Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Family meal times - household rules

We had a particularly galling lunch time on Saturday, that involved E refusing to use a fork or spoon and so smearing lasagne all over her (new) blue and white dress as well as the chair (despite it's protective cushion), me taking her plate away several times and then relenting and giving it back, and lots of raised voices and general unhappiness from both of us. Sadly these kinds of episodes are not uncommon at the moment. 

After I had calmed down, cleaned up and sent E to her room to listen to CDs, I decided that we should write a list of family meal-time rules. She is a creature of habit and whilst she does not respond well to arbitrary authority, if she thinks something is a "rule" then she is generally more willing to comply with it. So later that day we sat down and wrote our list. This is what we came up with:

* Stay still;
* Sit on your chair with legs forward;
* Eat over your plate;
* Use knife and fork;
* Don't talk with your mouth full;
* Always ask by saying "please";
* Be grateful for the meal;
* Afterwards, put your dishes in the sink; and
* Wash your hands before and after.

Interestingly, E came up with almost all of them, so she clearly knew what we expect of her even if she isn't always willing (or able! I need to remember she is only four!) to comply with our expectations. Hopefully this will help - it will at least mean we can say "remember the rule about sitting on your chair" rather than issuing seemingly random demands.


Sarah said...

I'm so excited that you're back blogging again. It really makes me realise that I'm no alone in my shoutty mealtime shenanigans. I'm done with the 'I don't like it, I'm hungry for something else'. Grrrrrrrrrr :/

ANB said...

Haha, Sar, have a look at the post I just published about the hungries for something else...

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