six on a limited budget and trying to stretch our grocery budget, everyone was still hungry after dinner because the rice was spilled and unsavageable. It was simply an accident, he tripped over his own feet, but for now he will not be bringing food to the table.
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#29 of 49 Old 02-01-2011, 01:50 PM
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I think she needs to keep open cups either in the kitchen or on the kitchen/dining room table.  If she wants to drink in the living room then it should be a sports bottle or something with a lid and straw, assuming you have some of those around.  That's the rule with my guys, open cups need to stay on the table, cups with a lid and straw or other type of cover can go in the living room or their bedrooms.  On the very rare occaisions they're allowed to bring an open cup into the living room it has to stay on the end table and if they forget that then it goes back to the kitchen table.

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#30 of 49 Old 02-01-2011, 02:05 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjs View Post

Ds 1 doesn't pay attention when urinating and "spills" on the floor surrounding the toilet. Maybe he's clumsy, maybe he's in a hurry, maybe he's imagining a star wars battle? Idk, but ds #2 gets it all in the toilet every time..


Fortunately, I'm not currently drinking at the computer, because I'm pretty sure I'd have just spit coffee all over my monitor.


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