"There are no argumentative children; only adults who argue with children."

Toddler Takes Over the Table

Question

My 2.5 yr old daughter will not sit for meals. She is constantly getting up from her meal and moving about. Each time we direct her back to her seat and tell her it's time to eat. I have considered putting her back in a highchair at home to keep her strapped down and we use high hairs and boosters with straps in public setting (she hates when we do this). This has become so frustrating, and a big interruption for family meals. What should we do to get this under control?

Answer

Greetings... Thanks for your commitment to parentguru.com.

It seems like your daughter is not ready to eat at the table. I support family dinnertime, without television and cellphones, on a regular basis. This is the appropriate time to model healthy eating habits and proper manners. Your daughter has kidnapped dinnertime as her stage to gain a disproportionate amount of attention. I support reverting back to the highchair and/or allowing her to eat prior to the family mealtime until she is ready to display acceptable table manners.

More importantly, remember that leadership parenting is all about attitude. It is imperative not to allow your daughter's mealtime shenanigans to frustrate you or disrupt meals. I encourage you to, always, remain calm. Also, understand that her behaviors are normal. However, as parents, it is our job to teach more appropriate behaviors.

Take back mealtime,

Wallace Collins
Certified Leadership Parenting Coach
Collins Parent Coaching, LLC
wcollins49@comcast.net

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