Family dinner with littles - how do you do it? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
#31 of 42 Old 07-20-2012, 02:22 PM
 
meemee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Norther California
Posts: 12,620
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)

ok ppl. had to go off topic.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by GoBecGo View Post

OH 

for some reason i find this HILARIOUS!!! i keep thinking other husband when i know you probably meant other half.

 

and you gotta change your siggie. i had to do some research to figure out your picture. Congratulations :) 

 

i enjoy reading your posts and am glad you will be hopefully be staying on for more and more posts too. 

 

of course secretly i am v. envious of your relationship with your exp in raising your dd1. it would be so much easier on dd here if her dad did the same. 

 

back to the topic now.


 treehugger.gif Co-parent, joy.gifcold.gifbrand new homeschooling middle schoolerjoy.gif, and an attackcat.gif 
meemee is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#32 of 42 Old 07-20-2012, 03:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
mambera's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,297
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)

So, a better update!  Last night we tried a slight stagger of mealtimes and I think this is going to work much better for us.

 

I concentrated on having the kids' food (i.e. all the sides for DD1 - corn on the cob, sauteed padron peppers, green salad with quinoa, plus a hardboiled egg just for her and also an egg yolk and some potato/broccoli mash for DD2) ready to go right when DH walked in the door at 7:30.  He then fed the kids while I made our food (grilled portobellos which DD1 doesn't eat - took another 15 min).  Then at 7:45 DH and I got to eat our food, and the kids stuck around and kept nibbling but mostly entertained each other.  DH started getting DD1 to feed DD2 (under supervision of course) which is a total genius breakthrough - it keeps them both entertained and fed while we get to eat our dinner too.  Triple score!


Me, DH, DD1 (5/2009) and DD2 (10/2011).
I'm not crunchy. I'm evidence-based.

Vaccines save lives.

mambera is offline  
#33 of 42 Old 07-21-2012, 09:06 AM
 
The4OfUs's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 4,897
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Is there any chance you could do "family breakfasts" instead?  I agree that 8pm is late for a family dinner.  If not, I have to agree with you that 3 years old is perfectly capable of sitting at a table for 10 minutes and that going into a room while they're playing and sneaking in bites sounds....well, not wrong, but not "family mealtime", either obviously.  And I also support you in the idea that sitting down together at a table, whether eating or not, is a valuable pursuit even with little kids.

 

Anyway, just supporting you that it's not a lot to ask.  As to how to get her there, that's a decision you need to make based on how you and husband communicate, and whether you do reward/sticker chart techniques or not.  Me personally, I'd try to make it into a game first.  When my kids were that age and reluctant to come to the table, either DH or I would offer to "zoom" them to the table however they wanted; airplane, truck, animal, with accompanying movement and sound effects.  Once they got there they usually were fine, and were expected to/were able to sit while they ate and not get up and down, but they were allowed to leave as soon as they were done (which sometimes was 5 minutes).  We tried to include them in conversation as much as possible so like PPs mentioned there wasn't a lot of "grownup" conversation.   Like LynnS6 wrote, we always had all the food at the table before we brought them, so there was no up and down of adults for them to be confused by (how come they get to get up and down but I don't?). 

 

I liked what mamazee and Mummoth wrote, too.

 

Now, if only I could figure out how to get them to stop the caveman table manners...they stay at the table the whole time, but half the time I am grossed out by them and wish they didn't.  lol.gif


Heather, WAHM to DS (01/04)DD (06/06). Wed to DH(09/97)
The4OfUs is offline  
#34 of 42 Old 07-21-2012, 09:09 AM
 
The4OfUs's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 4,897
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by mambera View Post

So, a better update!  Last night we tried a slight stagger of mealtimes and I think this is going to work much better for us.

 

I concentrated on having the kids' food (i.e. all the sides for DD1 - corn on the cob, sauteed padron peppers, green salad with quinoa, plus a hardboiled egg just for her and also an egg yolk and some potato/broccoli mash for DD2) ready to go right when DH walked in the door at 7:30.  He then fed the kids while I made our food (grilled portobellos which DD1 doesn't eat - took another 15 min).  Then at 7:45 DH and I got to eat our food, and the kids stuck around and kept nibbling but mostly entertained each other.  DH started getting DD1 to feed DD2 (under supervision of course) which is a total genius breakthrough - it keeps them both entertained and fed while we get to eat our dinner too.  Triple score!

