Congratulations! Your toddler is now old enough to sit in a “big boy” chair. You no longer need to strap him into a high chair. I bet you think dining out will now be much easier! Unfortunately, the difficulties are just beginning. Your toddler will now be able to explore restaurants without restraints. How can you get your child to sit at the table with you instead of wandering around on his own? Read on for some tips.
1. Be consistent. Teach your child that she must sit with you at the dinner table every night, whether at home or at a restaurant. Be firm from the beginning and your child is much more likely to follow your rules. Once you set a precedent of allowing your child to wander away from the table, it becomes a difficult habit to break.
2. Do not force your child to eat. If your child isn’t hungry, you do not have to force him to eat. However, the family must sit together.
3. Bring activities. There is nothing wrong with allowing your child to sit and color at the dinner table. When dining out, come prepared with coloring books and crayons.
4. Engage your child in conversation. If the dinner conversation focuses solely on the stock market, your child will quickly tune out and become bored. Be sure to include all the kids in the conversation. Dinnertime is a great opportunity to find out what is going on in your child’s life.
5. Manage your expectations. Do not go out for a five-course meal and expect your toddler to sit still for the duration. Kids have short attention spans so plan your meals accordingly.
6. Use positive reinforcement. Offer your child some type of reward for sitting nicely at the table. Stickers will work wonders!
I would love to hear your suggestions! The best answer wins a pair of Sennheiser PMX 70 Sport Headphones. For more information on them, go to www.SennheiserUSA.com.