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Old 12-13-2012, 11:17 AM   #1
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Do your kids throw fits whenever they have to sit down to eat?

I'm at my wits end, as I would say pretty much every morning, either my 5 year old or my 6 year old throw a fit at the breakfast table- they don't want to eat what I gave them or they just sit there and fake cry and when I ask what's wrong they won't tell me.

And today my 3 year old has been throwing a similar fit- something about me giving him too much peas or too much macaroni, or fake crying about needing a paper towel.

it's like as soon as they see a nice plate of food put out for them on the table they get into crying baby/brat mode. I don't understand how to help them.

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Old 12-13-2012, 11:33 AM   #2
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Re: Do your kids throw fits whenever they have to sit down to eat?

Well, the 3 yr old, I'm sure, has just learned it from the older two. As for the older two, I'm not sure what started it, but I would suggest sitting down with them and having a chat. Not at a meal time, but maybe a little beforehand. Let them know that you will be serving food, that they are expected to not whine about it, but to eat. If they need something, they may ask politely. If you need to, set a time limit (use a timer they can see) for them to be finished in.

Also, I don't know how much input they have in what they eat, but if they currently have no say or very little, give them some options. Not necessarily for every meal, but when you can.
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:36 AM   #3
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Re: Do your kids throw fits whenever they have to sit down to eat?

My DD does this in the morning sometimes at breakfast. We've started taking things away when she does it (if she has a fit at breakfast, there's no TV before lunch). That has worked pretty well. She gets to watch a Christmas show while I make lunch (she LOVES Merry Christmas Charlie Brown) so this is a big deal for her.
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Old 12-13-2012, 12:18 PM   #4
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Re: Do your kids throw fits whenever they have to sit down to eat?

Not my kids, but I've seen plenty of kids who freak out about it. I'd give them options, or maybe they just aren't hungry for breakfast.
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Old 12-13-2012, 12:20 PM   #5
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Re: Do your kids throw fits whenever they have to sit down to eat?

My 3 year old still has his Fisher Price Healthy Care booster. If he sits nicely, he doesn't have to have straps. If he is naughty, he has straps put on him.

The 5 year old gets in trouble if she gets up without asking permission. She has to eat her meal by herself at the dining room table, which she hates.

Breakfast is a struggle sometimes for DS. I don't eat breakfast ever, and I think sometimes he just isn't in the mood.
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Old 12-13-2012, 12:23 PM   #6
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Re: Do your kids throw fits whenever they have to sit down to eat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tallanvor View Post
Well, the 3 yr old, I'm sure, has just learned it from the older two. As for the older two, I'm not sure what started it, but I would suggest sitting down with them and having a chat. Not at a meal time, but maybe a little beforehand. Let them know that you will be serving food, that they are expected to not whine about it, but to eat. If they need something, they may ask politely. If you need to, set a time limit (use a timer they can see) for them to be finished in.

Also, I don't know how much input they have in what they eat, but if they currently have no say or very little, give them some options. Not necessarily for every meal, but when you can.
This.

And, I'm a stickler when it comes to food, so if my kids start whining, I remind them, they can either eat it or go do something else until the next meal. They never HAVE to eat it if they don't want it. But what they CAN'T do it sit and whine about it. Or play with it. Either eat it or don't, but don't whine that you have food when so many people are hungry right now.

Obviously that's probably too harsh for a lot of mamas on DS, but this is how my kids have it.

If they insist on throwing a fit, I remove the food. B/c as I say "hungry people EAT, they don't whine." And then if they continue to sit there and complain, I physically put them in their rooms, calmly tell them they may come out when they are done, and I leave and close the door. 9 times out of 10, they come out in 5 minutes, say they are sorry and ask for another chance. Which, of course, they always get another chance to eat their meal. I don't want them going hungry. I just don't want them complaining about their food when 1) I know it's something they will eat, 2) it shows a lack of appreciation for the person who prepared it and 3) people are hungry right now that would love to eat your (fill-in-the-blank) and it's disrespectful to complain about it.
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Old 12-13-2012, 12:47 PM   #7
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Re: Do your kids throw fits whenever they have to sit down to eat?

I've never had that problem with my kids. But, my kids always get options, help DH & I cook from young ages, and never have to take one bite of anything on their pate if they don't want to.
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Old 12-13-2012, 12:57 PM   #8
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Three of my four kids eat what they are served, and rarely have a complaint. One of my children has major food issues. If he starts whining and screaming he is told to calm down or he is removed to his room where he can do that. He's welcome to join us back whenever he is ready to sit nicely. If I make something I know he won't eat I make a variation for him that he will. For example, he doesn't eat anything in a casserole or sauce, so if I make enchiladas, he will get a quesadilla.
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Old 12-13-2012, 01:17 PM   #9
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Re: Do your kids throw fits whenever they have to sit down to eat?

That would drive me nuts! At their ages, I would just ask them to please leave the table and they can eat at the next meal (no snack). Unless there is some kind of disability there, they will eat when they are hungry.
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Old 12-13-2012, 01:29 PM   #10
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Re: Do your kids throw fits whenever they have to sit down to eat?

thanks for the suggestions. I really appreciate it.

the one problem is that in the morning on weekdays, I have to get the 5 and 6 year old fed because they are going to school for the day. It's so stressful because I can't send them to school without having breakfast, yet they fight me about it. I also usually don't leave enough time to do what someone above suggested (sending them to their room, etc), because we are all getting ready for them to go to school. Perhaps I need to allow at least an extra half hour to discipline them over this?
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