 

This is great!!!!!


Heather, WAHM to DS (01/04)DD (06/06). Wed to DH(09/97)
The4OfUs is offline  
#35 of 42 Old 07-22-2012, 03:04 AM
 
GoBecGo's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 3,405
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by meemee View Post

for some reason i find this HILARIOUS!!! i keep thinking other husband when i know you probably meant other half.

 

and you gotta change your siggie. i had to do some research to figure out your picture. Congratulations :) 

 

i enjoy reading your posts and am glad you will be hopefully be staying on for more and more posts too. 

 

of course secretly i am v. envious of your relationship with your exp in raising your dd1. it would be so much easier on dd here if her dad did the same. 

 

back to the topic now.

 

Sorry OP, to drag your thread off topic again (though you sound like you've really figured things out for your guys now - i would say though, we have it "figured out" for us and we still sometimes have horrific dinner times!), but i never remember to respond to things like this out-of-thread...

 

I DID mean other half meemee, but you know i had to laugh at your post too because my eldest started school last August, and for about 4 months the other parents, seeing me with XP, obviously DD1's dad, and obviously someone i'm on good terms with, a couple of times a week at the school gates to collect her, and yet kissing DP goodbye after our Thursday morning coffee-shop coffee, after dropping DD off (when a lot of the parents run for a sneaky coffee) they either thought i was in a trio and DP WAS my Other Husband, or i was having a passionate secret affair with DP!!!  LMAO!  I had to explain that no, that is my Ex, we just don't murder each other in public any more to demonstrate the fact, and no, this is my partner, we DO like to kiss wherever we feel like it to demonstrate that fact...

GoBecGo is offline  
#36 of 42 Old 07-22-2012, 09:17 AM
 
Amys1st's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 8,322
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

We from the time our first was born, brought the kids to the table. The first week of DD1's life she nursed while I ate. So we all ate pretty peacefully! As she got older, we would eat dinner and she would be in a bouncy seat between us on our table (very large table) and she would either nod off or sit there and smile, watch us etc and we would have our conversation and also talk to her. After DH finished he would have her in his lap since he worked all day, he could not wait to have that time with her. The bouncy eventually became the  high chair with some cut up of whatever we were eating and DH would spoon feed her baby food. We did this no matter at home or out for dinner and had issues maybe once or twice. Then she had a tot seat on one of our chairs, then a kinderzeat. When dd2 arrived, did the same with exception to a few months of her being fussy in there. We also have the rules of you need to be excused (incl parents say excuse me if they get up) plus everyone eats what we have. We have worked around that by having a few sides that we know the kids will eat. When cut up peaches is presented on the plate with the pork chop, everything gets eaten. We eat dinner usually 7 nights a week but during school year, at least 6 nights a week. DH got home at 7pm when the  kids were babies. But being a sahm, I changed their clocks to reflect his schedule. So they ate breakfast at 9am unstead of 7am.

 

Now as older kids, dinner time is a time  for the family to talk about their day, what is going on and everyone gets a chance to speak. Keep working on it, so when they are school age they know how to sit and eat dinner. I know kids my kids' ages who have deplorable eating habits and manners and I credit this to their parents not using meals as a time to show them.


"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
Amys1st is offline  
#37 of 42 Old 07-22-2012, 09:56 AM
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2,342
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Our daughter is almost 13 months old. Since we got her high chair (about 4 or 5 months) we have been sitting her at table with us while we eat, and giving her food once she got old enough for it. She can usually make it about 15-20 minutes before she starts to get fussy, and we can usually get our food down during that time. (We've done mostly baby-led weaning, so she hand-feeds herself most of the time; occasionally we spoon-feed a little.) It doesn't always work out that way, and sometimes I work swing shift so I'm not home for dinner anyway, but I think at this point she has come to expect spending time sitting with us at dinner, even if she's mostly playing with her food rather than eating it. I don't know about doing this with the older kid since I haven't worked with that age group much, but I do expect to continue having her sit at table with us as she grows, and I'm trying to not form the habit of offering a bunch of food on the run.

erigeron is offline  
#38 of 42 Old 07-22-2012, 04:02 PM
 
whatifedmychild's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 12
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

We have tried this ourselves (see Storm Bride's second post #22), and I must say it helped us through times when tiredness was driving the behavior at the table.  Every three months I seriously reconsider our mealtime routines.  It's just a check in with sleep behavior hunger and growing, to think about what our practices are and if they are still working for the whole family.

