How to support your child to sit while they eat

How to support your child to sit while they eat
If you're not bothered by it, you're not bothered by it. No judgement here. But if you would prefer your little one sat whilst they ate - these are the strategies for you!

Sitting to eat is a safer than wandering because children's abilities to chew and swallow varied textures is not fully developed. If they stumble or trip whilst eating, there's a higher risk they'll gag or choke. Wandering whilst also mean that you don't see when they get into difficulty. Sitting supports focus on the meal and the task at hand.
From a purely selfish standpoint, when children eat and wander, they get food EVERYWHERE!! I need all the help I can get to not add more mess and chaos to my home!

FIRST RULE:
Be kind. This can take children a while to learn and understand. Dot be forceful or angry. They're just little and exploring their world.

RULE 2
You need to let go of the obsession of 'getting food into your child". They'll eat when they're hungry and they'll eat just enough. Some days that's hardly anything, other days they're ravenous. That's normal. They won't starve themselves. You need to feel confident to end a meal on your terms and not freak out that your child will starve. You can always offer food again later.

HOW TO DO IT
  • Use a calm, Friendly, non-threatening tone of voice
  • Start your sentences with "I", not "we"
  • Say "I can't let you stand up while you eat, it's not safe"
  • Enforce the rule by supporting them to sit back down
  • If they try again, say "standing up tells me you're finished, are you finished?"
  • If they leave, finish the meal/snack and put it away. No second chances.
  • Don't use an "I told you so" tone, stay calm and matter of fact
  • Comfort them up they're upset. "I can see you're upset. I finished snack time because you stood up. We'll try again later"
  • Be consistent! This won't work if you waiver sometimes and let them wander with a biscuit!

Have you tried this? How did it go?

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