LC has already learned that meals are served and are eaten at the dining table ONLY.
He used to go up and down his dining chair as he pleased. He would run around and play during mealtimes. We used to plead endlessly for him to come to the table and take a spoonful. When that won’t do, we would chase him with food on his spoon or to his fork. Making him eat, a challenge in itself, was then a balancing act too.
But gone are those days! Now, he eats and stays on his chair until he’s done with his meal. Most of the time, he even asks for approval if he is clear to go. We no longer run after him. Thus no more food morsels on the floor, and we get to stay on our seats too. Hooray! 🙂
How we did it? Through consistency and tough love.
No amount of crying or whining moved us. Whether he likes the food or not, he has to eat it. No matter how long he finishes his meal, he has to stay on his chair. The same rule applies even when we were in other people’s home, in a fast food chain or a restaurant, even when eating snacks, and even when there are other kids running around while they eat.
If he goes down prior to finishing his meal, we put him back and remind him in a firm voice. Once, he repeatedly went down his chair. Hubby and I considered it an act of defiance, an act which warranted spanking in our home. After that fateful account, one reminder was enough and he stayed put until he was through.
Tough? Yes. But this was what worked for us and how LC learned his lesson. And I guess the lesson is already ingrained… can I say, to his very core?
LC wasn’t done with his meal yet. I saw he was already sleepy. His mouth was barely moving to chew food. I wanted to bend the rule already, but I gave it a minute to see if it’s for real. The next thing I knew, he was in this position and was already sleeping. Then the same thing happened the other day.
On both times LC did not whine, not even a whimper, just to be let off and be sent to sleep. I was tempted to leave him like that and make him finish his meal when he wakes up but, I’m not that kind of tough mom. 🙂
By now, it’s safe to say our dear Little CAT has already taken the rule to heart. Hubby and I are happy about it, and happier are we with what came of it. Since this rule was imposed, LC has been eating a whole lot better! *cartwheels* I guess we’ve prepped up the stage right. Hoping we’ll say goodbye to a picky toddler soon. 🙂