 

 At 18 mo., at 2 1/2 and again at 3 1/2 we have found that "dinner" at 4:30 made the most sense.  So this was clearly not going to be with the whole family, but it was carried out in the same style.  All food is always eaten at the table here, including snacks. So at 4:30 we sat down together with our plates and forks and cups and napkins, and had dinner.  We had some conversation, finished the milk, served plates from the dish in the center of the table, all the same as if it were evening.  Then after some "peaceful playing" there was a story from the arriving-home-from-work spouse.  There was a cup of milk and a high fat bite of something, usually cheese or avocado at 6pm, our previous family dinner time. Kiss and off to bed early for the toddler.  The behavior was so improved because we were staving off tiredness.  (and we then have our own dinner - nice)

 

Thinking about this,  we effectively swapped snack time with dinner time.  The dinner skills continued on the same, and a few months later we went back to all eating together at 6pm.  I made the change back, to dinner at 6pm, when the quantity of food eaten at 4:30 dwindled back to snack size.  While we were not  all together all the time, the dinner expectations for behavior remained consistent.  Our toddler's memories of table experiences are then all the same, we sit we eat we talk, though occasionally the players change.  It did mean that the food was quick and simple for the toddler, and more elaborate for us.  (More about that on my blog, same name as my post name)

 

Truly, tiredness is the chief culprit for balking at routines at our house.  

whatifedmychild is offline  
#39 of 42 Old 07-22-2012, 04:17 PM
 
philomom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 9,261
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post

Okay - I just read your second post.


Since your husband gets home late, and he doesn't feel this is as important as you do, have you considered having a sit-down meal with the kids, before he gets home? You could just take a few bites, or whatever. Then, when your husband gets home, you can sit with him while he eats, and eat your dinner then. Since this isn't important to your husband, and his schedule is so late, it might work better to focus on the "sitting together at the table" thing, outside of his dinnertime. (You could work on it with lunch or something, too.)


On a similar note.. maybe have the kids eat dessert with dad and pre-feed them with yourself closer to six. You can have a great brunch as family one weekend day where everyone lingers at the table.


I've always done family dinners with all four of us but... my dh is always home by 6:15. We have a sit down dinner 6 nights out of seven.
philomom is offline  
#40 of 42 Old 07-22-2012, 09:00 PM
 
MrsBone's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Oak Point, TX
Posts: 1,183
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I never even thought about this since DH isn't always home for dinner..most of the time he his but not always. Our 14 month old is usually hungry by 5:30 or 6 but our 3 1/2 year old son isn't usually hungry until closer to 7. So I end up feeding the baby first, cleaning her up, then finish preparing dinner for my 3 1/2 year old and DH and I. We usually end up sitting down together to eat, or me, DD and DS, while daddy's working, or just DS and I while DD plays. I really am not too concerned about it. I figure one day we'll all be able to eat together..I just think they're too young :)


DH(9/04) DS(12/08) and DD(5/11)

MrsBone is offline  
#41 of 42 Old 07-23-2012, 07:30 PM
 
universalbaby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 6
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I don't think that you can really expect them to sit for too long. The baby is still young, so you may want to concentrate on feeding her first and then letting her eat some fruit at the table until she wants down. Our 3yr old would eat with us (we just did our best to have him stay seated) and then when he was done he was completely allowed to get up while we would try and finish. But I do think you kind of have to be flexible and just work at it without making it more stressful.

universalbaby is offline  
#42 of 42 Old 08-19-2012, 06:27 AM
 
RachaelM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: UK
Posts: 65
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

We start out with a family dinner and if my daughter is not hungry she doesn't eat. She can play around the dinner table and pop back up when she wants. 

 

Sometimes she doesn't eat much, sometimes she eats loads. 

 

If you don't stress about them staying put, or eating a certain amount, then it's not stressful!

 

If she doesn't eat, she'll eat later or in the morning. Always done it this way and she's perfectly healthy and will try any food. We always enjoy dinner together, even if she's not sitting at the table, but maybe playing on the floor. 


treehugger.gif

Natural Parenting Guidelines

Learn more about Natural Parenting, Holistic Pregnancy, Breastfeeding, Baby Wearing, Cosleeping, Non-Vaccination and Baby Led Feeding/Weaning.

 

Got something you're passionate about? Come write an article for us and link back to your blog! 

RachaelM is offline  
Reply

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off