Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Family Dining Part II

My previous post about toddlers at the dinner table spurred a flurry of emails. Thanks ladies for all the advice. I guess some are a bit shy about posting. But I welcome all your comments on my blog, especially the lengthy ones sharing your experiences and tips. Most of my readers are moms of young kids and in particular other multiples moms facing the same challenges.

So here is a recap of the advice I received:

1) Everyone thought moving to the family table was a good idea for various reasons including learning that chairs are for sitting not for climbing. A particularly important lesson for those of us with HOM (higher order multiples). As one child getting into a little mischief can quickly become or three or more toddlers gone wild.

2) Use booster seats and, for the love of all that is good, strap them in! Do not let toddlers roam free (probably not until at least 2 1/2).

3) Once they get more comfortable with sitting at the table, advance to no buckles BUT keep highchair at bay for unruly days and for rule breakers. Give one warning if they are standing on chair, climbing (or marching in some instances) across the table, running around like wild banshees. Second offense lands child back in secure highchair (or in the case of the booster seats, put tray or buckle back on).

4) Lower expectations. Don't expect meals to last more than 15 minutes.

5) Use distractions to help your child(ren) stay at the table. Give them a quiet toy, sing a song or ask where is their 'eye, ear, belly button?' (by the way I tried singing itsy bitsy spider tonight and Lily said 'no!' until I would stop so maybe the song thing isn't for me)


GrammaG said...

I love this blog business. Wish I could have had this experience when I was raising my sweet daughter. Hearing suggestions and experiences from other parents is so helpful. Parenting multiples is different, there are special skill required.I am a fan of blogging!

Heather said...

I hope the booster seats help. We loved the ability to have them eating at the table but still be secure. I think a trial then of sitting on it without being buckled is key too. I am not ready for Emily to have the ability to roam free at meals so I definitely can't picture it times three!

Smooch said...

Daughter yells at me to stop singing too. I guess I'm tone deaf.