Saturday, February 19, 2011

♫ Toddler Trouble: Episode 987651

Sometimes, having toddlers make me want to act like one. Obtain a mental picture of me stomping around in a gigantic circle, pulling my hair, and huffing as loudly as possible when things don't go my way. It may look silly in your head, but me, I'm winning our little game.

Being a mom of two toddlers, I am blessed to be challenged with something new every single day. I face those challenges with the outlook that I can love them through all of it. There is nothing that a little love can't cure. Of course, sometimes love means punishment, but in our house, that's a rare necessity. I have good kids. The toddler I had you mentally picture above was more me actually, than them. I've never seen them throw a rager like some kids. I'm challenged though, like any other mom. And I've officially become stumped.

I've become stumped over something ridiculously simple, probably. All the more reason for there to be epic comments telling me how silly I'm being, and how to fix this little issue of mine. Call me hysterical if you want, but please help me before I get my huff-face on again.

My girls are five and four. And while I have a goal of us all sitting around the dinner table every night together as a family, our busy schedules rarely allow it. Perhaps the best solution. Regardless of the table, they get dinner every night (I get props for THAT, right?!). And it's rare that they argue about what I put in front of them. Willing to at least try what I've attempted, for fear I'll make them eat it at the next meal, and the next, and the next until they like it (ah hem, thank you Alicia, for THAT brilliance).

BUT...they take AN HOUR AND A HALF to finish anything put in front of them! They get to giggling and carrying on, or crying out of exhausting, that they refuse to eat at a decent pace.

I know I'm not alone in this, and I know it's normal...because I did it. And my parents solved it by putting a timer on the table. When the timer was up, we lost out on dinner. Period. Because I hated that rule SO MUCH when I was small, I'm being stubborn and refusing to try the method. But, times are desperate. I want my kids to have healthy meals, and finish them in a timely manner, and if I have to (*big gulp*), I'll try the timer plan.

First though, what would you do if you were me? If I sat you down with a pair of giggling turtles, and asked you to make them eat at a comfortable would you light the fire? How would you encourage them to get-a-move-on? Or perhaps I'm overreacting, and I should encourage them to eat at their own pace. It's only bedtime and playtime we're putting off, after all. Maybe, just maybe, this is the universe saying "Grow yourself some patience, mama bear."

Frustrated mama.

Yours Truly,


Linda said...

I don't know how much advice I can give, because I don't have children, but I was raised in a large family. We always sat down to dinner at the same time, started with our prayers, ate together and didn't leave the table until the entire family was finished. I don't remember struggles. It was just a routine and no one argued. Hopefully if you keep up the consistency (as much as possible), they will 'fall into it' and all will be well!

Good luck girl!

Anonymous said...

I am having the same struggles with Russell...right now (and you know as well as I do that with toddlers everyday changes :) ) BUT right now what works for him when he doesn't want to eat is to simply say to him...."hmmm well... i guess you're too tired to eat you will have to go to bed and sleep then" which of course he doesn't want to do so he immediately starts eating his food...

another tip that I remember my mom doing, is making a game out of "oh you better not eat that...I'm going to eat it and I'm hungry" and of course the kids want to eat it before mom eats the food....but this can VERY MUCH back fire on you so use with caution :)

Hope that helps!!! Hang in're not alone (meaning other mama's, but cool, you've gotta big "papa" bear there too to help alleviate some of the stress! :) )
Love ya

Anonymous said...

I don't know if this works for girls, but I get my boys to race to see which one can get done first. They are slightly competitive....this could be a problem later in life! I had the timer when I was little and I also hated it, but I have to admit it was successful! Good luck!


Sazaran said...

WHAT IF you made them eat dinner separately. Just for a little while. And then you can use the idea of them being together as ammo. "KRae, if you eat your dinner you can play with Bug." and "Bug, you have to finish before you can play with your sister." That may be the worst idea of these, but it's what popped into my head.

I LOVE YOU and think you're an AWESOME mama.

Anonymous said...

I think you should provide them with lots and lots of candy at eye level all day long and just skip dinner! I shall provide the candy!

(Love, a hopeless Grandparent)

Anonymous said...

I have 3 boys under 6 and I set a time limit for them to finish main course if they want dessert. So they have endless time to eat their dinner but must finish in max 30mins if they want dessert that night. Works almost every time! Only twice have any of them not finished :)

from a friend of Sazaran

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